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Configuration (sails.config)

The sails.config object contains the runtime values of your app's configuration. It is assembled automatically when Sails loads your app; merging together command-line arguments, environment variables, your .sailsrc file, and the configuration objects exported from any and all modules in your app's config/ directory.

More specifically, when you load your app, whether that's using node app, programmatic usage inside of a script, or sails lift, Sails will look in a few different places for configuration. Here they are listed in order of descending priority:

  • an optional object of configuration overrides passed-in programmatically
  • a local .sailsrc file in your app's directory, or the first found looking in ../, ../../ etc.
  • a global .sailsrc file in your home folder (e.g. ~/.sailsrc)
  • command-line arguments (parsed by minimist)
  • environment variables (prefixed with sails_, using double underlines to indicate dots: e.g. sails_port=1492, sails_models__connection=somePostgresqlServer, and/or sails_connections__somePostgresqlServer__password=l0lguyz)
  • files in your app's config/ directory (if one exists), with config/local.js taking priority. Remember that, other than local.js (which takes priority), the file names are just for convention: the configuration you export from each file gets deep-merged together with everything else into one big dictionary (sails.config).

Environment variables are one of the most powerful ways to configure your Sails app. Since you can customize just about any setting (as long as it's JSON-serializable), this approach solves a number of problems, and is our core team's recommended strategy for production deployments. Here are a few:

  • Using environment variables means you don't have to worry about checking in your production database credentials, API tokens, etc.
  • This makes changing Postgresql hosts, Mailgun accounts, S3 credentials, and other maintenance straightforward, fast, and easy; plus you don't need to change any code or worry about merging in downstream commits from other people on your team
  • Depending on your hosting situation, you may be able to manage your production configuration through a UI (most PaaS providers like Heroku or Modulus support this, as does Azure Cloud.)

Is something missing?

If you notice something we've missed or could be improved on, please follow this link and submit a pull request to the sails-docs repo. Once we merge it, the changes will be reflected on the website the next time it is deployed.


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