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Performance

If you've ever tried to run a site with a shload of files using Docker Desktop on Windows or macOS then you've likely experienced some of the very well documented performance issues associated with doing so. Usually, these performance issues manifest themselves in slow page load times, or exceptionally long cli operations like installing a dependency or clearing an application's cache.

Similarly, since Lando is built on top of these technologies you likely have experienced them while running big sites on Lando as well despite the fact that we already optimize our volume mounts.

The good news is that as of Lando 3.0.0-rc.13 we can offer an experimental, opt-in, performance optimization pathway to users. The tl;dr is that users can now exclude certain directories from being shared. Depending on the amount of files you exclude this can bring your application from ugh fml to pretty close to native speed.

The downside of this approach is that all "exluded" directories are decoupled from your host, meaning that you can no longer edit their contents from your host machine. As a result we recommend you only exclude directories containing code you don't need to modify such as vendor or node_modules.

We also have a roadmap to address this specific "syncing" concern but wanted to roll out this option first since it is pretty useful by itself.

Configuration

You can exclude directories by adding the top-level excludes key to your Landofile and then running a lando rebuild.

name: my-app
excludes:
  - vendor
  - node_modules
  - modules/contrib

You can also exclude an exclude (err I mean include?) with the following syntax. This is useful if you want to exclude a whole bunch of dependencies but still want to hack around on a few. Note that you must wrap the ignore in quotes.

name: my-app
excludes:
  - vendor
  - node_modules
  - modules/contrib
  - "!modules/contrib/my-module"

Restart Docker

We've noticed in some instances you need to restart Docker in order to benefit from these performance improvements. If you exclude a decent amount of directories and do not notice a considerable speed increase we recommend you restart Docker and try again.

Caveats

Here are some of the main caveats you need to be aware of when structuring your excludes.

Rebuild slowness

During each rebuild Lando will attempt to sync the excluded directories from your host to their analogs inside each container. Depending on how many files you are excluding this can add significant overhead to rebuilds. Note that on subsequent rebuilds Lando will only sync new or modified files.

You can mitigate this by installing large directories such as vendor as part of a build step.

Editing code

If you find yourself needing to edit specific directories or files we recommend you add them as "exclude excludes" and rebuild your app.

name: my-app
excludes:
  - vendor
  - node_modules
  - modules/contrib
  - "!modules/contrib/my-module"
  - "!vendor/dep-i-am-troubleshooting"

Alternatively you can install a text editor like vim inside one of your containers and invoke that. This is good if you need to make one-off changes from time to time and don't want to reset your excludes.

name: my-app
services:
  my-service:
    build_as_root:
      - apt update -y && apt install vim -y
tooling:
  vim:
    service: my-service

Installing dependencies

Consider the following Landofile.

name: my-app
recipe: drupal8
excludes:
  - vendor
services:
  appserver:
    build:
      - composer install

This will exclude vendor and run composer install when you start up your app. After this happens you should expect to have an empty vendor directory on your host but a fully populated one inside each container. Now, imagine you wish to install an additional dependency:

Will show up on your host, but not in the container where it needs to be

composer require pirog/my-module

Will show up in the container like it needs to, but not on the host

lando composer require pirog/my-module

The implication here is that all operations that manipulate files inside excluded directories need to be run inside the container. Generally this can be accomplished by running the lando variant of a given command such as lando yarn instead of yarn. Also note that you can exclude exclude new directories and run a lando rebuild.

name: my-app
recipe: drupal8
excludes:
  - vendor
  - "!vendor/pirog/my-module"
services:
  appserver:
    build:
      - composer install
      - composer require pirog/my-module

If you run a lando rebuild with the above Landofile you should expect to see a vendor directory containing just the pirog/my-module project on your host. You should be able to edit this directory directly from your host and see the changes in your container.

Cannot remove mounted directories

All of the directories you exclude cannot be removed with a rm -rf /path/to/exclude while inside of your container. You will likely get an error indicating the device is busy. This means if you exclude a directory that gets removed during a dependency update or build step you will likely experience some degree of sadness.

Roadmap

Ultimately we will offer some "exclude" syncing strategies so that your app can run super fast and you don't have to sacrifice code editability from your host. However, we'd like to get more feedback and lock down the stability of the exclude feature first.

Strategies under consideration: