how can i set environment variable in droplet? (not using app platform)

Posted January 8, 2021 3.4k views
DigitalOcean Droplets

I’m now trying to deploy my app using droplet. Is that okay to put all of environment variables(i.e. dbpassword) in .env file because i’m the only one who can access to my server with ssh and passphrase?

Or is there any other methods that I need to do for security issues?
Anyone can see my environment variables in my website if I just put environment variables in .env file?

I saw an option in “Launch Your App” about environment variables to secure. So I’m wondering whether i should do something to keep my sensitive enviroment variables in droplet.

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1 answer

Hi there @pajaritomoyqi,

Yes, as long as the .env file is not accessible via the web it should be OK.

You just need to keep in mind that you should never add the .env file to your GitHub repository.


  • I deployed my website using droplets 8months ago. I didn’t hide any of my credentials(Postgres, Email Credentials, etc) except SECRETKEY. I don’t remember how I did that. My code for hiding secretkey is SECRET_KEY = os.getenv('SECRET_KEY_BHSS', 'Optional default value')

    Now I want to hide these credentials inside a .env file, which I could do using django-environ. But when I update my files through ssh, run requirements.txt, restart gunicorn, I get 502 bad gateway, nginx server error. I think this is because my credentials are not managed server side. I don’t find any option in droplets to enter env variables like in APPS Deployment.

    But I don’t know how to do this. I run export SECRET_KEY="my_secret_key" while inside ssh, but that doesn’t fix my error. I need to share git repository but don’t want to share those credentials. How should I do it? I really need your help. Thanks in advanced.

    • Hi there @ceesiama,

      What I usually do when I don’t remember how I’ve done something is to run the history command which prints out all of the commands that I’ve ran in the past.

      In your case, as far as I can see there should be a shell environment variable called SECRET_KEY_BHSS. To list all of your env variables you could run the printenv command.

      Let me know how it goes!