Getting Started with Drupal


This is a guide to getting Drupal 8 running on ContinuousPipe with a remote development environment. The code samples used in the guide can be seen at


Before getting started you will need the following:

You will also need Git and Composer installed on your local machine to follow these instructions.

Setting Up Drupal 8

Creating a Skeleton Drupal 8 Project

Whilst you can start from scratch and add the necessary configuration later, the quickest way to get started is to download the example project from GitHub and use this as the basis for your project. Download the following repository and unzip:

Connecting to the GitHub Repository

Move to the downloaded project directory:

cd demo-drupal8

Create a local git repository:

git init

Commit the initial installation:

git add . && git commit -m "Initial installation of Drupal 8"

Add a GitHub repository as a remote:

git remote add origin [email protected]:continuouspipe/demo-drupal8.git
#replacing the organisation and repository with your repository

Integrating Drupal with ContinuousPipe

Adding Docker Configuration Files

The example project has a Dockerfile included in the project root with the following content:



# Add the application
COPY . /app

COPY ./tools/docker/usr/ /usr

ARG APP_USER=www-data
ARG APP_GROUP=www-data

RUN container build

The Dockerfile is used to specify how the Docker image is built. It is based on a prebuilt image created specifically for Drupal 8 running on Apache. This is one of several ContinuousPipe images that can be found at

The README for the prebuilt image lists the arguments that can be passed when it is initialised, including environment variables. The repository project code is copied onto the image and a script is run which will do things like install the vendors with composer.

The demo project also includes an example docker-compose.yml file in the project root.


version: '2'
      context: .
        - GITHUB_TOKEN
        - CODE_OWNER=build
        - CODE_GROUP=build
        - APP_USER=www-data
        - APP_GROUP=www-data
      - database
      - WEB_HTTP=true
      - WEB_HTTPS=false
      - DRUPAL_HASH_SALT=sosecret
      - DRUPAL_DATABASE_NAME=drupaldb
      - DRUPAL_DATABASE_HOST=database
      - DRUPAL_ADMIN_USERNAME=drupaluser
      - DRUPAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD=drupalpass
      - 80

      MYSQL_DATABASE: drupaldb
      MYSQL_USER: drupal
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: drupal
      - 3306

ContinuousPipe uses the docker-compose.yml configuration to know how to build and configure the services that it deploys. Here we deploy the minimum requirements for Drupal 8 - a web service and a database.

Adding ContinuousPipe Configuration File

The demo project contains a continuous-pipe.yml file in the project root with a basic configuration.


    value: prod

          image: ${IMAGE_NAME}
          naming_strategy: sha1

      cluster: ${CLUSTER}
        name: '"demo-drupal8-" ~ code_reference.branch'
              - type: persistent
                name: database-volume
                capacity: 5Gi
                storage_class: default
              - name: database-volume
                mount_path: /var/lib/mysql
              - /usr/local/bin/
              - mysqld
              - --ignore-db-dir=lost+found
              - --max_allowed_packet=128M
              - 3306
                cpu: 50m
                memory: 250Mi
                cpu: 500m
                memory: 2Gi
              - name: MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD
                value: ${DATABASE_ROOT_PASSWORD}
              - name: MYSQL_USER
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_USERNAME}
              - name: MYSQL_PASSWORD
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_PASSWORD}
              - name: MYSQL_DATABASE
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_NAME}
                 type: tcp
                 port: 3306

      cluster: ${CLUSTER}
        name: '"demo-drupal8-" ~ code_reference.branch'
              from_external: true
              - type: persistent
                name: web-public-files-volume
                capacity: 5Gi
                storage_class: default
              - name: web-public-files-volume
                mount_path: /app/docroot/sites/default/files
            environment_variables: &default_web_variables
              - name: DRUPAL_DATABASE_NAME
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_NAME}
              - name: DRUPAL_DATABASE_USERNAME
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_USERNAME}
              - name: DRUPAL_DATABASE_PASSWORD
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_PASSWORD}
              - name: DRUPAL_DATABASE_PREFIX
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_PREFIX}
              - name: DRUPAL_DATABASE_HOST
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_HOST}
              - name: DRUPAL_DATABASE_PORT
                value: ${DRUPAL_DATABASE_PORT}
              - name: CP_ENVIRONMENT
                value: ${CP_ENVIRONMENT}
              - name: INSTALL_DRUPAL
                value: ${INSTALL_DRUPAL}
              - name: DRUPAL_ADMIN_USERNAME
                value: ${DRUPAL_ADMIN_USERNAME}
              - name: DRUPAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD
                value: ${DRUPAL_ADMIN_PASSWORD}
              - name: DEVELOPMENT_MODE
                value: ${DEVELOPMENT_MODE}
              - 80
                cpu: 50m
                memory: 500Mi
                cpu: 1
                memory: 2G

      cluster: ${CLUSTER}
        name: '"demo-drupal8-" ~ code_reference.branch'
        from_service: web
        - container drupal_install
      environment_variables: *default_web_variables

  - name: Remote development
    condition: code_reference.branch matches "/^cpdev/"
    tasks: &default_tasks
      - images
      - db_deployment
      - drupal_demo_install
      - web_deployment
      - name: CP_ENVIRONMENT
        value: dev

  - name: Production
    condition: 'not(code_reference.branch matches "/^cpdev/")'
    tasks: *default_tasks

This defines four tasks for ContinuousPipe.

