Lando services are our distillation of Docker containers into their most important options combined with some special sauce to setup good networking, certificates and SSH keys as well as options to run build steps and provide low level overrides.

You can use the top-level services config in your Landofile to define and configure a service. The various options you can specify in any service regardless of the service type are shown below:

    app_mount: cached
    type: some-service:with-optional-version
    moreHttpPorts: []

myservice in the example above can actually be set to anything the user wants but common conventions are things like appserver, index, cache, database or kanye.

Note that you will need to set the type and its optional version to be either one of the supported services below or as defined in one you create your own.

Each service also contains a bunch of its own configuration options. As such, we highly recommend you check out the documentation for each service. For example, some of the configuration options available to the php service are shown below:

    type: php:7.2
    webroot: web
    xdebug: true
      phpunit/phpunit: "*"
      php: config/php.ini

Docker compose files are loaded first!

If you want to load Docker compose files and use services, you should note that compose files are loaded first. This means that depending on how you name things, your services could override things set in your compose files.

Supported Services

The following services are currently supported. Please check out each one to learn how to use them.

Build Steps

One of the great features of Lando is its ability to destroy a single planet... we mean add additional dependencies or build steps to your service without the hassle of having to build or manage your own Dockerfiles.

Note that build steps will ONLY RUN THE FIRST TIME YOU SPIN UP YOUR APP. That means if you change them, you will need to run lando rebuild for them to re-run. An exception to this is if one or more of your build steps error. When this happens Lando will run the build steps until they complete successfully.

When should I use build steps?

If you need additional on-server dependencies like php extensions or node modules, it sounds like a build step may be for you. If you have automation, you want to run EVERY TIME and you may want to consider using events instead.

There are four major build steps.

  • build runs as "you" and before your service boots up
  • build_as_root runs as root and before your service boots up
  • run runs as "you" and after your service boots up
  • run_as_root runs as root and after your service boots up

An example to consider is shown below:

    type: php:7.1
      - apt-get update -y && apt-get install -y libmemcached-dev
      - pecl install memcached
      - docker-php-ext-enable memcached
      - composer install
    type: node:16
      - yarn
      - /helpers/
      - echo "" >> /etc/hosts

As you can likely surmise from the above, each step is intended for a pretty specific use case:

  • Use build to install application dependencies that are needed before you start your application
  • Use build_as_root to install low level server packages required by your application
  • Use run to install application dependencies or run build steps that require your application be started first
  • Use run_as_root for any other post-start root level one-time setup commands.

Of course, these steps must make sense within the context of the container you are running them in. For example, you will not be able to run dnf inside of a debian flavored container. Also, note that the default working directory that the commands run in inside the container is /app.

Another potential consideration is "dependent commands". Each line of a build step runs in a separate subshell; so if COMMAND B is dependent on something provided by COMMAND A such as sourcing a file, you should combine the commands with && and put them on a single line.

Using SCRIPTY things

While the following example can work, please note that it is NOT SUPPORTED.

  - |
    if [ ! -z $LANDO_MOUNT ]; then
      do something
      some other command

In these situations, it is highly recommended you create a script and reference that instead. This keeps things cleaner and more portable.

if [ ! -z $LANDO_MOUNT ]; then
  do something
  some other command
  - /app/



While the below options can be very powerful in the hands of a seasoned pro, they are not for the faint of heart. Please be careful and note that YMMV.

While we will make a good faith effort to support intrepid users, please note that once you go down any of these paths you are more or less on your own!


Lando services are just an abstraction layer on top of the Docker compose v3 file formatopen in new window. What this means is that behind the scenes your Landofile is being translated into a SHLOAD of SUPERNASTY looking docker-compose files which are then being used to power your app.

We give you access to the Docker Compose layer with the overrides key.

You can only override Docker Compose's top-level `services` config

Overrides you specify get merged and injected directly into the services config used by Docker Compose. This means that you cannot use overrides to alter top level networks or volumes. If you are looking for that kind of POWER, we suggest you look at the compose service.

Here is an example of an overridden apache service that uses a custom image and injects some additional environment variables. However, you can put anything into overrides that you can put into the services config of a Docker Compose file. Note that if you change the image, your success in running with that image is directly correlated to how close that image is to the ones we use by default. For that reason, it is highly recommended your custom images are extended from ours so your chance of doing this with great success is maximized.

If you are looking to use a completely different image then we recommend you use a custom compose service.

    type: apache:custom
        THINGS: GUYS
      image: pirog/myapache:2
        - ./mythings:/tmp/mythings

App Mount

Lando will automatically mount your codebase in every container at /app using the :cached performance optimization flag. However, you can change the mount flag on a per-service basis or disable the mount entirely if you so choose.

Do not mount my application code

Set app_mount to either false or disabled.

    type: apache
    app_mount: false
    type: nginx
    app_mount: disabled

Mount with a different flag

Set app_mount to any valid Docker bind mount third fieldopen in new window.

    type: apache
    app_mount: ro
    type: nginx
    app_mount: delegated

Localhost Assignment

Lando will attempt to assign localhost addresses to any service that has ports 80 or 443 exposed. By default, this is most of our services. An exception is the compose service which requires the user to manually expose the ports they need at the Docker Compose level. You can tell Lando to assign localhost addresses to additional http ports with the following.

    type: apache
      - '8888'
       - '8888'

Note that while you can do the above, it is highly unlikely you will need to do it as most Lando services provide automatic handling of this. Also note the use of the service overrides to ensure that port 8888 is actually exposed.

Service URL Scanning

Since Lando 3.14.0open in new window service URL scanning is in its own plugin.

Using Dockerfiles

If you find that your build steps are approaching Moby Dick length, you can use overrides to build directly from a Dockerfile instead. This can keep your Landofile tidy and has the added benefit of your service being shippable like any Dockerfile.

An example that extends our base php image to add another extension is shown below:


Note that build is going to be relative to your app root.

    type: php:custom
      build: ./php
      image: pirog/php:7.1-fpm-custom

This lives inside of the ./php directory referenced in the build above.

FROM devwithlando/php:7.1-fpm

RUN apt-get update -y \
  && docker-php-ext-install pcntl

Building a Custom Service

If the above is not enough and you still crave more power, you can consider our "catch all" custom service. This allows power users to specify custom services that are not currently one of Lando's "supported" services.

Technically speaking, this service is just a way for a user to define a service directly using the Docker Compose V3open in new window file format and still get some of the Lando secret sauce.


This service is useful if you are:

  1. Thinking about contributing your own custom Lando service and just want to prototype something
  2. Using Docker Compose config from other projects
  3. Need a service not currently provided by Lando itself

You will need to rebuild your app with lando rebuild to apply the changes to this file. You can check out the full code for this example over hereopen in new window.