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The right way to retailer keys in env information?

On this tutorial I will present you the way to save and cargo secret keys as base64 encoded strings utilizing dotenv information in Vapor 4.


Utilizing the Atmosphere in Vapor 4

Similar to many fashionable server aspect frameworks, your Vapor based mostly backend software can load a file known as .env. It’s potential to retailer key-value based mostly (secret) configuration values inside this file. While you run the app, one of many following file might be loaded, based mostly on the present atmosphere:

  • Manufacturing (.env)
  • Growth (.env.growth)
  • Testing (.env.testing)

While you execute your exams the .env.testing file might be used. In case you begin the app utilizing the serve Vapor command you too can change the atmosphere utilizing the --env or -e flag. The out there choices are manufacturing and growth, and the corresponding .env file might be loaded. It’s potential to create a customized atmosphere, you possibly can learn extra about this within the official Vapor docs. The .env file normally comprises one key and worth per line, now the issue begins if you need to retailer a multiline secret key within the file. So what can we do about this? 🤔

Base64 encoded secret keys

Sure, we will encode the key key utilizing a base64 encoding. No, I do not need to copy my secrets and techniques into an on-line base64 encoder, as a result of there’s a fairly easy shell command that I can use.

echo "<my-secret-key>" | base64

In case you do not like unix instructions, we will all the time put collectively slightly Swift script and use an extension on the String kind to encode keys. Simply save the snippet from beneath right into a base64.swift file, put your key into the important thing part, give the file some executable permission & run it utilizing the chmod o+x && ./base64.swift one-liner command and voilá…

#! /usr/bin/swift

import Basis

extension String {

    func base64Encoded() -> String? {
        return knowledge(utilizing: .utf8)?.base64EncodedString()

let key = """


You possibly can copy & paste the encoded worth of the key key into your individual .env.* file, substitute the asterix image along with your present atmosphere in fact, earlier than you do it. 🙈

//e.g. .env.growth

Now we simply should decode this key in some way, earlier than we will begin utilizing it…

Decoding the key key

You possibly can implement a base64 decoder as a String extension with just some strains of Swift code.

import Basis

extension String {

    func base64Decoded() -> String? {
        guard let knowledge = Knowledge(base64Encoded: self) else { return nil }
        return String(knowledge: knowledge, encoding: .utf8)

Now in my tasks I like to increase the Atmosphere object and place all my customized variables there as static constants, this fashion I can entry them in a very handy manner, plus if one thing goes mistaken (normally after I do not re-create the .env file after a git reset or I haven’t got all of the variables current within the dotenv file) the app will crash due to the pressured unwraps, and I will know for positive that one thing is mistaken with my atmosphere. It is a crash for my very own security. 💥

import Vapor

extension Atmosphere {
    static let secretKey = Self.get("SECRET_KEY")!.base64Decoded()!


I feel this method may be very helpful. After all you need to place the .env.* sample into your .gitignore file, in any other case should you place some secrets and techniques into the dotenv file and also you push that into the distant… nicely, everybody else will know your keys, passwords, and so on. You don’t need that, proper? ⚠️

Be happy to make use of this methodology when it’s important to implement a Sign up With Apple workflow, or a Apple Push Notification service (APNs). In these instances you may undoubtedly should go one ore extra secret keys to your Vapor based mostly backend software. That is it for now, thanks for studying.



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