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Docusaurus JSON environment loader

· 2 min read
Simon Porritt

jsPlumb uses Docusaurus, a super handy static site generator, for various parts of our ecosystem, including our Documentation and also our recently released stand alone components product.

While developing the site for jsPlumb Components, we wanted to include a couple of pieces of information that would vary depending on whether we were running in development mode locally (ie docusaurus start) or building for production. We looked into the various options available, all based on the dotenv plugin for Webpack, but couldn't find what we were looking for: a solution that worked, with minimal manual intervention, in both development mode and when building for production.

So we ended up building our own plugin. This plugin reads values from a JSON file and makes them available to your site via the customFields map in the Docusaurus siteConfig.


When I say "Docusaurus" in this post I am talking about v2. I've not used v1.


npm i @jsplumb/docusaurus-plugin-env-loader-json


You just have to add the plugin to the list of plugins in docusaurus.config.js:

plugins:[      "@jsplumb/docusaurus-plugin-env-loader-json"  ],

and then create an env.json file in the Docusaurus project directory.


Your environment variables should be keyed under a section that identifies the environment you are targetting - "development" when using docusaurus start and "production" when running a build. The plugin reads the environment name from the environment variable NODE_ENV.

{    "production":{        "SERVER_URL":""    },    "development":{        "SERVER_URL":"http://localhost:4200/anEndpoint"    }}

Accessing values#

You can access these values via the customFields section of the Docusaurus site config:

import useDocusaurusContext from '@docusaurus/useDocusaurusContext';
export function MyApp {
    const {siteConfig} = useDocusaurusContext();    const serverUrl = siteConfig.customFields.SERVER_URL

Changing the configuration file name#

If you want to specify some file other than env.json in your project's root, you can do so by setting the sourceFile option of the plugin:

plugins:[      [          "@jsplumb/docusaurus-plugin-env-loader-json",          {              "sourceFile":"path/to/aFile.json"          }      ]  ],

This path should be specified relative to the project root. No leading slash is required.