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How to manage react-native .env variables with PhpStorm Run/Debug Configuration?

Hey everyone,

I'm fairly new to using PhpStorm for my React Native projects, and I'm currently facing an issue related to managing .env variables when running and debugging my application. I would highly appreciate any help or guidance you can provide regarding this matter.

I have been using .env files to store my environment variables, such as API keys and database URLs. This approach works well when running the app using the terminal commands like `react-native run-android` or `react-native run-ios`, as I can simply specify the .env file using a package like `react-native-dotenv`.

However, when it comes to running and debugging my application through PhpStorm, I'm not sure how to handle the .env files. The Run/Debug Configuration settings in PhpStorm only allow me to specify a command to run the project, and I couldn't find a way to include the .env file there.

I've tried searching the documentation and online forums, but I haven't been able to find a satisfactory solution yet. I would really appreciate if someone could guide me on how to manage .env variables within the PhpStorm Run/Debug Configuration. Is there any specific configuration or plugin that I need to set up?

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

All Replies


Hi there,

I had a similar issue managing .env variables in my React Native project with PhpStorm's Run/Debug Configuration. After some trial and error, I found an alternative approach that might work for you too.

Instead of creating a custom script as suggested earlier, I opted for a different solution that involves using the "Before launch" option in the Run/Debug Configuration settings. Here's what I did:

1. Open the Run/Debug Configuration for your project in PhpStorm.

2. Under the "Before launch" section, click on the "+" button and select "Run Another Configuration".

3. Choose "React Native" from the list of available configurations.

4. Configure the React Native configuration with the necessary settings, such as the platform (Android or iOS) and the target device.

5. Now, you can specify the .env file within the React Native configuration itself.

- In the "Node interpreter" field, choose your Node.js executable.

- In the "Working directory" field, set the path to your React Native project's root directory.

- In the "Environment" field, add an environment variable named `ENV_FILE` with the path to your .env file. For example, if your .env file is located at `./config/myenv.env`, set `ENV_FILE=./config/myenv.env`.

6. Save the configuration and try running it.

By utilizing the React Native configuration within the "Before launch" option, you can specify the .env file path using the `ENV_FILE` environment variable. This way, PhpStorm will automatically load the .env variables when running or debugging your React Native app.

Give this approach a shot and let me know if it provides the desired results for you!

Best regards,


Hey there,

I've faced this exact problem before and managed to find a workaround for managing .env variables within PhpStorm's Run/Debug Configuration. Here's what worked for me:

1. In your Run/Debug Configuration, instead of directly running the project with `react-native run-android` or `react-native run-ios`, you can try creating a custom script.

2. Open the Run/Debug Configuration settings and navigate to the "Before launch" section.

3. Click on the "+" button and select "Run External tool".

4. In the "Program" field, specify the path to your Node.js executable (e.g., `/usr/local/bin/node`).

5. In the "Parameters" field, provide the path to a separate JavaScript file that will load your .env variables and then start the React Native app. For example, you can create a file called `start.js` in your project's root directory with the following content:



6. Tick the "Open console" option to see the console output while running the script.

7. Ensure that you have the `dotenv` package installed (`npm install dotenv`) as it will help load the .env variables.

8. Finally, save the configuration and try running it. The custom script we specified should load the .env variables using `dotenv` and then start the React Native packager and server.

This approach worked well for me as it allowed me to manage my .env variables easily and run the app within PhpStorm. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you too!

Note: Make sure to change the path to the Node.js executable in the "Program" field based on your system configuration.

Hope this helps!

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