Local build

Local build execution is the default execution context. Skaffold will use your locally-installed build tools (such as Docker, Bazel, Maven or Gradle) to execute the build.


To configure the local execution explicitly, add build type local to the build section of skaffold.yaml

  local: {}

The following options can optionally be configured:

Option Description Default
push should images be pushed to a registry. If not specified, images are pushed only if the current Kubernetes context connects to a remote cluster.
tryImportMissing whether to attempt to import artifacts from Docker (either a local or remote registry) if not in the cache. false
useDockerCLI use docker command-line interface instead of Docker Engine APIs. false
useBuildkit use BuildKit to build Docker images. If unspecified, uses the Docker default.
concurrency how many artifacts can be built concurrently. 0 means “no-limit”. 1

Faster builds

There are a few options for achieving faster local builds.

Avoiding pushes

When deploying to a local cluster, Skaffold defaults push to false to speed up builds. The push setting can be set from the command-line with --push.

Parallel builds

The concurrency controls the number of image builds that are run in parallel. Skaffold disables concurrency by default for local builds as several image builder types (custom, jib) may change files on disk and result in side-effects. concurrency can be set to 0 to enable full parallelism, though this may consume significant resources. The concurrency setting can be set from the command-line with the --build-concurrency flag.

When artifacts are built in parallel, the build logs are still printed in sequence to make them easier to read.

Build avoidance with tryImportMissing

tryImportMissing: true causes Skaffold to avoid building an image when the tagged image already exists in the destination. This setting can be useful for images that are expensive to build.

tryImportMissing is disabled by default to avoid the risk from importing a stale image, where the imported image is different from the image that would have been built from the artifact source. tryImportMissing is best used with a tagging policy such as imageDigest or gitCommit’s TreeSha or AbbrevTreeSha variants, where the tag is computed using the artifact’s contents.