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.env for prod and developpment with nodejs

I saw lot of different ways, some looked normal some others looked a bit more patchworked.

Can we use package json script to chose our env variables ? What is the right way to do it with nodeJS and how to do it ?

I have already made an .env. It contains api keys which are global for dev and prod. But I have some variables, the URL variable for exemple, which won’t be the same depending on dev or prod.

Here are my scripts in the package.json

      "scripts": {
        "dev": "nodemon app.js",
        "prod": "node app.js"


  1. Use cross-env package to define a NODE_ENV for the command you are running. e.g. “prod”: “cross-env NODE_ENV=production node app.js”
  2. In the code, read the env file based on the NODE_ENV config. FWIW dotenv package can help with reading .env files.