What is the process to use environment variables from GitHub Actions in a Playwright test?


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.