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github actions and env vars for Playwright test

michael_20579posted in #help-playwright
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Hi, I'm new both to Playwright and GitHub Actions. I successfully set up a local Playwright test which tests a login page. I can successfully load user and password with process.env.XXXX into my test script. But I couldn't manage so far to read the env vars from GitHub Actions. I find the GitHub Actions documentation on this quite confusing. Is there any documentation available which describes this simple task with emphasis on Playwright?

PLAYWRIGHT_USER and PLAYWRIGHT_PASSWORD are stored in my Settings / Secrets and variables as repository secrets.

In my Playwright test there's no error when reading them, it just return empty strings.

This is how it looks in the yml file:


This thread is trying to answer question "How to read environment variables from GitHub Actions for a Playwright test?"

3 replies

Define it in your secrets, and then obtain it from ${{ secrets.OUR_NAME }}


not from vars. but from secrets.

ah "secrets" rather "vars" - y es that works, thank you!


Accessing Environment Variables in Playwright Tests

To use environment variables in your Playwright tests, you'll need the dotenv package. This handy tool lets you load variables from a .env file into process.env.

First, install dotenv with npm install dotenv. Then, in your Playwright config file (playwright.config.ts), import dotenv and path:

import { defineConfig } from '@playwright/test';
import dotenv from 'dotenv';
import path from 'path';

Next, use dotenv.config() to read your environment variables. You can read from a default .env file or specify a different location:

// Read from default ".env" file.

// Or read from "../my.env" file.
dotenv.config({ path: path.resolve(__dirname, '..', 'my.env') });

In your .env or specified file, set your variables like this:


You can then access these variables in your exported configuration object in playwright.config.ts:

export default defineConfig({
  use: {
    baseURL: process.env.STAGING === '1' ? 'http://staging.ray.run/' : 'http://ray.run/',

This setup lets you run tests against different environments based on the STAGING variable.

When using GitHub Actions, make sure these variables are available in your workflow file. For sensitive information, store them as secrets in your GitHub repository settings and reference them in your workflow file:

• name: Run Playwright tests
  run: npx playwright test
    STAGING: ${{ secrets.STAGING }}
    USERNAME: ${{ secrets.USERNAME }}
    PASSWORD: ${{ secrets.PASSWORD }}

This way, you can securely use environment variables in your Playwright tests on GitHub Actions.

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Rayrun is a community for QA engineers. I am constantly looking for new ways to add value to people learning Playwright and other browser automation frameworks. If you have feedback, email luc@ray.run.