Environment management

As part of website development and hosting it is natural for our sites to be hosted on several different environments. These can be our laptops for local development, a testing server for customers to test changes on, or a production server.

For each of these environments we may require slightly different configurations for our servers. This could be our debug level, caching backends, or - of course - sensitive information such as database credentials.

To manage environment variables, as well as other server globals, the SilverStripe\Core\Environment class provides a set of APIs and helpers.

Security considerations

Sensitive credentials should not be stored in a VCS or project code and should only be stored on the environment in question. When using live environments the use of .env files is discouraged and instead one should use "first class" environment variables.

If you do use a .env file on your servers, you must ensure that external access to .env files is blocked by the webserver.

Managing environment variables with

By default a file named .env must be placed in your project root (ie: the same folder as your composer.json) or the parent directory. If this file exists, it will be automatically loaded by the framework and the environment variables will be set. An example .env file is included in the default installer named .env.example.

Note: The file must be named exactly .env and not any variation (such as mysite.env or .env.mysite) or it will not be detected automatically. If you wish to load environment variables from a file with a different name, you will need to do so manually. See the Including an extra .env file section below for more information.

Managing environment variables with Apache

You can set "real" environment variables using Apache. Please see the Apache docs for more information

How to access the environment variables

Accessing the environment varaibles should be done via the Environment::getEnv() method

use SilverStripe\Core\Environment;
Environment::getEnv('SS_DATABASE_CLASS');

Individual settings can be assigned via Environment::setEnv() or Environment::putEnv() methods.

use SilverStripe\Core\Environment;
Environment::setEnv('API_KEY', 'AABBCCDDEEFF012345');

Using environment variables in config

To use environment variables in .yaml configs you can reference them using backticks.

SilverStripe\Core\Injector\Injector:
  MyServiceClass:
    properties:
      MyProperty: '`ENV_VAR_HERE`'
Environment variables cannot be used outside of Injector config as of version 4.2.

Including an extra

Sometimes it may be useful to include an extra .env file - on a shared local development environment where all database credentials could be the same. To do this, you can add this snippet to your app/_config.php file:

Note that by default variables cannot be overloaded from this file; Existing values will be preferred over values in this file.

use SilverStripe\Core\EnvironmentLoader;
$env = BASE_PATH . '/app/.env';
$loader = new EnvironmentLoader();
$loader->loadFile($env);

Core environment variables

SilverStripe core environment variables are listed here, though you're free to define any you need for your application.

NameDescription
SS_DATABASE_CLASSThe database class to use, MySQLPDODatabase, MySQLDatabase, MSSQLDatabase, etc. defaults to MySQLDatabase.
SS_DATABASE_SERVERThe database server to use, defaulting to localhost.
SS_DATABASE_USERNAMEThe database username (mandatory).
SS_DATABASE_PASSWORDThe database password (mandatory).
SS_DATABASE_PORTThe database port.
SS_DATABASE_SUFFIXA suffix to add to the database name.
SS_DATABASE_PREFIXA prefix to add to the database name.
SS_DATABASE_TIMEZONESet the database timezone to something other than the system timezone.
SS_DATABASE_NAMESet the database name. Assumes the $database global variable in your config is missing or empty.
SS_DATABASE_CHOOSE_NAMEBoolean/Int. If defined, then the system will choose a default database name for you if one isn't give in the $database variable. The database name will be "SS_" followed by the name of the folder into which you have installed SilverStripe. If this is enabled, it means that the phpinstaller will work out of the box without the installer needing to alter any files. This helps prevent accidental changes to the environment. If SS_DATABASE_CHOOSE_NAME is an integer greater than one, then an ancestor folder will be used for the database name. This is handy for a site that's hosted from /sites/examplesite/www or /buildbot/allmodules-2.3/build. If it's 2, the parent folder will be chosen; if it's 3 the grandparent, and so on.
SS_DEPRECATION_ENABLEDEnable deprecation notices for this environment.
SS_ENVIRONMENT_TYPEThe environment type: dev, test or live.
SS_DEFAULT_ADMIN_USERNAMEThe username of the default admin. This is a user with administrative privileges.
SS_DEFAULT_ADMIN_PASSWORDThe password of the default admin. This will not be stored in the database.
SS_USE_BASIC_AUTHBaseline protection for requests handled by SilverStripe. Usually requires additional security measures for comprehensive protection. See Environment Types for caveats.
SS_SEND_ALL_EMAILS_TOIf you define this constant, all emails will be redirected to this address.
SS_SEND_ALL_EMAILS_FROMIf you define this constant, all emails will be sent from this address.
SS_ERROR_LOGRelative path to the log file.
SS_PROTECTED_ASSETS_PATHPath to secured assets - defaults to ASSETS_PATH/.protected
SS_DATABASE_MEMORYUsed for SQLite3 DBs
SS_TRUSTED_PROXY_IPSIP address or CIDR range to trust proxy headers from. If left blank no proxy headers are trusted. Can be set to 'none' (trust none) or '*' (trust all)
SS_ALLOWED_HOSTSA comma deliminated list of hostnames the site is allowed to respond to
SS_MANIFESTCACHEThe manifest cache to use (defaults to file based caching). Must be a CacheInterface or CacheFactory class name
SS_IGNORE_DOT_ENVIf set the .env file will be ignored. This is good for live to mitigate any performance implications of loading the .env file
SS_BASE_URLThe url to use when it isn't determinable by other means (eg: for CLI commands)
SS_DATABASE_SSL_KEYAbsolute path to SSL key file
SS_DATABASE_SSL_CERTAbsolute path to SSL certificate file
SS_DATABASE_SSL_CAAbsolute path to SSL Certificate Authority bundle file
SS_DATABASE_SSL_CIPHEROptional setting for custom SSL cipher
SS_FLUSH_ON_DEPLOYTry to detect deployments through file system modifications and flush on the first request after every deploy. Does not run "dev/build", but only "flush". Possible values are true (check for a framework PHP file modification time), false (no checks, skip deploy detection) or a path to a specific file or folder to be checked. See DeployFlushDiscoverer for more details.

False by default.