A faster drop in replacement for bin/magento cache:clean with file watcher

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1.0.1 2019-08-13 13:14 UTC


"You know, hope is a mistake. If you can't fix what's broken, you'll, uh... you'll go insane." - Max Rockatansky

Magento 2 Cache Clean

A faster drop in replacement for bin/magento cache:clean with a file watcher.

The file watcher automatically cleans affected cache types in the Magento 2 cache during development. For example, if you make a change to a template, it only cleans the block_html and full_page caches, not the config or layout caches.

The project is only tested on MacOS and Linux. Please report bugs by opening an issue on the GitHub issue tracker.


  • Supports file, redis and varnish cache backends
  • Removes affected generated code classes when a source file is changed
  • Zero configuration, all required information is read from app/etc/env.php
  • Hotkeys for quick cache flushes while the watcher is running

Installation & Updating


composer require --dev mage2tv/magento-cache-clean


composer remove --dev mage2tv/magento-cache-clean
composer require --dev mage2tv/magento-cache-clean


In your Magento directory, run vendor/bin/cache-clean.js --watch

Press Ctrl-C to exit the watcher process.

The script can be used as a faster drop in replacement of bin/magento cache:clean, too. For example:

vendor/bin/cache-clean.js config full_page

(It's quicker because the start up time of bin/magento is so slow.)

There are several options to customize the behavior:

vendor/bin/cache-clean.js --help
Sponsored by

Usage: cache-clean.js [options and flags] [cache-types...]
Clean the given cache types. If none are given, clean all cache types.

--directory|-d <dir>    Magento base directory
--watch|-w              Watch for file changes
--verbose|-v            Display more information
--debug|-vv             Display too much information
--silent|-s             Display less information
--version               Display the version
--help|-h               This help message

Usually I run the command once with the --watch switch when I start development, and when I make a change that isn't automatically detected (yet), I run vendor/bin/cache-clean.js with the given cache types as a drop in replacement for bin/magento cache:clean.


When the watcher is running, segments of the cache can be cleaned with individual keystrokes:

Key Cache Segment(s)
c config
b block_html
l layout
f full_page
a (a for all)
v (v for view) block_html, layout, full_page
t translate

There also are hotkeys to clean the static assets in the Adminhtml or the Frontend area or clean the Generated code directory.


  • node.js (built on 10.8, but should work with older 8.x versions, too).
  • it probably is a good idea to turn on all Magento caches bin/magento cache:enable to get the full benefit.


This utility aims to improve the Magento developer experience by shortening the feedback loop during development through automating the removal of affected cache sections after file changes.


  1. Magento uses caching a lot and is faster when the caches are warm.
  2. As a developer I want a quick feedback loop.
  3. Rebuilding the cache takes longer than cleaning the cache

To support the above assumptions, I want to only clean the cache segments I really have to after making some changes.

For example, if I make a change to a template, I only want to flush the block_html and full_page caches, not the config or layout caches.

Thinking about what cache types need to be cleaned after a change and typing the exact command takes time, and it also gets very repetitive, so many developers simply nuke the whole cache after every change.

Automating selective cache cleaning improves the developer experience.

Known issues

  • Currently the watcher has to be restarted after a new theme is added so it is added to the watchlist.

  • Changes to files on NFS mounts (e.g. in vagrant) do not trigger the watches. Depending on a given setup, it might be possible to run the watcher on the host system instead.

  • If you run the task in PHPStorm and the hotkeys are not working, search for actions by pressing STRG+SHIFT+A, then search for "registry...", then enable nodejs.console.use.terminal and restart the watcher process.

  • Not tested a lot on Windows, please open an issue if you want to contribute.

  • If you run into the error Error NOSPC on Linux, run the command:

echo fs.inotify.max_user_watches=524288 | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf && sudo sysctl -p

Docker & VMs

This section is about common issues that can happen when using the watcher in a virtualized development setup.

There are a couple of issues that can arrise when working with a virtualized environment in regards to the cache-clean.js watcher.

For example, when the node based watcher is run in a different container than PHP based Magento, the file system path to the Magento directory might be different for each container.

A similar scenario would be where the Magento directory is a local mount of a directory exported from a virtual machine: the file system path to the Magento base directory might be different in the VM and on the host system.

Another scenario could be that the Magento base directory is a NFS mount in a VM, which does not support inotify events.

So for a number of reasons you might choose to run the watcher in a system that is different from the system where Magento is running.

To enable such scenarios, two things might be necessary, depending on your specific setup.

First, a cache id_prefix might need to be configured in the app/etc/env.php file in Magento. If no ID prefix is configured, Magento calculates one based on the Magento base path, so it would be different on the host and the guest system. Here is an example how that looks for the file cache storage:

    'cache' => [
        'page_cache' => [
            'id_prefix' => 'a04_',
            'cache_dir' => 'page_cache',
        'default' => [
            'id_prefix' => 'a04_'

You can also add the ID prefix for other cache storage backends. The value of the ID prefix doesn't matter, as long as it's 3 alphanumeric characters followed by an underscore.

The second thing that might prevent the watcher from running happens because it runs PHP to get the Magento cache configuration and a list of modules and themes. The module and theme directories are listed as the file system path for the system that PHP is running in. But again, that might not match the file system where node is running.

To solve the issue, it is possible to generate a dump of the required information in PHP by running the included generate-cache-clean-config.php script.

The script assumes it is run in a Magento base directory, or the Magento directory can be passed as an argument:

$ php vendor/mage2tv/magento-cache-clean/bin/generate-cache-clean-config.php
# or
$ php vendor/mage2tv/magento-cache-clean/bin/generate-cache-clean-config.php path/to/magento

The configuration dump is written to the file var/cache-clean-config.json.

When the watcher is run with the JSON file present, it will read the information from the file instead of shelling out to PHP.

You can also use this to manually tweak what modules to watch for changes. For example, you could choose exclude all core modules.

More on Docker

The following comments from Dimitar IvanovTryzens might be helpful how to run the watcher in a docker context:

I might extract them into a separate document at one point, but for now I hope that is enough.


The tool is written in ClojureScript. To build, install Clojure 1.9 or later (e.g. brew install clojure) and run

$ clj -m figwheel.main -O advanced -bo build
$ chmod +x bin/cache-clean.js


Thanks to Mage2 TV for sponsoring the development of this tool.

This script was inspired by Timon de Groot's blog post where he describes the idea to use a file watcher in PHPStorm to call redis-cli to clear the complete cache whenever a XML file is modified. The only downside of that solution is that it always flushes the full cache and only works with redis.

Thank you also to everybody who gave feedback, shared ideas and helped test new features! This tool would be impossible without you!

Copyright & License

Copyright 2019 by Vinai Kopp, distributed under the BSD-3-Clause license (see the LICENSE file in this repository).