Sunday, June 23, 2024

Using environment variables in React and Vite

Programming LanguageUsing environment variables in React and Vite


Environment variables are a powerful way to manage secrets and configuration settings in your applications. They allow you to store sensitive information like API keys, database credentials, and other configuration settings outside of your codebase. This makes it easier to manage your application’s configuration and reduces the risk of exposing sensitive information in your code.

This becomes highly useful when you are planning to make your code open-source or share it with others. In this article, we will learn how to use environment variables in React and Vite to manage secrets and configuration settings in your applications.

Using environment variables in React

  • Create a .env file in the root of your React project. You can create this file manually or use the touch command in your terminal.
touch .env
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  • Add your environment variables to the .env file. Prefix your variables with REACT_APP_ to make them available in your React application.
REACT_APP_API_KEY=your-api-key
REACT_APP_API_URL=https://api.example.com
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  • Access your environment variables in your React components using process.env.
const apiKey = process.env.REACT_APP_API_KEY;
const apiUrl = process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL;

console.log("API Key:", apiKey);
console.log("API URL:", apiUrl);
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  • Remember to restart your development server after adding or updating environment variables in your .env file.

Using environment variables in Vite

Vite provides built-in support for environment variables using the .env files. You can create different .env files for different environments like development, production, and testing.

  • Create a .env file in the root of your Vite project. You can create this file manually or use the touch command in your terminal.
touch .env
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  • Add your environment variables to the .env file. Prefix your variables with VITE_ to make them available in your Vite application.
VITE_API_KEY=your-api-key
VITE_API_URL=https://api.example.com
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  • Access your environment variables in your Vite application using import.meta.env.
const apiKey = import.meta.env.VITE_API_KEY;
const apiUrl = import.meta.env.VITE_API_URL;

console.log("API Key:", apiKey);
console.log("API URL:", apiUrl);
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  • Remember to restart your development server after adding or updating environment variables in your .env file.

Benefits of using Vite for environment variables

Vite uses .env files to load environment variables. You can create different .env files for different environments:

  • .env: Loaded in all cases.
  • .env.local: Loaded in all cases, ignored by git.
  • .env.[mode]: Loaded only in the specified mode (e.g., .env.production).
  • .env.[mode].local: Loaded only in the specified mode, ignored by git.

TypeScript Support

For TypeScript projects, you can enhance IntelliSense by defining custom environment variables. Create a vite-env.d.ts file in your src directory:

/// <reference types="vite/client" />

interface ImportMetaEnv {
  readonly VITE_APP_TITLE: string;
  // more env variables...
}

interface ImportMeta {
  readonly env: ImportMetaEnv;
}
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If your code relies on types from browser environments such as DOM and WebWorker, you can update the lib field in tsconfig.json.

{
  "lib": ["WebWorker"]
}
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Note

  • Environment variables prefixed with REACT_APP_ are automatically embedded into the build by Create React App. You don’t need to use a package like dotenv to load environment variables in your React application.

  • Vite automatically loads environment variables from .env files and makes them available in your application using import.meta.env. You don’t need to use a package like dotenv to load environment variables in your Vite application.

  • Make sure to add your .env files to your .gitignore file to prevent them from being committed to your version control system.

Using environment variables in React and Vite is a great way to manage secrets and configuration settings in your applications. It allows you to store sensitive information outside of your codebase and makes it easier to manage your application’s configuration. I hope this article helps you understand how to use environment variables in React and Vite. Happy coding! 🚀

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