Effortlessly make a Preload script for your Laravel application.

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v1.1.0 2023-02-21 00:41 UTC

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Last update: 2024-02-13 20:13:17 UTC


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Dynamically preload your Laravel application.

This package generates a PHP preloading script from your Opcache statistics automatically. No need to hack your way in.

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Require this using Composer into your project

composer require laragear/preload

This package doesn't require the ext-zend-opcache extension to install. Just be sure to have it enabled in your deployment server.

What is Preloading? Does it make my app FAST?

PHP interpreter needs to read and compile each requested file in your project. When Opcache is enabled, it will keep interpreted files in memory instead of reading them again from the file system, which is miles faster.

Opcache's Preloading allows to store in memory a given list of files when the PHP process starts, before normal execution. This makes the application faster during the first requests, as these files to read are already in memory. With JIT, these files are also compiled into byte-code and saving another step.

This package generates a preload file with the most accessed files of your application. Once done, you can point the generated list into your php.ini:

opcache.preload_user = 'www-data'
opcache.preload = 'www/app/preload.php';

After that, the next time PHP starts, this list of files will be preloaded automatically.

Note If you're behind a shared server, preloading may be not available for your application. Normally, shared servers also share the same PHP process, which configuration (php.ini) is not available for configuration. Check your server if you're not sure if Laragear Preload should be installed.


By default, this package pushes a queued job data each 10,000 requests, containing a limited list of the most accessed files of the application.

First, since you will start with no script generated, create an empty preload list using the preload:placeholder command.

php artisan preload:placeholder

# Generating a preload placeholder at: /www/app/preload.php
# Empty preload stub generated
# Remember to edit your [php.ini] file:
# opcache.preload = '/www/app/preload.php';

The command won't replace the file if it exists. You can force the operation using --force.

Add the preload file path in your php.ini:

opcache.preload = '/www/app/preload.php';


Some people may not be happy with the "default" behaviour. Luckily, you can configure your own way to generate the script.

First publish the configuration file:

php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Laragear\Preload\PreloadServiceProvider"

Let's check the config array:


return [
    'enabled' => env('PRELOAD_ENABLE'),
    'condition' => [
        'store' => null,
        'hits' => 10000,
        'key' => 'preload|request_count'
    'project_only' => true,
    'memory' => 32,
    'job' => [
        'connection' => env('PRELOAD_JOB_CONNECTION'),
        'queue' => env('PRELOAD_JOB_QUEUE'),
    'path' => base_path('preload.php'),
    'use_require' => false,
    'autoload' => base_path('vendor/autoload.php'),
    'ignore_not_found' => true,


return [
    'enable' => env('PRELOAD_ENABLE'),

By default, a global middleware is registered automatically on production environments. You can forcefully enable or disable this middleware using an environment variable set to true or false, respectively.



return [
    'condition' => [
        'store' => null,
        'hits' => 10000,
        'key' => 'preload|request_count'

This package comes with a simple condition callback that returns true when it counts 10,000 successful requests. This array is sent to the callback as the $options parameter, which will be useful if you want to define your own condition.

use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use Laragear\Preload\Facades\Preload;

Preload::condition(function (array $options) {
    return random_int(1, $options['max']) < 3;

Project Scope

return [
    'project_only' => true,

Some PHP processes may be shared between multiple projects. To avoid preloading files outside the current project, this is set to true by default. Disabling it will allow preloading files regardless of the directory.

Memory Limit

return [
    'memory' => 64,

The memory limit, in MegaBytes, of the List. Once this threshold is reached, no more scripts will be included in the list.

For most applications, 32MB is fine, but you may fine-tune it for your project specifically.

This is not Opcache memory limit, as its handled separately.

Job configuration

return [
    'job' => [
        'connection' => env('PRELOAD_JOB_CONNECTION'),
        'queue' => env('PRELOAD_JOB_QUEUE'),

When the job receives the list to persist, it will be dispatched to the connection and queue set here. When null, the framework uses the defaults. You can use your .env file to set them:



return [
    'path' => base_path('preload.php'),

By default, the script is saved in your project root path, but you can change the filename and path to save it as long PHP has permissions to write on it. Whatever you place it, never do it in a public/accessible directory, like public or storage/app/public.

Double-check your file permissions to avoid failures on production when reading the file.


return [
    'use_require' => true,
    'autoload' => base_path('vendor/autoload.php'),

Opcache allows preloading files using require_once or opcache_compile_file().

Preload uses opcache_compile_file() for better manageability on the files preloaded. Some unresolved links may output warnings at startup, but nothing critical.

