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How To Improve Your Docker Build Time in GitLab CI? How To improve your build time in a continuous integration pipeline. We will discuss various ways of speeding up the build time of Docker images in a CI pipeline by implementing different strategies. We start with a light base image in which we install the build tools and download or compile the dependencies into a Python virtual environment. In the second stage, we copy the virtual env with our dependencies into the target image and finally add the application files. This second build is much quicker as layers are cached in your local Docker service.