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Use NODE_ENV and other environment variables in Astro

Today I did some development on my own website, when I noticed that I was hijacking my own analytics and statistics by not turning them off on my local development machine. I also never did this before (in Astro that is).

The Simple Way

The most easy and straightforward way would be to use the NodeJS internal process.env.NODE_ENV. This way works with most of the online CI/CD systems like Github Actions, Google Cloud Build, Netlify and so on. The only problem there is that the process.env isn’t really made accessible by Snowpack.

Astro uses Snowpack out of the box, but will move to Vite in a future update (Astro v21.0). This method won’t work from there on.

Snowpack automatically uses __SNOWPACK_ENV__.MODE instead of NODE_ENV, so if you’re using Astro (or snowpack) in general, you might want to use this one instead. (it will also use development by default on npm run dev & production on npm run build)

The somewhat more advanced way

  • Install @snowpack/plugin-dotenv
npm i --save @snowpack/plugin-dotenv
  • Configure Astro via astro.config.mjs to use @snowpack/plugin-dotenv
 plugins: [
  • Expose Env Vars via Snowpack’s snowpack.config.mjs. Vars must be prefixed with SNOWPACK_PUBLIC_
export default {
  env: {
  • Access the Env Vars on the __SNOWPACK_ENV__ object
const res = await fetch(`${__SNOWPACK_ENV__.SNOWPACK_PUBLIC_API_BASEURL}/events`);

By Bramus

In some usecases, it might seem handier to load in a .env file. In that case you can always use the Snowpack Environment Variables, read more about that on their documentation.

It’s not hard and probably will feel very familiar to the NodeJS default dotenv plugin.

Written by Elian Van Cutsem on 10/15/2021 23:30

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