Getting started with Acquia CLI

This guide provides you with steps to link your installation of Acquia CLI to the Cloud Platform API, set up SSH access to your Cloud Platform environment, and create a new Drupal project on your local machine, after you have installed Acquia CLI.


To troubleshoot most Acquia CLI-related error messages, rerun commands using the --verbose option to diagnose issues.

Authenticating with Cloud Platform API

To begin using Acquia CLI, authenticate against your Cloud Platform account. Open your Command-Line Interface (CLI) and type:

acli auth:login

This command prompts you to open the page from which you can create a Cloud Platform API token at the Cloud Platform user interface.


If you use other Acquia products, such as BLT or Pipelines CLI, your computer may already be authenticated with the Cloud Platform and you can reuse an existing token.

Here’s an example output:

$ acli auth:login
You will need a Cloud Platform API token from
Do you want to open this page to generate a token now? y
Please enter your API Key: <ENTER API KEY HERE>
Please enter your API Secret: <ENTER API SECRET HERE>
Saved credentials to /home/<user>/.acquia/cloud_api.conf

Setting up SSH access to Cloud Platform environments

To interact with the Cloud Platform, you need to generate and upload an SSH key. This will allow you to access your Cloud Platform environments using SSH.

From the Command-Line Interface (CLI) run the following command.

acli ssh-key:create-upload

Creating a new Cloud IDE

If you’re using Acquia CLI to create a Cloud IDE, you may skip the following steps and review how to create a new Cloud IDE directly.

Creating a new application with Acquia CLI

To create a new Drupal application with the acli new command, complete the following steps:

  1. Open a command-prompt window on your local computer.

  2. Run the acli new command. You’ll be prompted to choose a project template to use. Note that the recommended project installs BLT while the minimal project is vanilla Drupal.

    Here’s an example output:

    $ acli new
    Acquia recommends most customers use acquia/drupal-recommended-project,
    which includes useful utilities such as Acquia Connector.
    acquia/drupal-minimal-project is the most minimal application that will
    run on Cloud Platform.
    Which starting project would you like to use?
    [0] acquia/drupal-recommended-project
    [1] acquia/drupal-minimal-project
    > 1
    Creating project. This may take a few minutes
    Creating a "acquia/drupal-minimal-project" project at "./drupal"
    New 💧Drupal project created in /tmp/drupal. 🎉

Using an external repository

To use an external repository for development, such as GitHub or Bitbucket, you can add your external repository as a Git remote. After completing the steps for acli new, run the command git add remote [REMOTE NAME] [REMOTE URL], replacing [REMOTE NAME] and [REMOTE URL] with values appropriate for your repository.

Next steps

Now that you’ve set up Acquia CLI, see what else it can do by reviewing Acquia CLI commands.