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There are several ways to provide connection information to a client library.

  • Use projects. This is the recommended approach for local development. Once the project is initialized, all client libraries that are running inside the project directory can auto-discover the project-linked instance, no need for environment variables or hard-coded credentials. Follow the Using projects guide to get started.

  • Set the EDGEDB_DSN environment variable to a valid DSN (connection string). This is the recommended approach in production. A DSN is a connection URL of the form edgedb://user:pass@host:port/branch. For a guide to DSNs, see the DSN Specification.

  • Set the EDGEDB_INSTANCE environment variable to a name of a local instance, remote linked instance, or an EdgeDB Cloud instance. (More info on EdgeDB Cloud connection details below.) You can create new instances manually with the edgedb instance create command.

  • Explicitly pass a DSN or instance name into the client creation function: edgedb.createClient in JS, edgedb.create_client() in Python, and edgedb.CreateClient in Go.

    const client = edgedb.createClient({
      dsn: "edgedb://..."

    Only use this approach in development; it isn’t recommended to include sensitive information hard-coded in your production source code. Use environment variables instead. Different languages, frameworks, cloud hosting providers, and container-based workflows each provide various mechanisms for setting environment variables.

These are the most common ways to connect to an instance, however EdgeDB supports several other options for advanced use cases. For a complete reference on connection configuration, see Reference > Connection Parameters.

To provide client connection information for an EdgeDB Cloud instance, set the EDGEDB_INSTANCE variable to the instance name (<org-name>/<instance-name> where <instance-name> is the name you set when you created the EdgeDB Cloud instance) and the EDGEDB_SECRET_KEY variable to your secret key which can be created in the EdgeDB Cloud UI or by running edgedb cloud secretkey create via the CLI.