.anv file in node js

Learn how to set up and test a .env file in node js


Set up and test a .env file in Node.js
In Node, environment variables are a great way to securely and easily configure things that don’t change often, such as URLs, authentication keys, and passwords. in node. js, node process env a global variable that is injected during runtime. This is a view of the state of the system environment variables. When we set an environment variable, it is loaded in the process.

Set Up and Test an .env File in Node

The dotenv package qualifies loading of an .env file in Node.js project, which serves as a central location for managing environment variables. This single file approach makes it easy to update and maintain environment variables.

If you are new to Node env dependencies to their latest version, read this article: Update all the Node dependencies to their latest version.

Setting up and creating an .env File

Start your cloud safari with DigitalOcean with a free $100 credit. The most regular solution in the Node.js env world is the npm dotenv package for managing environment variables.

What is the .env file ? How to create a .env file in Node.js

You can build an .env file in Node.js in the root catalog of the application, which holds key/value pairs defining the required environment variables for your project.

This .env file is then read by the dotenv library and added to process.env. Please don’t affect your node .env file.

Let’s update .gitignore, create an .env file and there are 7 steps given below:

1. Update your .gitignore file.

.env file in Node.js

2. Commit the updated .gitignore file.


3. Install dotenv package

.env file in Node.js

4. Create a new .env file in the project root directory


5. Add environment variables to .env file

.env file in Node.js

6. Read and use environment variables in env.


7. Run the code

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Outputs the log message HOST-PLACEHOLDER-URL, which is the environment variable set to API_HOST defined in the .env file in Node.js

Optionally create a config.js module

It is recommended to create a separate configuration module for applications with multiple configuration options. This module has to be executed under version control.

A config.js module might look like this:

.env file in Node.js

The above .env file in Node.js example bundles together configurations from a node .env file to remain particular to the environment, while other configuration values can also be used directly.

This also has the advantage of being able to import configuration wherever it is needed, and use analyzing to take out only the values that are needed. This makes the code much cleaner.

Document your application with an example of an .env file.

The .env file in Node.js should be environment specific and not checked into version control, best practice is to document with.env file examples. This .env.file example file documents compulsory variables for the application, and can be committed to version control. This provides a useful context and speeds up the on-boarding process for new team members, as it reduces the time spent trawling through the codebase to figure out what needs to be set up.

Example is given below:

.env file in Node.js

What happens to environment variables that already exist?

The node dotenv library will never adjust any environment variables that have earlier been set. If a variable has already been set in your environment, and the variable in the .env file collides with it and Variables in the .env file will be discarded.


An .env file is required for a clean separation of environment-specific configurations. dotenv packaged is used at runtime to read a .env file that contains environment variables and append them to the process.env object.

Building an env file example for an .env file to document compulsory variables runs up project setup time.

Never commit an .env file to version control.

If you want to know more about Node, have a look at the Node dependencies (Update all the Node dependencies to their latest version)

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