Using environment variables

Astro uses Vite for environment variables, and allows you to use any of its methods to get and set environment variables.

Note that while all environment variables are available in server-side code, only environment variables prefixed with PUBLIC_ are available in client-side code for security purposes.

See the official Environment Variables example for best practices.


In this example, PUBLIC_ANYBODY (accessible via import.meta.env.PUBLIC_ANYBODY) will be available in server or client code, while SECRET_PASSWORD (accessible via import.meta.env.SECRET_PASSWORD) will be server-side only.

Astro includes a few environment variables out-of-the-box:

  • import.meta.env.MODE (development | production): the mode your site is running in. This is development when running astro dev and production when running astro build.
  • import.meta.env.BASE_URL (string): the base url your site is being served from. This is determined by the base config option.
  • import.meta.env.PROD (boolean): whether your site is running in production.
  • import.meta.env.DEV (boolean): whether your site is running in development (always the opposite of import.meta.env.PROD).
  • import.meta.env.SITE (string): The site option specified in your project’s astro.config.

Environment variables can be loaded from .env files in your project directory.

You can also attach a mode (either production or development) to the filename, like .env.production or .env.development, which makes the environment variables only take effect in that mode.

Just create a .env file in the project directory and add some variables to it.

# This will only be available when run on the server!
# This will be available everywhere!
# Supported file names:
.env                # loaded in all cases
.env.local          # loaded in all cases, ignored by git
.env.[mode]         # only loaded in specified mode
.env.[mode].local   # only loaded in specified mode, ignored by git

Instead of using process.env, with Vite you use import.meta.env, which uses the import.meta feature added in ES2020.

For example, use import.meta.env.PUBLIC_POKEAPI to get the PUBLIC_POKEAPI environment variable.

// When import.meta.env.SSR === true
const data = await db(import.meta.env.DB_PASSWORD);

// When import.meta.env.SSR === false
const data = fetch(`${import.meta.env.PUBLIC_POKEAPI}/pokemon/squirtle`);

By default, Astro provides type definition for import.meta.env in astro/client.d.ts.

While you can define more custom env variables in .env.[mode] files, you may want to get TypeScript IntelliSense for user-defined env variables which are prefixed with PUBLIC_.

To achieve this, you can create an env.d.ts in src/ and configure ImportMetaEnv like this:

interface ImportMetaEnv {
  readonly DB_PASSWORD: string;
  readonly PUBLIC_POKEAPI: string;
  // more env variables...

interface ImportMeta {
  readonly env: ImportMetaEnv;