Dev-only Laravel config

January 20, 2023


A key feature of Laravel is the way configuration files are handled. Configuration files are used to store and access a wide range of settings and parameters relevant for the application. As well as storing data like database connection strings or third-party service’s keys, they can also include application-specific data such as the title, authentication information, and other configuration settings.

A Growing Problem

Configuration files can easily become bloated and grow out of hand. This is especially true when working with third-party packages. Many third-party packages also use configuration files to configure their settings.

Unfortunately, some of these packages are only meant to run on a development or CI/CD environment, but they will still introduce big configuration files into every production request.

Packages like enlightn, debugbar, laravel telescope are usually not used in production, yet they still contain a big configuration file that will be shipped to your production application.

A Possible Solution

My suggestion to handle this problem is to disable these developer-only configuration files on production. By ignoring certain configuration files, production can keep their configuration files lightweight and optimized.



if (env('APP_ENV', 'production') === 'production') {
    return [
        'enabled' => false,

return [

    | Debugbar Settings


1) We can’t use app()->environment(...) inside config files because this method internally uses the config. Instead, we can use env('APP_ENV')

2) In third-party packages we can’t return an empty array [] because Laravel will use the package’s default configuration if no local configuration is found. Having at least one property will override this behavior and still keep a slim configuration for production.

3) Having a different configuration for production can cause unexpected and untested results, so it is very important you are confident the code will fall back correctly.

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