Lando provides a nice way to:

  • Emulate the experience of a "native" command but inside of a container
  • Chain multiple commands running on multiple services together
  • Provide dynamic routing so one command can be used on multiple services
  • Provide a simple interface so commands can handle options, including interactive ones

This allows you to:

  • Consolidate complex testing or build scripts into a single lando do-stuff command
  • Lock down the versions you need for your tooling on a per-Landofile basis
  • Avoid installing nightmares like nvm, rvm and their ilk directly on your computer
  • Never have to worry about which version of php or grunt you need for each project ever again

Make sure to install your dependencies!!!

You will want to make sure you install the tools you need inside of the services your app is running. If you are not clear on how to do this, check out either build steps or our ssh command.


It's fairly straightforward to add tooling to your Landofile using the tooling top level config. All the options you can use for a given tooling route and their default values are shown below:

    service: this is required, use `lando info` to find the one you want
    description: Runs <mycommand> commands
    dir: cwd | absolute path to elsewhere
    cmd: mycommand
    user: you

Tooling routes are cached!

Note that tooling routes are cached at the end of every lando invocation so you will need to run something like lando list or dump the cache manually with lando --clear if you are not seeing your tooling commands or changes show up correctly.

After doing so, run lando to see all the tooling commands for a given Landofile.

A few common implementations of the above are shown below:

Native command emulation

One of the most common uses of tooling is to emulate native commands like php, composer or yarn.

    service: appserver

The above will run php inside of the appserver and also pass in any additional args or options you specify. That means that you can run lando php in the exact same way as php. This greatly reduces the hassle involved in invoking said commands directly with docker, docker-compose or even lando ssh. See below:

docker exec -it mysite_appserver_1 /bin/sh -c "/usr/local/bin/php -r 'phpinfo();'"

# Hmm ok that's a bit better
lando ssh -c "php -r 'phpinfo();'"

# Oh so nice!
lando php -r "phpinfo();"

Consolidated command tooling

You may also wish to consolidate a complex command into a simpler one. This is useful because it can help prevent human error and reduce documentation.

    service: database
    description: Updates the installed packages on my database service
    cmd: apt update -y && apt install -y
    user: root
lando update-deps

Multi-command tooling

cmd can also be an array. This allows you to chain an indefinite amount of commands together.

    service: node
    description: Runs a seemingly random assortment of commands
      - source ~/.bashrc
      - npm install "$DEP_SET_BY_ENVVAR_SOURCED_BEFORE"
      - /helpers/ --max-power
      - ls -lsa
      - env | grep LANDO_
lando fire-everything

Note that each line of the above runs in a separate subshell so if you source a file in the first command, like we unwisely did above, it's not going to be available in any of the others. If you need that sort of behavior, instead consider something as shown below:

    service: node
    description: Runs a seemingly random assortment of commands
      - source ~/.bashrc && npm install "$DEP_SET_BY_ENVVAR_SOURCED_BEFORE"
      - /helpers/ --max-power
      - ls -lsa
      - env | grep LANDO_

Multi-service Multi-command tooling

You can also omit the service and define cmd as an array of objects where the key is the service and the value is the command. This can allow you to consolidate complex testing and build steps that need to happen across many different services.

It also allows you to reuse a common interface across many different Landofiles (e.g. lando test may differ from project to project but it's always what we use to run our tests).

    description: Manually invokes all our build steps
      - appserver: composer install
      - node: yarn install
      - node: yarn sass
    description: Run ALL THE TESTS
      - appserver: composer test
      - node: yarn test
lando test && lando build

Using environment variables

You can also set environment variables that will ONLY be available for a given tooling command.

    service: appserver
      TARGET: production

Current working directory

By default Lando will run your tooling command in the container equivalent of the directory you are in on your host. See this for more details.

You can change this behavior by specifiying an absolute path to run your command. Note that if you want to run a command from your project root you should use /app as the starting point.

As an example if you wanted to install node dependencies from path/to/theme relative to you project root you would use the below. Note that once you set dir Lando will no longer track the host dir you are in eg all invocations of the command will run in dir and dir alone.

    service: appserver
    cmd: yarn
    dir: /app/path/to/theme

Dynamic service commands

Sometimes you have, need or want a single command that can be used on a user-specified service. In these situations, you can tell Lando to set the service with an option.

Note that the : prefix is what tells Lando to use an option instead of a literal string. Also note that you should be careful to avoid collisions between options you specify and options of the underlying command.

    service: :service
    cmd: php -v
        default: appserver
        describe: Run php in different service
# Get the version in the appserver
lando php-version

# Get the version in the second appserver
lando php-version --service appserver2

# Get the version in the third appserver
lando php-version --service appserver3

This can help avoid the following messy and hard-to-scale implementation.

    service: appserver
    cmd: php -v
    service: appserver2
    cmd: php -v
    service: appserver3
    cmd: php -v

Options driven tooling

You can also define your own options for use in tooling. These options follow the same spec as Lando tasks and are, generally, used in combination with an underlying script.

Note that the options interface just provides a way to define and then inject options into a given command. It is up to the user to make sure the underlying command or script knows what to do with such options. Note that if you use interactive options, you need to set level: app as shown below:

    service: web
    cmd: /app/
    level: app
        passthrough: true
          - w
        describe: Print what the word is
          type: input
          message: What is the word?
          default: bird
          weight: 600
# This will prompt for the word
lando word

# This will not
lando word --word=fox


You can override tooling provided by Lando recipes or upstream Landofiles by redefining the tooling command in your Landofile.

For example, if you wanted to override the built in drush command that comes with Drupaly recipes so that it always runs in a specific directory and always uses the drush you installed via composer, you could do as shown below:

    cmd: "/app/vendor/bin/drush --root=/app/web"

Note that if your upstream tooling has interactive options you will need to either disable those options completely or set appropriate defaults to bypass them.

  # Remove upstream options altogether
    cmd: echo "Yah right imma gonna let you run this command"
  # Modify upstream options
    cmd: /helpers/
        default: none


You can also use "tooling overrides" to disable any other predefined or upstream tooling by setting the command to a non-object value in your Lando file.

While any value will do, it's customary to use disabled as shown below:

  push: disabled

Directory Mapping

Lando will try to map your host directory to the analogous directory inside the service. This should MAKE IT SEEM as though you are running the command locally (e.g. not in a container). Consider the example below:

cd /path/to/my/app
lando ssh -c "pwd"
# /app
cd web
lando ssh -c "pwd"
# /app/web

Note that if you set dir option in your tooling command pwd will ONLY ever return dir.

Tool Discovery

If you are not sure about what tools live inside your container, you can use lando ssh to drop into a shell on a specific service to both investigate and install any needed dependencies.

Note that while you can do the below, it's, generally, recommended to install any additional dependencies as part of a build process using either the specific dependency management options built into the service you are using or with Lando's more generic build steps.

Make sure to install your dependencies!!!

Not installing dependencies as part of the build process will result in the loss of those dependencies if lando rebuild is executed or the service container is removed.

# SSH into the appserver
lando ssh -s appserver

# Explore whether grunt is installed
which grunt
# not installed

# Add grunt
npm install -g grunt-cli

# Exit the appserver container

# Add grunt to the tooling in your .lando.yml