AppVeyor runs every build on a clean virtual machine. Virtual machine state is not preserved between builds which means every build downloads sources, installs NuGet packages, Node.js modules, Ruby gems or pulls dependencies.
Build cache allows you to preserve contents of selected directories and files between project builds.
Build cache is a virtual cloud storage automatically created for the project. When you configure cached directories/files the following events occur:
For every cache item AppVeyor checks if its archive exists in build cache and if it does AppVeyor downloads archive and unpack it to original location.
For every cache item AppVeyor calculates checksum and if checksum does not match to the one in build cache or archive not found AppVeyor compresses directory of file and pushes archive to a cloud storage.
AppVeyor uses fastest compression level to minimize I/O and effectively deal with large number of small files. Build cache storage is physically located in the same datacenter as build workers. Resulting archive should not exceed 100 MB.
It is possible to specify a dependency for each cache item:
cache: - C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib -> appveyor.yml
This will mean invalidate
appveyor.yml is changed. Dependency check is performed on build start and cache item won’t be restored if dependency changed. At the end of successful build cache item will be updated.
On Environment tab of project settings you can specify directories and files that must be preserved between builds. Both absolute and relative paths are supported.
cache: - packages -> **\packages.config # preserve "packages" directory in the root of build folder but will reset it if packages.config is modified - projectA\libs - node_modules # local npm modules - '%APPDATA%\npm-cache' # npm cache - '%USERPROFILE%\.nuget\packages -> **\project.json' # project.json cache
Note the use of single quotes around the entire line, when environment variables are used.
Caching Chocolatey packages/installations might be tricky as it depends on whether the package is “portable” (installed from a zip - 7zip.commandline is a good example) or “native” (installed from MSI to
Program Files, for example git.install). Read more about distinction between installable and portable applications. The solution below works for “portable” packages only.
C:\Users\appveyor\AppData\Local\Temp\chocolatey\ is used as a temp location for downloading packages and, generally, shouldn’t be cached.
Portable packages are installed to
C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib and “shim” for executable is added to
C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\bin. So, the solution for caching portable packages could be:
cache: - C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\bin -> appveyor.yml - C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib -> appveyor.yml
If your build logic is in some
my_build.cmd you can use it as a dependency instead of
With the introduction of the new cache we are also changing the way it’s metered.
The total size of build cache is limited per account and depends on the plan:
|1 GB||1 GB||5 GB||20 GB|
It’s a hard quota which means the build will fail while trying to upload cache item exceeding the quota.
The maximum size of a single cache entry is still limited, but increased to 3 GB.
The new cache uses
7z to compress/uncompress files before transferring them to the cache storage. We chose
7z over built-in .NET compression library because it’s generally faster, produces smaller archives and works with hidden files out-of-the-box.
While compressing cache item, by default AppVeyor uses
zip algorithm and compression level
1 (“Fastest”) thus producing archive faster, but with larger size (
-tzip -mx=1 args). However, you can change compression behavior of
7z by providing your own command line args in
APPVEYOR_CACHE_ENTRY_ZIP_ARGS environment variable. For example, to enable
LZMA compression method with the highest possible compression ratio set this variable to
-t7z -m0=lzma -mx=9.
There is a number of ways you can remove unused/broken cache items from the cache.
Just comment out cache entry in
appveyor.yml (or remove on UI) and re-run the build:
cache: #- packages
Upon successful completion of the build cache item will be deleted from the cache.
If your cache is defined like this:
cache: - packages
add the dependency to
cache: - packages -> appveyor.yml # or any other file
and the next time the build is run the cache item will be invalidated/deleted in the beginning of the build.
You can use AppVeyor REST API to delete build cache of specific project. Use CURL, Postman, Fiddler, PowerShell or your favorite web debugging tool to run the following query (with Authorization header of course):