Run scripts that set and use environment variables across platforms. Supports setting default values.

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005.1.3-16 years ago6 years agoMinified + gzip package size for cross-env-default in KB


cross-env-default πŸ”€

Run scripts that set and use environment variables across platforms. Supports setting default values.

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The problem

Most Windows command prompts will choke when you set environment variables with NODE_ENV=production like that. (The exception is Bash on Windowswin-bash, which uses native Bash.) Similarly, there's a difference in how windows and POSIX commands utilize environment variables. With POSIX, you use: $ENV_VAR and on windows you use %ENV_VAR%.

This solution

cross-env makes it so you can have a single command without worrying about setting or using the environment variable properly for the platform. Just set it like you would if it's running on a POSIX system, and cross-env will take care of setting it properly.


This module is distributed via npmnpm which is bundled with nodenode and should be installed as one of your project's devDependencies:
npm install --save-dev cross-env

WARNING! Make sure that when you're installing packages that you spell things correctly to avoid mistakenly installing malwaremalware


I use this in my npm scripts:
  "scripts": {
    "build": "cross-env NODE_ENV=production webpack --config build/webpack.config.js"

Ultimately, the command that is executed (using cross-spawncross-spawn) is:
webpack --config build/webpack.config.js

The NODE_ENV environment variable will be set by cross-env
Optionally, you can set the variable only if it's not set in environment already:
"build": "cross-env NODE_ENV?=production webpack --config build/webpack.config.js"

That way, the build will default to production environment, but allow you to override it.
You can also split a command into several ones, or separate the environment variables declaration from the actual command execution. You can do it this way:
  "scripts": {
    "parentScript": "cross-env GREET=\"Joe\" npm run childScript",
    "childScript": "cross-env-shell \"echo Hello $GREET\""

Where childScript holds the actual command to execute and parentScript sets the environment variables to use. Then instead of run the childScript you run the parent. This is quite useful for launching the same command with different env variables or when the environment variables are too long to have everything in one line. It also means that you can use $GREET env var syntax even on Windows which would usually require it to be %GREET%.
If you preceed a dollar sign with an odd number of backslashes the expression statement will not be replaced. Note that this means backslashes after the JSON string escaping took place. "FOO=\\$BAR" will not be replaced. "FOO=\\\\$BAR" will be replaced though.
Lastly, if you want to pass a JSON string (e.g., when using ts-loader), you can do as follows:
  "scripts": {
    "test": "cross-env TS_NODE_COMPILER_OPTIONS={\\\"module\\\":\\\"commonjs\\\"} node some_file.test.ts"

Pay special attention to the triple backslash (\\\) before the double quotes (") and the absence of single quotes ('). Both of these conditions have to be met in order to work both on Windows and UNIX.

cross-env vs cross-env-shell

The cross-env module exposes two bins: cross-env and cross-env-shell. The first one executes commands using cross-spawncross-spawn, while the second one uses the shell option from Node's spawn.
The main use case for cross-env-shell is when you need an environment variable to be set across an entire inline shell script, rather than just one command.
For example, if you want to have the environment variable apply to several commands in series then you will need to wrap those in quotes and use cross-env-shell instead of cross-env.
  "scripts": {
    "greet": "cross-env-shell GREETING=Hi NAME=Joe \"echo $GREETING && echo $NAME\""

The rule of thumb is: if you want to pass to cross-env a command that contains special shell characters that you want interpreted, then use cross-env-shell. Otherwise stick to cross-env.


I originally created this to solve a problem I was having with my npm scripts in angular-formlyangular-formly. This made contributing to the project much easier for Windows users.

Other Solutions

  • env-cmd - Reads environment variables from a file instead


Thanks goes to these people (emoji keyemojis):
Kent C. Dodds

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Ya Zhuang

πŸ”Œ πŸ“– |
James Harris

πŸ“– |

πŸ› πŸ“– ⚠️ |
Daniel RodrΓ­guez Rivero

πŸ› πŸ’» πŸ“– |
Jonas Keinholz

πŸ› πŸ’» ⚠️ |
Hugo Wood

πŸ› πŸ’» ⚠️ | | :---: | :---: | :---: | :---: | :---: | :---: | :---: | |
Thiebaud Thomas

πŸ› πŸ’» ⚠️ |
Daniel Rey LΓ³pez

πŸ’» ⚠️ |
Amila Welihinda

πŸš‡") |
Paul Betts

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Turner Hayes

πŸ› πŸ’» ⚠️ |
Suhas Karanth

πŸ’» ⚠️ |

πŸ’» πŸ“– πŸ’‘ ⚠️ | |
D. NicolΓ‘s Lopez Zelaya

πŸ’» |
Jan Killian

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