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This section will walk you through configuring your bot to make it uniquely yours!

The mighty .env files

All configuration to the bot is done through environment variables. This is done to make local dev easily mirror production and be configured in the same way.

There are two kinds of variables:

  • Sensitive environment variables
  • Everything else

These variables are split out into their own respective .env files

  • config.env - Environment variables related to the overall configuration of the bot. This file can and should be committed
  • creds.env - Sensitive environement variables containing secrets, API keys, tokens, etc. This file should absolutely not be committed ever


This file has a lot of comments describing each option so I won't go into too many details here. In this file you can make general configuration changes to the bot to alter how it behaves. Below are a few examples:

  • BOT_PREFIX='!' - This allows you to change the character that you invoke your bot with. For example, you could have it be . instead of a ! (I like the .) -> .uptime
  • BOT_HOME_CHANNEL - The "home channel" of the bot. Can be useful to have this set if you have a cron that posts messages at a certain time to a certain channel, like weather updates
  • BOT_ADMINS - Set the "admin" users of the bot. Can be used in combination with the @botcmd(admin_only=True) decorator to prevent non-admins from using a certain command


⚠️ Once again do not ever commit this file to your version control system!

This file contains secrets and credentials that your bot needs to run. The only credential that is needed to run the bot is the CHAT_SERVICE_TOKEN which is what you use to connect to your desired chat service (Discord, Slack, etc). All the rest are optional! Examples below:


  • CHAT_SERVICE_TOKEN='<token>' - The token to connect your bot to its chat service

Optional Examples:

  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID='<token>' & AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY='<token>' - AWS tokens if you are using DynamoDB for state persistence
  • RIOT_TOKEN - An API token from RIOT to enable the League of Legends gameplay watcher plugin
  • SPOTIFY_CLIENT_ID='<token>' & SPOTIFY_CLIENT_SECRET='<token>' - Spotify tokens to enable extra Spotify lookups on songs played with the .play command
  • SENTRY='https://<id>@<id><id>' - url endpoint for sending exception events for your bot (I love this personally)

Check out the creds.env.example file to see more examples of this file's contents

A note on optional credentials as seen above:

A few of the tokens listed above are optional and enable extra features to the bot when provided as environment variables. You can see more information on these in the configuration table below.

Configuration Table

Now that you have a general understanding about how environment variables are used to configure the bot, let's look at a table of the configuration options that are available:


ENV VAR Value Required / Optional Description
BOT_NAME Any alpha-numeric character Required A unique identifier that will be used in the logs for identifying your bot. This value should be unique if you have multiple bots running in the same environment
BACKEND Discord / Slack / etc Required Set the desired chat backend for the bot
BOT_PREFIX Any alpha-numeric character Required Set the character prefix used to invoke the bot (. is suggested)
BOT_HOME_CHANNEL Any string related to a text channel name Optional Set a home channel for the bot as a default. Example, posting messages to a channel on a schedule like weather updates
IMAGE_TAG String Optional An image tag / version number to use to identify the version of the bot that is running
BOT_ADMINS String (ex: Username#0001) Optional The username in the chat-service provided format. Examples: Username#0001 for Discord and for Slack
BOT_EXTRA_BACKEND_DIR /app/backend/err-backend-discord Depends This variable is optional if you are not using a backend that requires it. If you are using a backend like Discord, then this is required
BOT_STATUS_MESSAGE String Optional Certain chat services like Discord allow you to have a status message next to your bot's name. This variable allows you to provide that
DISABLE_LEAGUE_CRON True Optional A variable used to disable or enable the "cron" like functionality for the .league plugin which posts match results at a set interval (like a cron job)
DOCS_URL String Optional A link that will be provided to users when the .docs command is invoked
LOCALSTACK http://localstack:4566 Required (locally) If you are using LocalStack (you are by default) then this variable provides the URL to the localstack endpoint when testing locally with docker-compose
SENTRY_DISABLED True Optional An optional variable that can be provided to manually disable the extension


ENV VAR Value Required / Optional Description
CHAT_SERVICE_TOKEN String Required The token used to authenticate to your desired chat service
AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID String Optional If you are using AWS DynamoDB for persistence, then you can provide this for authentication
AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY String Optional If you are using AWS DynamoDB for persistence, then you can provide this for authentication
RIOT_TOKEN String Optional Add your RIOT API token to enable the .league chat commands and features
GEOLOCATION_KEY String Optional Add your (for Geolocation) token to enable the .ip chat commands and features
SPOTIFY_CLIENT_ID String Optional Add your Spotify API credentials to enable Spotify song detail lookups and URLs for the .play command
SPOTIFY_CLIENT_SECRET String Optional Add your Spotify API credentials to enable Spotify song detail lookups and URLs for the .play command
SENTRY Sentry DSN in the following format: https://<id>@<id><id> Optional Add your DSN in the URL format to enable logging exceptions to

Table Key Details:

  • ENV VAR - The variable name to be provided
  • Value - An example of the value(s) that can be provided
  • Required / Optional - Whether or not the variable is required or optional
  • Description - A description of what the variable is used for

What About Production?

Related to this section is the deployment page

How do we get these environment variables into our container when deploying to production you ask? Well that really depends on how you are deploying your container to production. I will provide a few options below to give you some ideas:

For config.env:

  • Apply your environment variables in your container definintion if you are using Kubernetes
  • Bake your environment variables into your container when building the image (meh)
  • Load the config.env file into the container or mount a volume with this file that the container has access to. Then read the file and populate the environment variables
  • Store the variables in a remote config store and read them from there

For creds.env:

  • Use k8s secrets for when deploying to Kubernetes -> terraform/k8s/modules/containers/errbot/secret.yaml
  • Use Hashicorp Vault to inject secrets from creds.env
  • Use an external service like AWS Secrets Manager and read from there

What's next?

Continue on to the development section to learn more about how to build your bot, add new commands, and more!