Configuring Recap through the CLI or environment variables.

  1. Overview
    1. Environment Variables
  2. CLI
    1. Add a System
    2. Remove a System
  3. Dotenv
  4. Secrets
    1. Docker


Recap’s CLI and gateway are configured through a combination of environment variables, config files, and a secrets directory.

The resolution order (lowest to highest priority):

  1. Secrets file
  2. Config file
  3. Dotenv file
  4. Environment variables

Recap uses pydantic-settings to manage configuration. See its documentation for more information.

Environment Variables

Name Type Description Default Required
RECAP_CONFIG TEXT Path to the config file. ~/.recap/config YES
RECAP_SECRETS TEXT Path to the secrets directory.   NO
RECAP_SYSTEMS__[SYSTEM] TEXT A system name/URL pair that tells Recap how to connect to a system.   NO

The RECAP_SYSTEMS__ environment variable is a special case. It’s used to configure systems. The SYSTEM part of the variable name is the name of the system. The value is the URL to connect to the system. For example, RECAP_SYSTEMS__MY_PG=postgresql://user:pass@host:port/dbname will configure a system called my_pg to connect to a PostgreSQL database.


Recap’s CLI has add and remove commands to add and remove systems from Recap’s config file (RECAP_CONFIG). These commands are just shortcuts for editing the config file directly.

Add a System

recap add my_pg postgresql://user:pass@host:port/dbname

Remove a System

recap remove my_pg


Recap supports .env files as well. Recap will look for a .env file in the current working directory and load it if it exists. If not, it’ll recurse upwards until it finds one.

Here’s an example .env file:


See pydantic-settings for more information.


Recap supports a secrets directory (RECAP_SECRETS) that contains files with secrets. Each file’s name corrseponds to its environment variable name, and each file’s contents are the environment variable’s value.

For example, if Recap is configured to use /path/to/secrets as its secrets directory, and /path/to/secrets/recap_systems__my_pg contains postgresql://localhost:5432/testdb, then Recap will see RECAP_SYSTEMS__MY_PG’s value as postgresql://localhost:5432/testdb.

If you want to set more than one system, you’ll need to use the secret filename recap_systems. The contents should be a JSON-encoded map from system name to system URL. For example:

  "my_bq": "bigquery://",
  "my_pg": "postgresql://localhost:5432/testdb"

See pydantic-settings’s secrets section for more information.


If you’re deploying Recap’s gateway in Docker, see the Gateway Docker documentation and pydantic-settings for Docker secrets instructions.