Referencing .ENV in a .JSON file


I placed a line called TOKEN into the .ENV file, so that the token of my Discord bot could be private.

When trying to reference process.env.TOKEN in a JSON file, it says that it had a token “p” that doesn’t belong. I’m not sure if I’m calling it wrong somehow, so I’ll include a reference below.

“token”: process.env.TOKEN,

If I’m doing it wrong, I’d appreciate a little guidance. Thanks in advance!



I’m not quite sure i understand what you, want. From what I understand you want to have a JSON file containing your token, but the JSON file should also remain private. This is possible by creating a directory called .data and then put your JSON in there. For an example you can have a look at my code below.

// <= config.js
// Dependencies
const fs = require('fs')
const path = require('path')

// Path to .data
const Data = path.join(__dirname, '.data')

// Path to config.json
const Config = path.join(Data, 'config.json')

// Verify that the .data directory exists,
// create it if it doesn't exist already.
if (!fs.existsSync(Data))

// Verify that the config.json file exists
// within the .data folder, create it if it
// doesn't already exists.
if (!fs.existsSync(Config))
  fs.writeFileSync(Config, JSON.stringify({
    token: ""

// Import the config.
const config = require(Config)

// Export the config.
module.exports = config

And then in index.js you could do something like this:

// <= index.js
// Dependencies
const Discord = require('discord.js')

// Imports
const config = require('./config')

// Verify the token
if (!config.token)
  // Tell the user to edit the bot token.
  console.log('Go to .data/config.json and add your token to it.')
  // Exit the process, because there is
  // no valid token to start the bot with.

// Create a new Discord Client
const Client = new Discord.Client()

// ... [code]

// Login with the token
  .then(token => console.log('Token worked!')) // Successfully logged in
  .catch(error => {
    console.log('Failed to start the bot:', error.message) // Print some error message.
    process.exit(0) // Exit, because the bot failed to start.

# Environment Config

# store your secrets and config variables in here
# only invited collaborators will be able to see your .env values

# reference these in your code with process.env.SECRET


# note: .env is a shell file so there can't be spaces 
around =

the above is my env file, notice the field TOKEN which i left blank

  "token": process.env.TOKEN,
  "defaultprefix": "$>",

the above is a file i named “config.json” which tries to reference token but fails


Hello @iiPostMaster

I see that you are trying to reference a Node.js global variable in your JSON file, which wont be possible because the JSON file is a static file that can store and contain data. However it is not able to dynamically call data as javascript can. JSON was made to hold and serve data from a file, it was not made as a scripting language. However you don’t need to store your token in your JSON file, instead just call process.env.TOKEN where you’d usually call config.token. For example in Client.login

// ... [CODE]


Okay, thank you for clearing that up!


No worries, feel free to ask me for help at any time.