DEV Community

Discussion on: Speed up Laravel in Docker by moving vendor directory

programster_uk profile image

A few things:

  1. The article quite often states "Docker's Linux VM", which confuses me. Does Mac have a "Linux subsystem" like windows, or are you running VirtualBox for a VM that Docker is installed within? Docker itself runs "containers" and not virtual machines. The two are quite different.

  2. "When PHP receives a request, it loads all of its dependencies on a per-request basis. Once the request finishes it discards all of the loaded data." This is not quite the full truth. People should read this post on the Zend blog about op-caching and JIT:

  3. You may also wish to make sure your composer optimize-autoloader setting is set to true (which I believe the default Laravel installation sets by default).

  4. Finally, I was surprised to find out that running files from inside the Docker container is faster than running mounting files from the host OS (a "bind mount"). These are supposed to be faster than running from within the container because one is not dealing with the overlay filesystem. More info: However, it looks like there may be a mac-specific issue going on here: I came across other articles raising this and it seems that others are making use of Mutagen to "resolve" this issue, so that you don't have to "fake it" with two different vendor directories, (one locally and one inside the container). This post has benchmarks and details on how to implement: The other post was:

tylerlwsmith profile image
Tyler Smith Author

Thanks for checking out the article, Programster! You've got some great feedback here, and I've updated my article in a few places based on a few points you've raised.

1. Docker's Linux VM

Docker Desktop for Mac runs a Linux VM under the hood. If it didn't, then Docker wouldn't be able to run the containers: containers rely on Linux internals like cgroups.

I think you're right that I didn't do a great job clarifying that the VM is specific to Docker Desktop and not Docker Engine. I've changed everywhere that I said "Docker's Linux VM" to "Docker Desktop's Linux VM." Good looking out on this one–thank you!

2. PHP's request model

You're right that PHP can cache byte code between requests if you have PHP's OpCache installed and enabled. I omitted this from my description because OpCache & JIT are not enabled in PHP by default: you have to compile and configure the OpCache extension. Since they are not enabled by default, I consider the post's description of the PHP request model to be accurate. I did consider mentioning OpCache in this section when I wrote the post, but I thought it would have obfuscated the description.

That said, even if you enable OpCache you'll still see performance improvements by moving the vendor/ directory: OpCache checks file timestamps for changes, and it can do the check quicker if the files it's checking are in the container.

3. Optimize Autoloader

Yep, "optimize-autoloader" is set to true by default!

4. Speed of mounted files

I think you're right that I didn't do a great job explaining that this trick with moving Composer's vendor directory really only helps with Docker for Desktop on MacOS and Windows. I added a second paragraph to the intro clarifying that this trick is MacOS/Windows specific.

Also, I'll take a look at Mutagen–thanks for the tip! And thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response: I think this article is better because of the points you've raised.