# Environment configuration and variables

Strapi provides environment variables that can be used in configuration files. An env() utility can be used to retrieve the value of environment variables and cast variables to different types, and specific configurations for different environments can be created.

# Strapi's environment variables

Strapi provides the following environment variables:

Setting Description Type Default value
STRAPI_DISABLE_UPDATE_NOTIFICATION Don't show the notification message about updating strapi in the terminal Boolean false
STRAPI_HIDE_STARTUP_MESSAGE Don't show the startup message in the terminal Boolean false
STRAPI_TELEMETRY_DISABLED Don't send telemetry usage data to Strapi Boolean false
STRAPI_LICENSE The license key to activate the Enterprise Edition String undefined
NODE_ENV Type of environment where the application is running.

production enables specific behaviors (see Node.js documentation (opens new window) for details)
String 'development'
BROWSER Open the admin panel in the browser after startup Boolean true
ENV_PATH Path to the file that contains your environment variables String './.env'

Initialization locale for the application, if the Internationalization (i18n) plugin is installed and enabled on Content-Types (see Configuration of i18n in production environments) String 'en'
FAST_REFRESH Use react-refresh (opens new window) to enable "Fast Refresh" for near-instant feedback while developing the Strapi admin panel. boolean true

# Configuration using environment variables

In most use cases there will be different configurations between environments (e.g. database credentials).

Instead of writing those credentials into configuration files, variables can be defined in a .env file at the root of the application:

# path: .env


To customize the path of the .env file to load, set an environment variable called ENV_PATH before starting the application:

$ ENV_PATH=/absolute/path/to/.env npm run start

Variables defined in the .env file are accessible using process.env.{variableName} anywhere in configuration and application files.

In configuration files, a env() utility allows defining defaults and casting values:

// path: ./config/database.js

module.exports = ({ env }) => ({
  connections: {
    default: {
      settings: {
        password: env('DATABASE_PASSWORD'),

# Casting environment variables

The env() utility can be used to cast environment varibles to different types:

// Returns the env if defined without casting it
env('VAR', 'default');

// Cast to integer (using parseInt)
env.int('VAR', 0);

// Cast to float (using parseFloat)
env.float('VAR', 3.14);

// Cast to boolean (check if the value is equal to 'true')
env.bool('VAR', true);

// Cast to JS object (using JSON.parse)
env.json('VAR', { key: 'value' });

// Cast to array (syntax: ENV_VAR=[value1, value2, value3] | ENV_VAR=["value1", "value2", "value3"])
env.array('VAR', [1, 2, 3]);

// Cast to date (using new Date(value))
env.date('VAR', new Date());

# Environment configurations

Configurations can be created with the following naming and structure conventions: ./config/env/{environment}/{filename}. This is useful when you need specific static configurations for specific environments and using environment variables is not the best solution.

These configurations will be merged into the base configurations defined in the ./config folder. The environment is based on the NODE_ENV environment variable, which defaults to development.

When starting Strapi with NODE_ENV=production it will load the configuration from ./config/* and ./config/env/production/*. Everything defined in the production configuration will override the default configuration. In combination with environment variables this pattern becomes really powerful.

For instance, using the following configuration files will give you various options to start the server:

// path: ./config/server.js

module.exports = {
  host: '',

// path: ./config/env/production/server.js

module.exports = ({ env }) => ({
  host: env('HOST', ''),

With these configuration files the server will start on various ports depending on the environment variables passed:

yarn start                                   # uses host
NODE_ENV=production yarn start               # uses host defined in .env. If not defined, uses
HOST= NODE_ENV=production yarn start # uses host