We’ve seen from this forum, tweets, Flywheel customer tickets, and other conversations that when Local works, it’s amazing and workflow redefining! (But when it doesn’t work, it can be super frustrating.)
To chart a more reliable and powerful path forward, we’re rebuilding Local’s core architecture and moving away from virtualization in favor of native, system-level software to run WordPress locally. We’ve affectionately called the first version of this release Local Lightning, and we’re proud to announce that it is available for via public beta today!
Under the Hood
We’ve taken the last 6 months to reimagine everything under the hood of Local and make all corners of the app more reliable. Opening Local for the first time is super speedy (near instantaneous!), so you don’t have to wait around for that “Checking System” message.
For Flywheel customers, Local Connect is faster and more reliable, thanks to a completely rebuilt Push and Pull process.
With the improved site speed, Live Links are significantly faster! Also, Local now supports sharing access to a site via your computer’s LAN IP as a result of Local’s network stack being streamlined.
Local WordPress Development for Everyone
In the spirit of WordPress’ core mission of “Democratizing Publishing,” we believe it’s important to enable fast and accessible local WordPress development for users on all popular personal computers.
We’re happy to say that Local’s minimum system requirements have been drastically reduced. To be specific, Intel/AMD Virtualization Technologies are not required, and the minimum disk space requirement has dropped by more than 18 Gigabytes.
More importantly, Local now officially supports the following systems:
- Windows 7, 8, and 10 (both 32-bit and 64-bit)
- macOS High Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina
- Linux (see more below!)
Bonus: the download size for Local is now about 50% less than before.
Thanks to the new Local Lightning architecture, Local is now available on Linux for the first time. This has been a frequent request since Local by Flywheel’s inception and we’re excited to finally make it a reality!
To kick things off, we will be distributing Local for Linux as a
rpm. Between the two aforementioned formats, we believe we have most distributions covered, but we know how unique Linux setups can be and are open to other formats. Please let us know what your preferred package manager is.
Upgrading and Migrating
Local Lightning (Local 5.0.4 and newer) was built as its own version of our application, and therefore, can run alongside Local by Flywheel on your computer, so you can make the switch on your own time. (The applications are named differently so you can easily spot the difference! “Local” is Local Lightning and “Local by Flywheel” is the older version.) Simply export sites from Local by Flywheel and drag them into Local for automatic import.
Over the next few months our top priority is to achieve feature parity with the original application, bringing back features like hot-swappable PHP versions, MySQL versions, Apache, re-adding Adminer, and rebuilding the Add-ons API.
Notably missing from this release is support for Varnish HTTP Cache or other Linux services. Later this year, we’ll integrate Docker Compose with Local so you can run these (and more) custom services.
We are incredibly thrilled with this release and can’t wait to hear your feedback!
Lead Local by Flywheel Engineer