Reduce Nuxt Build Size
Recently I’ve created a NuxtJS application that will run in SSR mode, this is deployed to Cloud Run on GCP via a docker image.
In order to allow the autoscaling to work quicker and to allow quicker start ups I wanted to reduce the docker size of the application to as small as possible.
When you’re first starting with NuxtJS they recommend a
dockerfile you can use for your application, but it isn't optimized work size.
Below is the typical
dockerfile for Nuxt applications.
WORKDIR /usr/src/app COPY . ./ RUN yarn EXPOSE 8080
ENV PORT=8080 RUN yarn build CMD [ "yarn", "start" ]
On a standard application, this will create an image size around 500MB.
What can we do to reduce the docker image size?
The node module folder is one of the largest folders in the application. This is because the
dockerfile above will install all the dependencies needed for both development and production.
But if you’re deploying the application from this
dockerfile you don't need development dependencies such as
--production option in the
yarn install command.
yarn install --production
This will install all packages in the
dependencies property and ignore all in
devDependencies within your
When you run
nuxt build it will create the client and server files the applications needs to run the application.
These are stored in the
.nuxt/dist folder, but the
server.js file will still depend on files stored in the
Therefore you will need to install all the dependencies rather than just the dependencies needs to run the Nuxt application.
There is an option on the build command called Standalone. This will move the dependencies used from
node_modules into the
.nuxt/dist/server.js file, so we don't need the node_modules anymore.
If after the build is successful you get errors about modules missing from
node_modules folder then you might have modules loaded in your
modules property. For standalone to work correctly you need to move these over to
The only package you would need to run nuxt is
nuxt package itself, but you don't need the entire
nuxt package you can use
nuxt start to run your application.
There’s a separate package that you can use which is optimized for running SSR bundles.
FROM node:16 as builder WORKDIR /usr/src/builder ADD . ./ RUN yarn install --production
RUN yarn build --standalone FROM node:16-alpine as starter WORKDIR /usr/src/app RUN yarn add "email@example.com" COPY --from=builder /usr/src/builder/.nuxt /usr/src/app/.nuxt
COPY --from=builder /usr/src/builder/nuxt.config.js /usr/src/app/
COPY --from=builder /usr/src/builder/static /usr/src/app/ ENV HOST=0.0.0.0
ENTRYPOINT ["npx", "nuxt-start"] EXPOSE 8080
Originally published at https://paulund.co.uk.