Speed Up Asset Builds with Airdrop for Laravel


May 28th, 2021

Speed Up Asset Builds with Airdrop for Laravel

Airdrop is a package for Laravel that speeds up code deployments by skipping asset builds whenever possible.

Airdrop calculates the hash of everything needed in your build assets (i.e., packages, JS, CSS, etc.). If Airdrop encounters the same hash, it will skip the asset build step and pull down built assets via Laravel’s File System API. It stores build assets in the filesystem of your choosing as a .zip file, typically a cloud provider like S3.

The gist of how it works is that once you’ve installed and configured Airdrop, you’ll add these commands to your pipeline:

php artisan airdrop:download
npm run production
php artisan airdrop:upload

Depending on how you intend to skip asset building, the npm run production step will skip building assets if a .airdrop_skip dotfile exists.

Here’s a more in-depth bash example from the deployment documentation:

php artisan airdrop:download
# Skip several steps if we can.
if [ ! -f ".airdrop_skip" ]; then
nvm install
nvm use
yarn install --frozen-lockfile
npm run production
php artisan airdrop:upload

Lastly, if for some reason you can’t work with the built-in Filesystem driver that ships with Airdrop (to upload and download assets), you can define a PHP class that extends the package’s BaseDriver:

use Hammerstone\Airdrop\Drivers\BaseDriver;
class CustomDriver extends BaseDriver
// Called after building, to stash the files somewhere.
public function upload(){}
// Called before building files, to see if we can skip
public function download() {}

Learn More

You can learn more about this package and view the source code on GitHub. Check out the official documentation for an in-depth guide on getting started and configuring your deployments. Please pay special attention to the deployment documentation to ensure you skip building assets when they haven’t changed.

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Paul Redmond

Full stack web developer. Author of Lumen Programming Guide and Docker for PHP Developers.