Note: This documentation is for version 1 of the Vercel platform. For the latest features, please see the version 2 documentation. If you have yet to upgrade, see the upgrade guide.

Configuring Now

This guide explains how to use these methods to configure and customize the default behavior of Vercel CLI.

In addition to the options available in the command line interface (like --name for setting the name of the deployment), we also support saving certain parameters into a config file, now.json.

Local Configuration

This describes the set of configuration rules that are applied per project. The configuration file always lives in the root directory of the project (except when a custom path is specified using the --local-config flag in Vercel CLI).


For every type of deployment, you can create a now.json file that contains your deployment's configuration.

For example, consider a static deployment with some .html files in a directory called my-website.

Since no configuration is supplied, the deployment's name is obtained from the directory. To customize this, you can create a now.json file inside it as follows:

  "name": "my-new-name"

For a list of all available options, refer to the "Settings" section below.


All of the properties mentioned below can be used inside the now.json file:

version (number)

Specifies the Now Platform version the deployment should use and is known to work with. We strongly recommend setting a version when working on production systems or using source control (e.g. Git).

The default version for Now deployments is version 2.

To explicitly use version 1 of Now, use the following configuration in a now.json file.

"version": 1

name (string)

The prefix for all new deployment instances. The CLI usually generates this field automatically based on the name of the directory. But if you'd like to define it explicitly, this is the way to go.

"name": "example-app"

alias (string|array)

Aliases which will be assigned to the latest deployment when running now alias (with no arguments).

"alias": ""

"alias": [

env (object|array)

A list of environment variables to be set on each new deployment instance.

"env": {
  "DATABASE_NAME": "test"

If an array is used, the user will be prompted for the value of each environment flag when deploying the project:

"env": [

scale (object)

Set scaling rules for your deployment.

As an example, the following configuration will ensure it is scaled to at least 1 instance and 5 instances at maximum in our SFO1 datacenter:

"scale": {
  "sfo1": {
    "min": 1,
    "max": 5

You can also instruct Now to automatically pick the maximum number of instances.

The following will instruct your deployment to scale between 1 and 10 instances within the BRU1 datacenter:

"scale": {
  "bru1": {
    "min": 1,
    "max": "auto"

If you want to learn about different ways of scaling your deployment to multiple regions and datacenters, read the feature guide.

dotenv (boolean|string)

Read environment variables from the dotenv file.

"dotenv": true

"dotenv": ".env.production"

files (array)

A list of files and directories to be force-uploaded to the deployment (even if they're ignored by .gitignore).

"files": [

Note that this will act as a allowlist of files and folders to upload. Any file or folder not added there will not be uploaded to the deployment.

type (string)

A field for specifying the deployment type ("npm", "docker" or "static") if both package.json and Dockerfile exist. This will prevent now from asking you to choose the type in these cases.

"type": "npm"

forwardNpm (boolean)

Automatically forward the npm login information to our servers to install private npm packages.

"forwardNpm": true

public (boolean)

Controls if _src should be available or not. By default, this property is set to true if your account is using the OSS plan and false if the Premium plan is in use.

"public": true

engines (object)

In general, we recommend letting us choose the version because it ensures that you always take advantage of the latest features, performance improvements and bug fixes.

By default, all new deployments will come with the latest stable version of Node.js

If you need a specific Node.js version we allow you to define the version (semver syntax) of Node.js you want to run on the server:

For an example, this is how to use the latest version of Node.js 6 inside Now.

"engines": {
  "node": "^6.0.0"

static (object)

If you are creating a deployment of type static, this optional property can contain an object with any of these properties.

For testing your static project locally (in development), we recommend using serve as it will read your local deployment configuration file and adapt its behavior accordingly.

api (string)

The URL of the Now API which Vercel CLI should interact with.

By default, it's pointing to, which always points to the right location depending on where you're connecting from (Anycast).

This property takes precedence over sh.api in config.json.

Global Configuration

This describes the set of configuration rules that apply to Vercel CLI.

By default, they live in a directory named .now in your home directory. Within it, you can find two files (which you can learn more about below). If you need to specify a different location of the directory, you can use the --global-config flag in Vercel CLI, which takes in a custom path to a directory containing the two files.


This file can be (if needed) modified manually. It doesn't contain any authentication information, but rather only cached account data and configuration rules that can apply to Vercel CLI.

updateChannel (string)

For our software, we provide two update channels ("stable" and "canary"). This property lets you pick either one in order to enjoy a different pace of updates.

Read more here about why these channels exist and what they're being used for. As an example, this will make Vercel CLI receive canary updates:

"updateChannel": "canary"

sh.api (string)

The URL of the Now API which Vercel CLI should interact with.

By default, it's pointing to, which always points to the right location depending on where you're connecting from (Anycast).

Important: As indicated by the sh. prefix, this configuration property needs to be set under the sh provider scope inside the global config file.


This file should not be touched manually. It contains the authentication information for all of your providers accessed through a Now client.

In the case that you're uploading your global configuration setup to a potentially insecure destination, we highly recommend ensuring that this file won't be uploaded, as it allows an attacker to gain access to your provider accounts.