Using require_once will execute all files. By resolving all the links (imports, parent classes, traits, interfaces, etc.) before compiling it, it may output heavy errors on files that shouldn't be executed like plain scripts. Depending on your application, you may want to use one over the other.

If you plan use require_once, ensure you have set the correct path to the Composer Autoloader, since it will be used to resolve classes, among other files.

Ignore not found files

return [
    'ignore_not_found' => true,

Some files are created by Laravel at runtime and actively cached by Opcache, but on deployment are absent, like real-time facades. Ignoring them is safe and enabled by default.

You can disable this for any reason, which will throw an Exception if any file is missing, but is recommended leaving it alone unless you know what you're doing.

Exclude and append files

Exclude and append files from directories by just issuing an array of directory paths in your App Service Provider, through the Preload facade.

You can also use a function that receives the Symfony Finder, which is included in this package, for greater filtering options.

use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;
use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;
use Laragear\Preload\Facades\Preload;

class AppServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
    // ...
    public function boot()
        Preload::append(function (Finder $find) {
                ->contains('class ')

Custom condition

This package includes a simple condition callback: return true each 10,000 requests. The number of requests, the cache to use and the key for the cache can be set in the condition section of the configuration.

On some scenarios, you may want to use a random seed, or generate a list periodically. You can create your own condition by setting the callback in your AppServiceProvider:

use Laragear\Preload\Facades\Preload;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Cache;

public function register()
    Preload::condition(function () {
        if (Cache::has('preload generated yesterday')) {
            return false;
        Cache::put('preload generated yesterday', true, now()->endOfDay());
        return true;
    // ...


  • Can I manually disable Preloader?

Yes. This basically doesn't register the global middleware.

  • Do I need to restart PHP after the list is generated?

No, the list generated is already in Opcache memory.

  • The package returned errors when I used it!

Check you're using the latest PHP stable version, and Opcache is enabled. Also, check the script path is writable. All PHP errors are logged, so check it out.

If you're sure this is an error by the package, open an issue with full details and stack trace.

  • Why I can't use something like php artisan preload:generate instead or a scheduled job?

Opcache is not enabled when using PHP CLI, and if it is, it gathers CLI statistics. You must let this package gather real statistics from a live application.

  • Does this excludes the package itself from the list? Does make a difference?

No, and it does not. Only the global middleware and condition may be heavily requested, but most of this package files won't.

  • I activated this Preload but my application still doesn't feel faster. What's wrong?

Initial requests should be faster under a preload script. This does not affect Opcache or the whole application performance in any other way.

If you still feel your app is slow, remember to benchmark your app, cache your config and views, check your database queries and API calls, and queue expensive logic, among other things. You can also use Laravel Octane.

  • How the list is created?

Basically: the most hit files in descending order. Each file consumes memory, so the list is cut when the cumulative memory usage reaches the limit (32MB by default).

If the last file is a class with links outside the list, PHP will issue some warnings, which is normal and intended, but it won't compile the linked files if these were not added before.

  • Can I just put all the files in my project?

You shouldn't. Including all the files of your application may have diminishing returns compared to, for example, only the most requested. Also, it will make the preloading take more time.

You can always benchmark your app yourself to prove this is wrong for your exclusive case.

  • Can I use a custom condition?


  • Can I deactivate the middleware? Or check only XXX status?

Yes. If you need to check only for a given response status code, you can create a custom middleware.

  • Does the middleware works on unit testing?

Nope. The middleware is not registered if the application is running under Unit Testing environment.

  • How can I know when a Preload script is successfully generated?

The ListGenerated and ScriptStored events are fired when the list is generated during a request, and the script is saved through a queued job, respectively.

You can add a Listener to dispatch an email or a Slack notification.

Excluding / Including files from composer.json

You can have better control on what packages to preload, and which files to exclude or include from the list.

If your composer.json file, use the extra.preload.exclude key with the package name, and the paths of the files. These strings will be fed to the underlying Symfony Finder instance.

Using true will exclude all files from the package name.

    "extra": {
        "preload": {
            "exclude": {
                "laragear/meta": ["src/Cache/*", "resources/views"],
                "charlesdp/builder": true

Laravel Octane Compatibility

  • A Preloader class is registered with the application and config. There is no reason to resolve it on boot time.
  • A Condition class is registered with the application and config. Config is meant to be unchangeable for security purposes.

Aside from that, the (real) condition callback is always executed each Request using the Service Container, so it can (but shouldn't) resolve a fresh config repository.


If you discover any security related issues, please email instead of using the issue tracker.


This specific package version is licensed under the terms of the MIT License, at time of publishing.

Laravel is a Trademark of Taylor Otwell. Copyright © 2011-2023 Laravel LLC.