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Ninu Varghese
Ninu Varghese

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Multiple environments in Create React App

In this article we are going to learn how to configure multiple environments in a single React application. For example, you might want your dev environment connected to your dev API Endpoint, QA to QA endpoint and production to a production endpoint. We could solve this by using a single .env file but, each time you push your code to specific environments you need to remember to change the endpoint values, which is a slight headache and can be error prone. Let’s see how we can solve this!

Hero Image for multi environments

First, get the package env-cmd from npm by running
npm install — save-dev env-cmd

Next, create your environment specific .env files. In this example, I’ve created a folder named “environments” in my root directory (same level as package.json). Important the environment variables MUST start with REACT_APP_ . Read more here.
Then, I’ve my .dev.env , .qa.env and .prod.env created inside environments folder.


Please note .dev.env, .qa.env and .prod.env are three separate files in the environments folder. See below
Code structure screenshot from VS Code

Next, update the package.json . Update the scripts portion of your package.json to include the following:

“scripts”: {
“start”: “react-scripts start”,
“build”: “react-scripts build”,
“test”: “react-scripts test”,
“eject”: “react-scripts eject”,
“start:dev”: “env-cmd -f ./environments/.dev.env react-scripts start”,
“build:dev”: “env-cmd -f ./environments/.dev.env npm run-script build”,
“start:qa”: “env-cmd -f ./environments/.qa.env react-scripts start”,
“build:qa”: “env-cmd -f ./environments/.qa.env npm run-script build”,
“start:prod”: “env-cmd -f ./environments/.prod.env react-scripts start”,
“build:prod”: “env-cmd -f ./environments/.prod.env npm run-script build”

Next start your local/dev react application by running

npm run start:dev

You can test your env variable in your app by doing the following


For QA and Production build replace the command npm run build to the newly added environment specific command npm run build:qa or npm run build:prod respectively. (For example, if you are on AWS, edit the buildspec on Codebuild and replace npm run build with npm run build:qa or npm run build:prod)
Always use your judgement skills, and remember not add any sensitive information in those files.
And that’s it. We’ve learned how to create multiple environments in a react application using Create React App.

I hope this article was helpful. Thanks and Cheers!

Top comments (1)

iftikhar profile image
iftikhar hussain

You save me day :)