How Do I Pass Environment Variables to Docker Containers?
It is always a good practice to separate the app from its configuration. It is not a good idea to have a database login credential defined as variables in the code of the application. This is why we use environment variables. But this means we need a way to pass the value somehow to the application running in the Docker container.
There are two main ways to inject environment variables into Docker containers.
Using the command line argument
When you launch docker using the
docker run command, you can pass the environment variables as a key-value pair using the
docker run --name ubuntu -env VARIABLE='value' -d ubuntu
If you have a variable already exported like this:
You can pass the variable into the docker like this:
docker run --name ubuntu -env VARIABLE -d ubuntu
Passing the variable using the command option argument is easy for a small number of variables. If you need to pass many variables at the same time, it is always better to use
.env file (also called envfile) is a simple text file in which the variables are defined as key-value pairs.
You can append variables to envfile using the following syntax:
echo VARIABLE1='value1' > envfile.txt echo VARIABLE2='value2' >> envfile.txt echo VARIABLE3='value3' >> envfile.txt
Please, notice the
>> operator when appending to an existing file. Using the
> operator would overwrite the content.
If you are new to Docker, feel free to start with our Getting started logging guide.
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