Environment Variables

Using Environment Variables

The Plasmo framework utilizes a cascading/overriding strategy for environment variables using the dotenv package. Next.js developers will find this familiar as it's the same package Next.js uses.

To add public environment variables accessible to the extension, create a .env file:



Only environment variables prefixed with PLASMO_PUBLIC_ will be exposed in the built version of your extension. Use them in any of your extension's source files:

// For TSX (popups, options):
const FrontHull = () => <h1>{process.env.PLASMO_PUBLIC_SHIP_NAME}</h1>

// For TS (content scripts or background-scripts):
const shield = new Shield(process.env.PLASMO_PUBLIC_SHIELD_FREQUENCY)

// Will be undefined

To override a variable in the production build with plasmo build, supply a .env.production file. Since Plasmo cascades .env files, only specify the variable to replace.

To enjoy Typescript IntelliSense with your environment variables, create an index.d.ts file:

declare namespace NodeJS {
  interface ProcessEnv {

See with-env-files for more details about using .env variables.

Non-cascading environment variables

Sometimes, you might want some environment variables strictly for development. Environment-specific files only inject into their environments and don't cascade:

  • .env.development
  • .env.production

If there is a CRX_PUBLIC_KEY environment variable in .env.development but not in .env.production or .env, it will be available in plasmo dev but not plasmo build.

Local namespaced environment variables

Plasmo also supports the following environment file names (Next.js developers will find this familiar):

  • .env.local
  • .env.production.local
  • .env.development.local

Files with .local at the end of their names have a higher priority than the non-local ones. .env.local has higher priority than .env.production and .env.development. Within the same namespace, however, the cascading order is as expected.

Using env in remote code import statements

Use public environment variables if you are importing remote code:


Using env in manifest overrides

Plasmo enables you to override the final generated extension manifest via the manifest property of the package.json file. Taking one step further, Plasmo also parses any environment variables used in the manifest overrides:

"manifest": {
  "key": "$CRX_PUBLIC_KEY"

You can use public (prefixed with PLASMO_PUBLIC) and private environment variables in your manifest overrides. 😎

NOTE: Plasmo will delete the key if it can't find the environment variable.