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Simple layered loading of env files for your 12-factor app.

Project description

envfiles: Simple layered loading of env files for your 12-factor app

You've set up your app to configure itself from environment variables, awesome, well done. Now all you need to do is to export all of them before running your app. Oh, and also they need to be slightly different in Docker, and tests, and for local development...

Wouldn't it be neat if we could layer env files? Imagine a base.env:


A test.env that overrides it:

# >> base.env

Note the first line # >> base.env, the # >> is an arbitrary prefix, the base.env is a path relative to the file being read.

Then define one environment variable, for example ENV_FILE, containing a relative path to the env file you want to load:

import envfiles

env_vars = envfiles.load_env_files(os.getenv("ENV_FILE"))
assert env_vars == {
    "CACHE_ENABLED": "0",
    "DATABASE_HOST": "localhost",
    "DATABASE_NAME": "myapp_test",

Note envfiles will not mess with your os.environ, or attempt parsing or (de)serializing variables. The output is a dictionary of strings to strings, what you do with it is entirely your business.

You can simply update os.environ with the result of envfiles and let your configuration library/code pick it up. Do note that if you do this the actual environment variables will be overridden by the result of envfiles.

Instead, I suggest updating the results with os.environ and passing it to environ-config 💚

import environ
import envfiles
from settings import MyConfig  # your environ-config Config class

env_vars = envfiles.load(os.getenv("ENV_FILE"))

config = environ.to_config(MyConfig, environ=env_vars)


Frustration, mostly. I've had this issue more times than I can count. I've tried different libraries but none of them supported layering or sort of did but messed with the os.environ in surprising ways.

The idea behind envfiles is to just read layered env files and let you use whatever configuration solution you want. Configuration is the first thing your app does, it should be as quick and straightforward as possible.


If envfiles is not what you were looking for here are some other options you may want to consider, all of them more mature and featured than envfiles:

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