Spring Boot Environment

last modified July 16, 2023

Spring Boot Environment shows how to read environment variables in Spring Boot. A Spring Boot application can be deployed in a variety of environments and reading environment variables can be helpful in such cases.

Spring is a popular Java application framework and Spring Boot is a next step of evolution of Spring which helps create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based applications with minimal effort.

Environment is an interface representing the environment in which the current application is running. It can be use to get profiles and properties of the application environment.

$ echo $JAVA_HOME

In this sample case, we have a JAVA_HOME environment variable defined.

├── main
│   ├── java
│   │   └── com
│   │       └── zetcode
│   │           └── Application.java
│   └── resources
│       ├── application.properties
│       └── logback.xml
└── test
    ├── java
    └── resources

This is the project structure of the Spring Boot application.

plugins {
    id 'org.springframework.boot' version '3.1.1'
    id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.1.0'
    id 'java'

group = 'com.zetcode'
version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
sourceCompatibility = '17'

repositories {

dependencies {
    implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter'

This is the Gradle build file. The spring-boot-starter is the core starter that includes auto-configuration support, logging, and YAML. The application is packaged into a JAR file.

logging.pattern.console=%clr(%d{yy-MM-dd E HH:mm:ss.SSS}){blue} %clr(%-5p) %clr(%logger{0}){blue} %clr(%m){faint}%n


The application.properties file contains application configuration settings. Spring has some built-in application properties and we can create our custom ones. The spring.main.banner-mode property is a Spring built-in property; we turn off the Spring's banner. The next two lines set up logging with colour support. The app.name is our custom property that contains the application name.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <include resource="org/springframework/boot/logging/logback/base.xml" />
    <logger name="org.springframework" level="ERROR"/>
    <logger name="com.zetcode" level="INFO"/>

The application logging is configured in the logback.xml file. We set the level of logging levels. We don't want our output to be cluttered with unnecessary messages. The spring-boot-starter dependency enables logback for logging.

package com.zetcode;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.springframework.boot.CommandLineRunner;
import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;
import org.springframework.core.env.Environment;

public class Application implements CommandLineRunner {

    private static final Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(Application.class);

    private final Environment env;

    public Application(Environment env) {
        this.env = env;

    public void run(String... args) throws Exception {

        logger.info("{}", env.getProperty("JAVA_HOME"));
        logger.info("{}", env.getProperty("app.name"));

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SpringApplication.run(Application.class, args);

In the Application, we create a bean, call its method and set up the Spring Boot application. The CommandLineRunner interface indicates that a bean should run when it is contained within a SpringApplication. It can be used to create command line applications in Spring Boot.

public class Application implements CommandLineRunner {

The @SpringBootApplication annotation enables auto-configuration and component scanning.

private final Environment env;

public Application(Environment env) {
    this.env = env;

We inject the Environment in order to obtain the properties.

logger.info("{}", env.getProperty("JAVA_HOME"));

Here, we retrieve the JAVA_HOME environment variable.

logger.info("{}", env.getProperty("app.name"));

Environment can be used to get the properties from the application.properties file as well: get the app.name property.

$ ./gradlew bootRun
22-05-19 Thu 11:03:03.217 INFO  Application /home/jano/.jdks/corretto-17.0.3
22-05-19 Thu 11:03:03.218 INFO  Application MyApp

We run the application.

In this article we have used Spring Environment to read environment variable.


My name is Jan Bodnar and I am a passionate programmer with many years of programming experience. I have been writing programming articles since 2007. So far, I have written over 1400 articles and 8 e-books. I have over eight years of experience in teaching programming.

List all Spring Boot tutorials.