Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Tags: Configuration    
Latest version: v1.4.0

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import "github.com/kelseyhightower/envconfig"


See godoc


Set some environment variables:

export MYAPP_DEBUG=false
export MYAPP_PORT=8080
export MYAPP_USER=Kelsey
export MYAPP_RATE="0.5"
export MYAPP_TIMEOUT="3m"
export MYAPP_USERS="rob,ken,robert"
export MYAPP_COLORCODES="red:1,green:2,blue:3"

Write some code:

package main

import (


type Specification struct {
    Debug       bool
    Port        int
    User        string
    Users       []string
    Rate        float32
    Timeout     time.Duration
    ColorCodes  map[string]int

func main() {
    var s Specification
    err := envconfig.Process("myapp", &s)
    if err != nil {
    format := "Debug: %v\nPort: %d\nUser: %s\nRate: %f\nTimeout: %s\n"
    _, err = fmt.Printf(format, s.Debug, s.Port, s.User, s.Rate, s.Timeout)
    if err != nil {

    for _, u := range s.Users {
        fmt.Printf("  %s\n", u)

    fmt.Println("Color codes:")
    for k, v := range s.ColorCodes {
        fmt.Printf("  %s: %d\n", k, v)


Debug: false
Port: 8080
User: Kelsey
Rate: 0.500000
Timeout: 3m0s
Color codes:
  red: 1
  green: 2
  blue: 3

Struct Tag Support

Envconfig supports the use of struct tags to specify alternate, default, and required environment variables.

For example, consider the following struct:

type Specification struct {
    ManualOverride1 string `envconfig:"manual_override_1"`
    DefaultVar      string `default:"foobar"`
    RequiredVar     string `required:"true"`
    IgnoredVar      string `ignored:"true"`
    AutoSplitVar    string `split_words:"true"`
    RequiredAndAutoSplitVar    string `required:"true" split_words:"true"`

Envconfig has automatic support for CamelCased struct elements when the split_words:"true" tag is supplied. Without this tag, AutoSplitVar above would look for an environment variable called MYAPP_AUTOSPLITVAR. With the setting applied it will look for MYAPP_AUTO_SPLIT_VAR. Note that numbers will get globbed into the previous word. If the setting does not do the right thing, you may use a manual override.

Envconfig will process value for ManualOverride1 by populating it with the value for MYAPP_MANUAL_OVERRIDE_1. Without this struct tag, it would have instead looked up MYAPP_MANUALOVERRIDE1. With the split_words:"true" tag it would have looked up MYAPP_MANUAL_OVERRIDE1.

export MYAPP_MANUAL_OVERRIDE_1="this will be the value"

# export MYAPP_MANUALOVERRIDE1="and this will not"

If envconfig can't find an environment variable value for MYAPP_DEFAULTVAR, it will populate it with "foobar" as a default value.

If envconfig can't find an environment variable value for MYAPP_REQUIREDVAR, it will return an error when asked to process the struct. If MYAPP_REQUIREDVAR is present but empty, envconfig will not return an error.

If envconfig can't find an environment variable in the form PREFIX_MYVAR, and there is a struct tag defined, it will try to populate your variable with an environment variable that directly matches the envconfig tag in your struct definition:

export MYAPP_DEBUG=true
type Specification struct {
    ServiceHost string `envconfig:"SERVICE_HOST"`
    Debug       bool

Envconfig won't process a field with the "ignored" tag set to "true", even if a corresponding environment variable is set.

Supported Struct Field Types

envconfig supports these struct field types:

Embedded structs using these fields are also supported.

Custom Decoders

Any field whose type (or pointer-to-type) implements envconfig.Decoder can control its own deserialization:

export DNS_SERVER=
type IPDecoder net.IP

func (ipd *IPDecoder) Decode(value string) error {
    *ipd = IPDecoder(net.ParseIP(value))
    return nil

type DNSConfig struct {
    Address IPDecoder `envconfig:"DNS_SERVER"`

Example for decoding the environment variables into map[string][]structName type

export SMS_PROVIDER_WITH_WEIGHT= `IND=[{"name":"SMSProvider1","weight":70},{"name":"SMSProvider2","weight":30}];US=[{"name":"SMSProvider1","weight":100}]`
type providerDetails struct {
    Name   string
    Weight int

type SMSProviderDecoder map[string][]providerDetails

func (sd *SMSProviderDecoder) Decode(value string) error {
    smsProvider := map[string][]providerDetails{}
    pairs := strings.Split(value, ";")
    for _, pair := range pairs {
        providerdata := []providerDetails{}
        kvpair := strings.Split(pair, "=")
        if len(kvpair) != 2 {
            return fmt.Errorf("invalid map item: %q", pair)
        err := json.Unmarshal([]byte(kvpair[1]), &providerdata)
        if err != nil {
            return fmt.Errorf("invalid map json: %w", err)
        smsProvider[kvpair[0]] = providerdata

    *sd = SMSProviderDecoder(smsProvider)
    return nil

type SMSProviderConfig struct {
    ProviderWithWeight SMSProviderDecoder `envconfig:"SMS_PROVIDER_WITH_WEIGHT"`

Also, envconfig will use a Set(string) error method like from the flag.Value interface if implemented.