Load Environment Variables from a File

The new nanobox evar load command allows you to load environment variables from a single file or multiple files.

# Pattern
nanobox evar load <local | dry-run | remote> path/to/file
nanobox evar load <local | dry-run | remote> path/to/file1 path/to/file2

# Examples
nanobox evar load config/evars
nanobox evar load local config/evars1 config/evars2 .env

Environment Variable Files

Loaded files should consist of key-value pairs associated with an equals sign =. Values containing spaces or special characters should be wrapped in double quotes "". Below is an example file showing supported key-value formats.


another multiline
value surrounded
by whitespace

key="yes, even spaces and = are allowed as values"
export key=value
export key="you're welcome ;)"

Variable exports and whitespace between key-value pairs don't matter. They get stripped out as the file is read in and variables are installed.


Loading environment variables from a file can be really handy in certain cases. Here's just a few.

Bulk Import of Environment Variables

Some projects require a number of environment variables in order to function properly. Including all the necessary key-value pairs in a single file lets you load them all at once rather than having to build out a huge comma/space delimited list of key-value pairs to pass into the nanobox evar add command.

Multi-line Values

Some projects require environment variables with multi-line values. Adding these isn't possible using just the nanobox evar add command, but include the key-value pair in a file allows you to load them in with the nanobox evar load command.

Values with Spaces or Special Characters

The nanobox evar add command splits on spaces/commas and uses = to define key-value pairs. Environment variables that include these characters and other special characters can't be added using the evar add command. Loading the environment variables from a file gets around these restrictions with some documented formatting caveats.

Nanobox 'evar' Command - 'load' Subcommand

Posted in Updates, Features