Google App Engine (Standard and Flexible Environment) runtime support for Laravel apps.

5.4.2 2017-11-03 17:44 UTC


Google App Engine (GAE) Standard and Flexible Environment support package for Laravel 5.1.

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Based on original work for App Engine Standard by @shpasser

This library is designed for homogeneous operation between the Standard Environment and the Flexible Environment, with the only change required being a different prepare command before deployment.

Currently supported features:

  • File system compatibility (write files to cachefs or /tmp/laravel/storage).
  • Automatically cache and patch configuration files.
  • Datastore persistent session handler.
  • Full microservice support in the session handler, by including gae_service() in the storage key.
  • Full microservice and version support in cachefs, so versions and services in the Standard Environment don't conflict.


Pull in the package via Composer.

 "require": {
     "a1comms/gae-support-laravel": "~5.1"

For Laravel, include the service provider within config/app.php:

 'providers' => [

For Lumen, within bootstrap/app.php:

  • Uncomment the following line in order to use the Facades
  • Include the service provider

To automatically patch your configuration files ready for use with GAE, run the setup command:

 php artisan gae:setup

Deployment & Local Development

Before deployment, you'll need to run the prepare command which will prepare for running in the live environment.

This will ask Laravel to generate a config/route cache so it doesn't need to generate it on live while the file system is read-only, plus it'll patch some additional values in this cache file, since there is more exposed here than can be changed in the raw config files.

php artisan gae:prepare env

Replace env with the environment you'll be running on, std (Standard) or flex (Flexible).

This will also manage your .env files for you, moving .env to .env.local and .env.production to .env (if .env.production exists).

To revert back to a local development state, you can run the local development prepare command.

php artisan gae:prepare local

This will move .env to .env.production and .env.local to .env (if .env.local exists) and also re-generate the config cache to revert any patches/modifications required to run on the live environment.

Automatic changes when GAE is detected.

When GAE Standard is detected at runtime, a few changes are automatically applied:

  • The syslog handler is loaded and forced to be the default monolog handler.
  • The storage directory is re-written to cachefs:// which is an emulated file-system on top of memcache.

When GAE Flexible is detected at runtime, these changes are automatically applied:

  • The structured log handler is loaded and forced to be the default monolog handler.
  • The gs:// stream wrapper is loaded with the default credentials from the underlying GCE instance.
  • The storage directory is changed to /tmp/laravel/storage

Temporary Storage

By default, we set the temporary storage directory to cachefs:// on Standard and /tmp/laravel/storage on Flexible.

This will store things like the framework cache files (services.json, routes.php & config.php), as well as the compiled views.

The storage on Flexible will be unique per instance and ephemeral, so it isn't suitable for storing caches of application data, e.g. from a DB.

Since deploying new code or config would mean deploying a new version, we can safely cache the config & views here.

The storage on the Standard Environment is shared between all instances, but can clear at any time, so we've included a few modifications to prevent issues.

The main one is an altered Blade compiler, with an isExpired function that reads the whole view cache rather than checking if the file exists, which in turn causes the modified cachefs driver to create a local in-memory cache of the contents using variables, so it isn't affected if memcache is cleared between the isExpired check and the actual view rendering, which we used to see causing quite a few fatal errors.

Persistent Sessions in DataStore

We've included a session driver using DataStore for persistence, cached by memcache* for faster access times and reduced billing, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to speed and persistence.

To make use of this, set:

  • SESSION_DRIVER=gae in .env

(*) memcache code is included, but since it isn't currently available on the Flexible environment, this won't function on there for now.

Helper Functions

There are a set of helper functions included that you can use for GAE specific purposes:

  • gae_project()
    • The Google Cloud project ID.
  • gae_service()
    • The App Engine Service/Module name for the current instance.
  • gae_version()
    • The App Engine version name for the current instance.
  • gae_instance()
    • The App Engine instance name.
  • is_gae()
    • Are we running on App Engine, returns true for Standard Environment + Local SDK & Flexible Environment.
  • is_gae_std()
    • Are we running on App Engine Standard Environment, also returns true for the Local SDK.
  • is_gae_flex()
    • Are we running on App Engine Flexible Environment.