Deploy a Laravel App to Heroku

Deploy a Laravel app with an encrypted .env.vault file to Heroku.

Initial setup

Install Laravel and create a new Laravel project.

composer create-project laravel/laravel yourapp

Add a Procfile to run your Laravel app.


web: heroku-php-apache2 public/

Edit resources/views/welcome.blade.php.


Hello {{ env('HELLO') }}.

Create your project on Heroku.

heroku create

Generate a Laravel APP_KEY and set it on Heroku.

php artisan key:generate --show
heroku config:set APP_KEY='base64:1234...'

Commit everything to code and push it to Heroku.

git push heroku

Once deployed, your app will say 'Hello .' as it doesn't have a way to access the environment variable yet. Let's do that next.

Install dotenv-vault-laravel

Require dotenv-vault-laravel in your composer.json file.

composer require davidcochrum/dotenv-vault-laravel


"require": {
  "davidcochrum/dotenv-vault-laravel": "^1.1",

Add HELLO=World to the bottom of your .env file.



Try running it locally.

php artisan serve
INFO  Server running on []

It should say Hello World.

Great! ENV now has the keys and values you defined in your .env file. That covers local development. Let's solve for production next.

Build .env.vault

Push your latest .env file changes and edit your production secrets. Learn more about syncing .env files

npx dotenv-vault@latest new
npx dotenv-vault@latest push
npx dotenv-vault@latest open production

Use the compare environments feature to copy Laravel's development values to production. (Additionally, modify any production values as needed.)

Next, modify HELLO to production.

Then build your encrypted .env.vault file.

npx dotenv-vault@latest build

Its contents should look something like this.


#/         cloud-agnostic vaulting standard         /
#/   [how it works](   /

# development

# production


Fetch your production DOTENV_KEY.

npx dotenv-vault@latest keys production
# outputs: dotenv://:[email protected]/vault/.env.vault?environment=production

Set DOTENV_KEY on Heroku using the CLI.

heroku config:set DOTENV_KEY='dotenv://:key_1234…'

Or use Heroku's UI.


Commit those changes safely to code and deploy.

That's it! On deploy, your .env.vault file will be decrypted and its production secrets injected as environment variables‚ just in time.

You'll know things worked correctly when you see Loading env from encrypted .env.vault in your logs. If a DOTENV_KEY is not set (for example when developing on your local machine) it will fall back to standard dotenv functionality.

heroku logs --tail