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dotenvenc

Encrypt and decrypt your .env file so you can store sensitive information (passwords etc.) in source control

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dotenvenc

Encrypt and decrypt your .env so it doesn't expose sensitive information (passwords, tokens etc.)

Use case

You have a .env file in your project (usually at the app's root folder) and are using it with a package like dotenv to expose its contents as environment variables in your app. But your .env contains sensitive information (passwords, tokens etc.) in clear-text so you don't want to place it in your versioned code. Using dotenvenc you generate from .env an encrypted version .env.enc and only share this in your project. In your code you regenerate .env from .env.enc at runtime when you need to access the sensitive data.

NOTE: this package is meaningful only if used in combination with a package like dotenv which actually creates the environment variables found in the generated decrypted .env file.

TIP: add .env in your .gitignore so it's guaranteed to never get versioned.

Installation

Install and save as a local dependency in your project:

npm i dotenvenc

Encryption

Step 1

Generate the encrypted .env.enc from the clear-text .env (for this file's format, consult the dotenv docs) using the installed command line script dotenvenc:

<PROJECT_PATH>/node_modules/.bin/dotenvenc -e myPassword

Also you can define custom pathnames for both the input and output file of the encryption or decryption operation.

For example to create encrypt a custom clear-text file /somewhere/.env.custom into custom encrypted file ./somewhere/else/.env.enc.custom:

<PROJECT_PATH>/node_modules/.bin/dotenvenc -e -i /somewhere/.env.custom -o ./somewhere/else/.env.enc.custom myPassword

You need to do this once in the beginning or when you make changes to your .env.

If -i and -o are ommitted, the defaults are:

  • ./.env for the unencrypted file used as input for the encryption or as output for the decryption
  • ./.env.enc for the encrypted file used as output for the encryption or as input for the decryption

NOTE: If you have npm@5.2.0 or better, then you have in your path also npx, so the above command is simply:

npx dotenvenc ...

Step 2

Save the key myPassword as environment variable in your .bashrc or .bash_profile:

export DOTENVENC_KEY='myPassword';

You can choose any name for this variable.

Decryption

Once you have created the .env.enc you need to regenerate the clear-text .env at runtime to access the password, tokens etc.

Assuming your .env with the sensitive data is:

DB_PASS='mySupercalifragilisticexpialidociousPassword'
CHASTITY_KEY='youShallNotPass'

and you have generated .env.enc with the key myPassword which you saved in environment variale DOTENVENC_KEY (see Ecryption above), there are two ways to do this.

Option 1: Javascript code

require('dotenvenc').decrypt({ passwd: process.env.DOTENVENC_KEY});
require('dotenv').config();
// From here on you have access the passwords through process.env.DB_PASS and process.env.CHASTITIY_KEY

Or if you used custom encrypted and decrypted pathnames e.g. ./somewhere/.env.enc.custom and ./somewhere/else/.env.custom respectively, then:

require('dotenvenc').decrypt({ passwd: process.env.DOTENVENC_KEY, encryptedPathname: './somewhere/.env.enc.custom', decryptedPathname: './somewhere/else/.env.custom'});
require('dotenv').config();
// From here on you have access the passwords through process.env.DB_PASS and process.env.CHASTITIY_KEY

Option 2: Command line

Using the script mentioned earlier with the -d flag:

<PROJECT_PATH>/node_modules/.bin/dotenvenc -d myPassword

Or if you used custom encrypted and decrypted pathnames e.g. ./somewhere/.env.enc.custom and ./somewhere/else/.env.custom respectively, then:

<PROJECT_PATH>/node_modules/.bin/dotenvenc -d  -i ./somewhere/.env.enc.custom -o ./somewhere/else/.env.custom myPassword

This can be useful if you corrupt your .env (remember that .env is an unversioned file). With the dotenvenc script you can recreate it to its last functioning state from your .env.enc unless you corrupted that one too by running the Encryption step above on the corrupted .env (then you're done!)

NOTE: this only regenerates the .env from the encrypted .env.enc file (no environment variables are created from its contents).

Testing

There are two sample files used for the tests.

File .env.sample with contents:

FOO=bar

and its encrypted counterpart .env.enc.sample.

To run the tests:

npm t

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