How to prevent escaping of an ENV variable passed into ruby application in docker container

keys.env contains private key:

KEY="-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----\nBADANBgkqhki......xjiWsX7Qjoh8XH8nAECgYEAkCNIy1eICdUUt6HgV\nnEGKpwDETJTIJdmW5MlOzsURI/RSnE2Qas/k758isGLaA4m9dZJoxuP/pCfwcvLj\nwmjVBPdTTNF6ADgor6ZVIp6os5wIIurZH7f8yXaggTEyk5r8K6qxz9t/D\n4FaPDsZ2icg0N5i2y/2Sa0w=\n-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\n"

(The value of KEY should be enclosed in quotes because it contains \n)

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  • docker-compose.yml contains env_file parameter:

    version: '2'
        image: ruby:2.4-slim  
          - ./keys.env

    I run the container with ruby app:

    docker-compose run testenv

    and try to use ENV[‘KEY’] variable:

    irb(main):001:0> ENV['KEY']
    => "\"-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----\\nBADANBgkqhki......xjiWsX7Qjoh8XH8nAECgYEAkCNIy1eICdUUt6HgV\\nnEGKpwDETJTIJdmW5MlOzsURI/RSnE2Qas/k758isGLaA4m9dZJoxuP/pCfwcvLj\\nwmjVBPdTTNF6ADgor6ZVIp6os5wIIurZH7f8yXaggTEyk5r8K6qxz9t/D\\n4FaPDsZ2icg0N5i2y/2Sa0w=\\n-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\\n\""

    The variable is escaped, but I need clean private_key.

    I have not found the answer in the Docker documentations.

    I see two working solutions, but none seems to me right.

    1. Store private_key in the .env file encoded and without quotes. A
      module in the app will decode this value.
    2. Unescape value in the app (like this
      Best way to escape and unescape strings in Ruby?)

    Is there a way to solve this problem with built-in capabilities of Docker?

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  • One Solution collect form web for “How to prevent escaping of an ENV variable passed into ruby application in docker container”

    You’ve hit a known issue of docker:

    Sorry for the inconvenience but I would rather go the conservative route on this one 🙁
    The problem can be solved with echo -e like you mentioned and I think the benefit of keeping env-file simple is higher.
    I’m going to close this issue, but feel free to continue the discussion and speak up if you disagree.

    The equivalent in ruby of that echo -e is replacing literal ‘\n’ with a real newline:

    ENV['KEY'].gsub('\n', "\n")

    And remove the double quotes, leave it as this:

    KEY=-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----\nBADANBgkqhki......xjiWsX7Qjoh8XH8nAECgYEAkCNIy1eICdUUt6HgV\nnEGKpwDETJTIJdmW5MlOzsURI/RSnE2Qas/k758isGLaA4m9dZJoxuP/pCfwcvLj\nwmjVBPdTTNF6ADgor6ZVIp6os5wIIurZH7f8yXaggTEyk5r8K6qxz9t/D\n4FaPDsZ2icg0N5i2y/2Sa0w=\n-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\n

    But I recommend to just mount a file:

    version: '2'
        image: ruby:2.4-slim  
          - ./keys.pem:/root/keys.pem

    Then do a simple file read from ruby.

    Docker will be the best open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications.