How To: Speed up Builds by Using Intermediate Images to Cache Dependencies


If you have a build pipeline where the dependencies of your build do not often change, you can speed up those builds by building those dependencies into an intermediate container image.


Example Project

Inside of this project there is a example pipeline for Codefresh Classic that demonstrates how to selectively rebuild the intermediate container if the dependency’s change:

Technical details

This example checks to see if the /dependency/dependencies.list file has changed in the dependency_evaluation step, by running running the below command:

git diff --name-only HEAD~1 HEAD | grep dependency/dependencies.list

This checks all the file changes made in the last commit, and then filters this list of changes to see if the dependencies.list file is in that list of changes. The result of that test is then checked to see if a build step is required to run.

After doing so, the pipeline continues with the next step triggering on either a successful build, or a “failed” (‘not required’) result of the dependency_evaluation step.

Key Takeaway

You don’t have to rebuild your entire project on every commit. By using Conditional Execution [1] of steps and detecting when your dependencies change, you can further speed up your pipeline.