A few days ago, Laravel Sail was released as a lightweight docker environment for a Laravel application. This comes in the form of a docker-compose file created with new Laravel applications (From Laravel 8) and is supported on MacOs, Linux and Windows.
The Laravel documentation is an excellent resource for learning how to use Sail but this article is my step by step experience of trying out Laravel Sail.
I decided to create a new project to test this so I ran the command;
laravel new sail_testing
I ran into my first error;
Server error: `GET http://cabinet.laravel.com/latest.zip` resulted in a `522 Origin Connection Time-out` response: <html> <head><title>522 Origin Connection Time-out</title></head> <body bgcolor="white"> <center><h1>522 Origin Conne (truncated...)
This was because I was using an old version of the Laravel installer. I simply removed and re-installed the installer.
composer global remove laravel/installer composer global require laravel/installer
I was now able to proceed with creating the new Laravel application. The first thing I noticed that a docker-compose file was added into the project. It was quite simple to understand. There were blocks for the services; Webserver, MySQL, Redis, Mailhog and optional ones like Selenium and Memcached.
If requiring Sail to be used in an existing application. You simply just have to install the composer dependency;
composer require laravel/sail --dev
I am not sure but it is possible the Sail will only work on Laravel application from version 8 since it requires, illuminate/contracts v8 and illuminate/support v8.0 but I might be wrong since for the purpose of this test I only tried it with a fresh Laravel 8 application.
Once installed, the next step is to publish Sail's docker-composer.yml by running
php artisan sail:install
Now, the moment we have been waiting for. Getting Sail up and running!
Running the above command downloads all the images and creates all containers in the docker-compose.yml file. You can configure a bash alias to the sail command so you don't have to type ./vendor/bin/sail up repeatedly.
alias sail='bash vendor/bin/sail'
sail up // start sial sail up -d` // start in "detached" mode sail down // stop sail
When using Sail, some of the commands we run using Artisan, Composer and Npm will change slightly; `sail artisan run_command`
You can also run `php` commands while using Sail ``` sail php --version sail php index.php ```
Laravel Sail container includes a Composer 2.x installation so new dependencies can be installed as follows;
sail composer require laravel/sanctum
You can run
npm commands with Sail
sail node --version sail npm run prod
MySQL - Once your containers have been started, the MySQL instance will be available to your application and can be accessed using a MySQL client to connect on localhost port 3306. A volume is created to ensure that the your data is persisted even when you shut down your containers. The database will use the same name as what was configured in your
Redis: Like MySQL, a volume is also created for Redis to ensure that your redis data is persisted even when you shut down your containers. The Redis instance is configured using the
REDIS_HOST configuration in your
There is a whole lot more you can do with Sail including running unit and feature tests, browser testing with Laravel Dusk and Previewing emails with Mailhog. Details on how to do this is clearly outlined in the Laravel documentation.
Sail was quite simple to install and work with. This will no doubt provide a low barrier of entry for developers who have been reluctant to switch to Docker for their development environments.
I have tried out several Docker packages and libraries for Laravel development but Sail feels a lot cleaner without the need to add unnecessary configuration files within my applications.
As soon as started my docker environment with Sail, I was able to load the home page of my application. I initially had an issue with port 80 but that was because I was running Laravel Valet which uses Nginx on port 80. Once that was stopped however and I restarted my containers, I was able to view my application home page, connect to MySQL and connect to Redis.
For more on Laravel Sail, visit the documentation https://laravel.com/docs/8.x/sail