Using Live Development mode to change code on your server

Live Development is a feature that enables you to make changes to code on your Acquia Cloud Dev and Stage environments directly, without needing to first make the changes locally, and then commit them using a version control system.

Using Live Development to edit code on your server

After Live Development is enabled for an environment, you can sign in to your environment with SSH and directly edit code. You can also either upload code with Secure FTP or rsync, or configure an IDE on your local computer to upload code directly to your Acquia Cloud server. When you are ready, you can commit changes in your Live Development directory to Git or SVN.

Your application's code repository is located on the environment at ~/[env]/livedev. In the Dev environment, that would be ~/dev/livedev and in the Staging environment, that would be ~/test/livedevWhen you enable Live Development, this directory is initialized to contain the currently deployed branch of your Git or SVN repository. Use the code editor of your choice to make changes to your files. You'll be able to see the effects of your changes immediately in the environment you are working in. When you are done making changes, remember to commit and push your changes to your Git or SVN repository. For information about committing changes, see Live Development workflow and Sending updates to your code repository.

Whenever Live Development is enabled for an environment, you cannot complete the following tasks:

  • Deploy code from or push code to that environment using a drag-and-drop operation in the Acquia Cloud interface.
  • Install a new Drupal distribution in that environment in the Acquia Cloud interface.
  • Import an existing application in that environment in the Acquia Cloud interface.
  • Switch your version control system between Git and SVN.

Disable Live Development to restore the ability to take these actions.

Enabling Live Development on an environment can slow the response times of your Drupal application. Live Development uses the Acquia Cloud platform file system to ensure that your code is reachable from all web servers. Since a network file system is not well-suited for code execution, the performance of your application may be adversely impacted while using Live Development. Because of this, we recommend that you disable Live Development when you are finished with your changes.

Enabling Live Development

To enable Live Development:

  1. From the Overview page of a non-production environment, click Configure.

    Click Configure to configure an environment

  2. In the Configuration panel, select the Live development mode check box.
  3. Click Save.

You can enable Live Development for your Development or Staging environments. You cannot enable Live Development for your Production environment.

If you have an Acquia Cloud Free subscription, your codebase has a limited amount of disk storage available. When you enable Live Development, Acquia Cloud creates a copy of your codebase. If your codebase is already using a large portion of your codebase disk quota, then enabling Live Development may fail. For more information, see Managing disk storage for Acquia Cloud Free subscriptions.

Disabling Live Development

You can disable Live Development at any time. When you disable Live Development, Acquia Cloud deploys whatever branch the environment was set to deploy before you enabled Live Development for it. Therefore, you need either to commit and push all changes on your Live Development directory (~/[env]/livedev), or discard them.

To disable Live Development, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Overview page of a non-production environment, click Configure.
  2. In the Configuration panel, clear the Live development mode check box.
  3. If you have uncommitted changes that you do not want to keep, select Discard all uncommitted or unpushed changes in the Configuration panel.
  4. Click Save.

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