Lee Hambley

Founder, Consultant, Software Engineer

Hamburg, Germany

I've been seeing load times of 35+ seconds on OSX whilst using Chrome, and a local development host using Rails on the latest Ruby (1.9.3-p194), with or without the falcon patches, and to a lesser degree the same with Safari and Firefox.

I'm using custom local hosts, that is not http://localhost:3000 but something like http://example.com.local:3000, the following line is in my hosts file.

127.0.0.1 example.com.local
                

This has been fairly standard developer practice for as long as I can remember, but lately I've been experiencing incredible loading times.

The time doesn't seem to "go" anywhere, time curl reportings something like

time curl http://example.com.local:3000/  0.01s user 0.00s system 0% cpu 5.733 total
                

And the browsers hang for 20+ seconds doing almost nothing. The corresponding Rails log line for this request was (I'm using [Foreman]):

10:38:13 web.1 | Completed 200 OK in 429ms (Views: 200.7ms | ActiveRecord: 15.4ms)
                

I stumbled across a suggestion related to Windows 7 running with IPv6 enabled (which is still not the default, as far as I am aware) can cause this, as althoguh the host is available via IPv4, the system still attempts to resolve the host over IPv6 first (it would appear)

Althoguh the suggestion was targeted at Windows 7, I had tried everything else and didn't see that I had anything to lose by adding another couple of lines to my hosts file, now that it looks like this:

127.0.0.1 example.com.local
                ::1       example.com.local
                

It looks like if you are a Firefox user it might be possible to disable IPv6 in Firefox ([also poissible with Chrome]) , but frankly in 2012 this isn't a wise thing to do, as the alternative (adding 1 line to your hosts file) is much wiser, and IPv6 isn't going away, even if it isn't changing the world quite yet.

After making this change the resulting timed curl line looks like this:

time curl http://example.com.local:3000/  0.01s user 0.00s system 2% cpu 0.683 total
                

So although this post is entitled ... and Chrome..., there's clearly a win to be had by correctly specifiying your local development hosts.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Licences for my individual projects, and mini-code snippets can be found within each.