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env() vs config() in Laravel β€” What’s the Difference?

env vs config what is the difference in laravel

Laravel provides two common methods for retrieving configuration data: env() and config().

While they may seem similar at first, there are important differences between them.

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between env() and config() and help you understand when to use each one.

Understanding env()

The env() function is used to retrieve values from your application’s environment file, the .env.

This function is primarily used for accessing sensitive information such as API keys, database credentials, and other environment-specific configurations.

Code example that gets the boolean APP_DEBUG environment variable:

env('APP_DEBUG', false);

Exploring config()

The config() function is used to access values stored in configuration files.

Laravel provides a convenient and organized way to manage application configurations through these files.

Configuration files are typically stored in the config directory.

Laravel config folder and its files

To retrieve a configuration value using config(), you provide the file name and the key corresponding to the value you want to access.

For example, config('') would retrieve the value of the name key from the app.php config file.

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Key Differences

Let’s dive into the key differences between env()and config().

env is primarily used for accessing environment-specific and sensitive information, while config() is used to access general application configurations.

env() retrieves values from the .env file, while config() retrieves value from configuration files located in the config folder.

Laravel caches configuration files to improve performance. This applies to both .env and config files.

As a rule of thumb, only use env() within the config files.

Laravel env vs config. What is the difference?


I hope now by understanding the differences between these two methods, you can use them effectively in your projects.

Remember to carefully manage sensitive information and follow security best practices when working with environment variables and configuration values in your projects.

Happy coding 😊

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