Exact processing logic of Configuration Data File

What is the exact processing logic of a configuration data file? Is nodename required, can I use something else. I really want to customize the heck out of it but I want to fully understand the processing first. Could I use machnename instead of nodename for instance? I don’t really want to do this exactly I’m just trying to understand the flexibility. Can I have multiple different attributes that have * in them. I know * is not a wild card but can it only apply to nodename? Thanks.

The data file is really just passed to a configuration script. The NodeName portion is what tells the configuration script to repeat its Node{} block for that node. So, yeah, you kinda have to have it, unless you’re providing those some other way.

It might be more helpful if you have a specific scenario in mind. Keep in mind that while a few of us do know a lot about this stuff, none of us have seen the code or the exact logic that goes on under the hood.