My server has gone down twice in the last 3 weeks because of an excessive number of files being created in the compiled_templates folder. This causes all of the inodes on our server to be used up causing the site to crash.

We previously thought this may have been because of a security test that hit multiple URLs on the site and generated too many templates. The original question can be seen here Security test generated large compiled_templates directory, site outage

This time there was no unusual traffic spike, so I can't assume it was because of the security testing. The only common thread seems to be that garbage collection is either not deleting the old compiled templates or craft is mis-configured. Any insights into this issue would be much appreciated.

EDIT: Looking in the compiled_templates folder it seems there are a few hundred different folders with names like 00 a9 b3 ... and inside those folders are sometimes hundreds of PHP files. I can't track down what templates some of them go to. For example one of the comments up to reads: /* __string_template__cc8a06d92434271d04fe341ad237b568da4c65f004cfec4d1fc576ee4e9b6c4a */

They have functions that echo out single lines of text, these functions are called doDisplay. I am not the original author of this site and am not an expert at Craft. I appreciate the help.

  • Yeah, I've just discovered a Craft site that has a /craft/runtime/compiled_templates folder that is 1.3GB! Still investigating.
    – Simon East
    Feb 13, 2018 at 0:14

2 Answers 2


How many files are in the compiled_templates directory? There should be a 1:1 correlation between the number of actual templates you have, and the number of cached .php compiled templates in the compiled_templatesfolder.

It shouldn't have anything to do with 404 errors, etc.

I've never seen nor heard of the situation that you've described.

  • 1
    Additionally at the top of every compiled template is a comment with the source template that it was compiled from. Might help in tracking down where they are coming from.
    – Brad Bell
    Jul 18, 2017 at 3:01
  • There are probably over a hundred folders with various names like '00' 'a9' 'a8' and inside those folders there are a hundred other php files with names like 00f1fbe8f11466faed7ba834b345155794841b35579c9839f1a01a1d5242d164.php
    – gautsch
    Jul 18, 2017 at 13:27
  • Can you peek at the files as per Brad's suggestion, to see where they are all coming from? Something definitely doesn't sound right here. Jul 18, 2017 at 16:13
  • @khalwat I updated the main question above but they are all coming from string templates of some sort. The comments at the top of the files read like this: "/* __string_template__cc8a06d92434271d04fe341ad237b568da4c65f004cfec4d1fc576ee4e9b6c4a */"
    – gautsch
    Jul 18, 2017 at 17:20
  • Brad, khalwat, thank you for the context so far. I wanted to give some additional background on what we're seeing when these string templates generate: we recently upgraded from Craft 2.3 to 2.6, and had a few macro templates with template_from_string invocations that looked like: include(template_from_string(page.name)|raw|e) -- these would throw an error after the upgrade, and we had to remove the |raw|e filters to avoid "Unable to find the template __string_template__8c58...." errors. Jul 24, 2017 at 18:46

If the compiled template class names start with __string_template, then that means the source template doesn't live in the craft/templates folder, but it was rendered at runtime by calling Twig's Environment->createTemplate().

Craft does this for rendering Twig strings to a template for things like a Section's Entry URL Format settings, which can be any valid Twig code.

Plugins can also do this as well. Do you happen to have the Preparse plugin installed? Seems like a potential candidate if so.

A bit of a hacky workaround, but you could always setup a cron-job to delete the contents of that folder either full-on or based on some other logic (how old they are, number of files, etc.). They'll get re-generated as needed.

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