Best practices for working with environment variables in Docker Compose

Table of contents

Handle sensitive information securely

Be cautious about including sensitive data in environment variables. Consider using Secrets for managing sensitive information.

Understand environment variable precedence

Be aware of how Docker Compose handles the precedence of environment variables from different sources (.env files, shell variables, Dockerfiles).

Use specific environment files

Consider how your application adapts to different environments. For example development, testing, production, and use different .env files as needed.

Know interpolation

Understand how interpolation works within compose files for dynamic configurations.

Command line overrides

Be aware that you can override environment variables from the command line when starting containers. This is useful for testing or when you have temporary changes.