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Circle CI with Node.js - Integrations

CircleCI Node.js

Circle CI with Node.js

Learn how to configure CircleCI with Dotenv Vault in a simple Node.js web app. This tutorial assumes you are already familiar with .env files and know how to sync them.

You can find a complete example repo here.

Initial setup

Create a config.yml file in a .circleci/ folder to set your CircleCI settings. Add relevant orbs to your project to define the tasks that need to be performed when building and be sure to include dependencies like container type. Don’t forget to specify what CircleCI needs to run after it has finished building, such as your starting point script.

# .circleci/config.yml
version: 2.1
  node: circleci/[email protected]
      - image: cimg/base:2021.04
      - checkout
      - node/install
      - node/install-packages
      - run:
          name: Run code
          command: node index


Package installation

Start by installing the dotenv package with npm.

npm install dotenv --save

Reference the Vault package as early in your index.js code as possible to skip any conflicts that may arise.

// index.js
console.log(process.env) // for debugging purposes. remove when ready.


Build the Vault

Confirm you are logged in and your Vault is synced locally by running npx dotenv-vault pull ci. Once ready, proceed by building your Vault with npx dotenv-vault build.

npx dotenv-vault build

Once Vault has finished building, it will provide you with access to its decryption keys, which you can use to interact with protected environment variables with ease. To retrieve a key, just input npx dotenv-vault keys, followed by your preferred environment, like ci, for example. You can do the same with other environments such as development and production.

The outcome of this will be a long URI being returned. You will immediately recognize it as it always starts with dotenv://:key and ends in ?environment= with the environment you have chosen.

npx dotenv-vault keys ci
remote:   Listing .env.vault decryption keys... done

dotenv://:[email protected]/vault/.env.vault?environment=ci

Set deployment

With the decryption key safely in your possession, it is time for you to head over to the CircleCI project settings. From there seek the Environment Variables section and click the Add Environment Variable button to begin the process. Put DOTENV_KEY as the key and save the decryption key you obtained earlier for the value field.

Commit and push

That’s it!

Commit those changes safely to code and deploy to CircleCI.

When the build runs, it will recognize the DOTENV_KEY, decrypt the .env.vault file, and load the ci environment variables to ENV. If a DOTENV_KEY is not set when developing on local machine, for example, it will fall back to standard Dotenv functionality.

You’ll know things worked correctly when you see 'Loading .env from encrypted .env.vault' in your CircleCI logs.