How do I pass environment variables to Docker containers?

You can pass environment variables to your containers with the -e flag.

An example from a startup script:

sudo docker run -d -t -i -e REDIS_NAMESPACE='staging' \ 
-e POSTGRES_ENV_DB_NAME='mysite_staging' \
-e SITE_URL='' \
-p 80:80 \
--link redis:redis \  
--name container_name dockerhub_id/image_name

Or, if you don’t want to have the value on the command-line where it will be displayed by ps, etc., -e can pull in the value from the current environment if you just give it without the =:

sudo PASSWORD='foo' docker run  [...] -e PASSWORD [...]

If you have many environment variables and especially if they’re meant to be secret, you can use an env-file:

$ docker run --env-file ./env.list ubuntu bash

The –env-file flag takes a filename as an argument and expects each line to be in the VAR=VAL format, mimicking the argument passed to –env. Comment lines need only be prefixed with #

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