Custom path for Composer cache

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Something interesting happened to me recently: my access to a repository that required authentication was no longer valid. The problem in my case was a failure of the repository, but it could have just as easily been that I’ve lost my credentials or some other similar cause. My access was due to be restored soon. As we all know, soon in IT it can be anything from minutes to the end of life as we know it, and I needed to make a deployment before then.

And another thing, my local install was working.

For a while I wondered why my local was working, but, if you read the title, you already know why, my local cache was still valid.

I searched for a while for a way to get my local packages to the remove that was making the build, and there are ways, but I don’t want to waste days on an issue that may fix itself before I figure it out anyway.

The solution is very simple:

  • make a copy of your local cache, if you are using linux it should be in “~/.composer”;
  • put the copy on the server of your interest in a preferred location (let’s say /tmp/composer_cache);
  • export the COMPOSER_CACHE_DIR variable (“export COMPOSER_CACHE_DIR=/tmp/composer_cache”);
  • run composer as usual.

That’s it, you are now using your local cache on a remote server. It’s not the most elegant solution out there, but a quick and dirty hack that gets the job done easily.