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When developing Python applications, you may encounter the error “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘dotenv'” which occurs when trying to import and use the python-dotenv module.
The dotenv module allows you to load environment variables from a .env file, helping manage configuration separately from code. Fixing this error is necessary to use the powerful functionality dotenv provides.
This will properly import dotenv, load variables from .env, and handle potential errors when loading.
Best Practices for Managing App Config with python-dotenv
Here are some top practices for managing application configuration with dotenv:
Store default configs in .env.example – Version control this file with examples and defaults for other developers.
Add .env to .gitignore – Sensitive credentials should only exist locally in .env, which should not be committed.
Document required variables – Use .env.example to document what keys need to be in .env.
Load .env as early as possible – Load environment variables at the top of app entry points.
Use sane defaults – Code that accesses environ variables should handle unset values graciously.
Access variables using os.environ – This ensures variables are read correctly across contexts.
Validate variable values – Type check and validate critical configuration values after loading.
Load based on environment – Load different .env files like .env.production based on context.
Security: avoid committing secrets – Never commit .env or other files with secrets to version control.
Following these practices for your Python application configurations will prevent issues and help make configuration management seamless across development, testing, and production environments.
The “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘dotenv'” Python error occurs when python-dotenv is not installed or imported correctly. To fix it, install dotenv using pip, import it, call the load_dotenv() method, and access environment variables through os.environ.
Dotenv provides an efficient way to manage configuration separate from code. Using pip and virtual environments isolates app dependencies, while following best practices for importing and loading dotenv prevents issues accessing environment variables.
With dotenv correctly installed and imported, you can build robust Python applications with configurable settings across multiple environments. Diagnosing and fixing “No module named dotenv” errors ensures critical app configurations load reliably.
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