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Mangabo Kolawole
Mangabo Kolawole

Posted on • Originally published at Medium

Environment Variables in Django

One way of securing your secret keys from external viewers and codebase is to use environment variables.

In Python, you can use the os.getenv('THE_KEY') or os.environ.get('THE_KEY').
For example, when working in Python, you can change tell Django to search for the value of the SECRET_KEY.

SECRET_KEY = os.getenv("SECRET_KEY") 
# or
SECRET_KEY = os.environ.get("SECRET_KEY") 
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These lines will lead to software failure if there is no SECRET_KEY variable in the project's .env file.

To avoid that, you can pass as a second argument a default value.

SECRET_KEY = os.getenv(
    "SECRET_KEY", "django-insecure-r(6dd3yaw_05m5kxki1vb^r6v@x^-g#zi_to7487*!)08oxwf)"
)
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These methods are quite useful if you are looking to use env vars in Django. Anyway, you can also check django-environ a Python package that allows you to use the Twelve-factor methodology to configure your Django application with environment variables.

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