I happen to like Apple’s Safari browser, and I’d like to use it when developing stuff with Vue.js. I ran into a problem with this, however: Safari would cache the response from the live-reload development server on localhost, so that when I made changes it didn’t update, even when hitting the reload button. I think I’ve solved this though with a Cache-Control header configued in the project’s vue.config.js file.


Put this in a file at project root called vue.config.js:

module.exports = { devServer: { headers: { ‘Cache-Control’: ‘no-store’ } }, chainWebpack: (config) => { if (process.env.NODE_ENV === ‘development’) { config.plugins.delete(‘preload’) } }}

Kill the running npm run serve process then relaunch it, and reload the page in Safari. Live reload now seems to be giving us correct information.

The problem

Say you did this:

  1. npm run serve
  2. Load localhost:8080 in Safari, see your Vue app
  3. Make some changes and save

You would expect live reload to fire and those new changes to be picked up. I mean hey, it works in like every other browser out there, why would Safari be any different?

Well, it is different, for some damn reason. Doesn’t really matter why, all that matters is that it won’t do what you want it to do. If you do the exact same thing, but substitute “Firefox”, “Opera” or “Chrome” for “Safari” above, it works as expected. What the hell?

The Cache-Control Header

Caching strategies obviously differ in the aforementioned browsers vs. Safari for something running in development mode. I’m not interested in the specifics right now; all I care about is telling Safari not to cache anything from my dev server running on localhost:8080. In theory this should force Safari to re-initialize everything in the DOM when changes are made.

My theory is that this will solve the problem. At least, I hope it will.

So to do that, we need to configure webpack-dev-server, which vue-cli is using under the hood to run our live-reload dev server. Turns out you can do this with a JavaScript configuration file named vue.config.js at the project root. It needs to export a module for devServer with a headers object setting Cache-Control to no-store:

module.exports = { devServer: { headers: { ‘Cache-Control’: ‘no-store’ } }}

You can read more about the Cache-Control Header on MDN. Basically it’s an HTTP header that tells the client (browser, whatever) how to cache the information it gets back. In this situation, we’re setting it to no-store which is the configuration equivalent of “don’t store anything at all, dammit!”.

Deleting the ‘preload’ Plugin

I also ran across this comment in vue-cli’s GitHub Issues that suggests deleting the preload plugin also helps. So to do that, just add another object to module.exports:

module.exports = { devServer: { headers: { ‘Cache-Control’: ‘no-store’ } }, chainWebpack: (config) => { if (process.env.NODE_ENV === ‘development’) { config.plugins.delete(‘preload’) } }}

Verifying the Header Change

Create the configuration file with the above code, save it, then CTRL+C your running npm run serve process, then start it again (npm run serve). Now in another terminal tab/window, run:

$ curl -I http://localhost:8080

You should see output similar to the following:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Cache-Control: no-store
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 785
ETag: W/"311-JwxZQsNJwurfpMdtZree0SxO5ro"
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2020 19:32:33 GMT
Connection: keep-alive

As you can see here, the third line shows our Cache-Control header with the configured value.

Don’t do this in prod.

It should go without saying that doing this in production is a BadIdea™. You’ll want to implement more sophisticated caching strategies for production-release code so that you can minimize the volume of unnecessary network traffic going into your app.