  1. images builds a Docker image for the web service based on the matching configuration for the web service in the docker-compose.yml file. The built image will include the repository contents in the commit that triggered the build (because of the instructions in the Dockerfile in the previous step). Once the image is built ContinuousPipe will push it to an image registry configured using the IMAGE_NAME variable (setting this variable is explained later).
  2. db_deployment deploys the database services to a cluster set with the CLUSTER variable (setting this variable is explained later). The environment name used to refer to the deployment is made consistent by combining demo-drupal8- with the name of the branch that triggered the process.
  3. web_deployment deploys the web container running apache.
  4. drupal_demo_install - runs the intial Drupal installation.

The ContinousPipe documentation has more information about tasks.

Configuring the ContinuousPipe Console

Before we can push any code to our repository, we need to ensure that the ContinuousPipe console is properly configured. Please refer to the ContinuousPipe Quick Start guide to setup your project, cluster, registry and create your first flow.

Adding Variables to the ContinuousPipe Console

When creating the continuous-pipe.yml above an IMAGE_NAME and CLUSTER variable were used. These can now be added in the configuration section of the new flow within the ContinuousPipe console. This is explained in configuring a flow.

The CLUSTER value you need can be found in the “Clusters” tab of the project. If you manually entered the Kubernetes cluster details you will have set the value yourself. If you used a Google linked account the value will have been set when setting up the Google Container Engine.

The IMAGE_NAME value is the path where the Docker image should be pushed to. This needs to be the full name, including the Docker repo and account e.g. If you don’t yet have a Docker repo nor do you know how to create one, please refer to the Docker Hub repositories documentation.


The variables can also have their values provided in the continuous-pipe.yml file as is done below for the symfony environment. Keeping them out of the file and in the ContinuousPipe console allows you to keep them out of your code repository.

Initiating a Tide

Commit any changes if not already done and push them to your code repository. You should be able to see that a tide was triggered on the overview or tides pages for the flow on

Clicking on the status will show more details of the build progressing. Some steps, particularly building the image and pushing it to the registry, may take a while to complete. Once it has completed running successfully you can view the environment and from there open the web service and see the running application. The default Drupal page should be visible.

Remote Development with ContinuousPipe

Install the Client

To use ContinuousPipe as a remote development environment you will need the cp-remote client, which is available on OSX, Linux and Windows. Please refer to the remote development installation instructions for each of the platforms.

Run Setup

 cp-remote setup

You will now be asked a series of questions that relate to how you have configured ContinuousPipe and your cluster details. Please refer to the remote development setup instructions for more information.

Build the Remote Environment

To create the remote development environment run:

cp-remote build

This will force push the current commit you have checked out as the remote environment branch. So assuming you are still on the master branch and at the commit that successfully created an environment, this will be used to create your initial remote environment. You can rerun the cp-remote build command to rebuild the remote environment with whatever you have checked out at that point as needed. However, you should not need to do this frequently if you use cp-remote watch to sync changes to your remote environment as you make them (explained below).

Development Mode

The default configuration described above has two build pipelines defined. This adds two different pipelines which use conditions to determine which pipeline is used. In this case it checks if the branch starts with cpdev - if it does then the Remote pipeline is used, if not the Production pipeline is used. You could use this to run different tasks but here the same tasks are run but variables have different values set. The YAML variable being used is named CP_ENVIRONMENT which is declared and initialised to “prod” at the top of the file. It stays as “prod” for the Production pipeline but is set to “dev” for remote environments.

Rebuild the Remote Environment

To rebuild the remote environment with these changes, commit them to master and run cp-remote build - this will establish the Production pipeline. You can now switch to a branch prefixed with cpdev and run cp-remote build again to establish the Remote pipeline. You will then see the two new pipelines on the overview page in the ContinuousPipe console.

Start Development

To start development run:

cp-remote watch

You can now make changes and they will be synced to the remote environment where you should be able to see the result.

Configuration Management in Drupal 8

The main workflow adjustment you will have to make for Drupal 8 remote development is using cp-watch to sync your changes. For example, if you want to make a change to configuration, take the following steps:

  1. Make the change in the UI of the remote environment.
  2. Export as a feature or using Configuration Export
  3. cp-remote fetch will rsync the files from the container back to your local machine
  4. Commit the changes in Git

If you are doing custom development, any change you make will immediately be on the container as soon as you save via cp-watch (including deletion).

Drush and Drupal Console

Drush and Drupal Console are both available in this demonstration setup. To use them:

cp-remote bash

You will then have a bash shell open on the web container.