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Troubleshooting Acquia CMS

Like any other Drupal site, most troubleshooting issues with Acquia CMS are around Drupal configuration, networking, or connectivity. The following are the known idiosyncrasies with Acquia CMS, which will change and evolve over time.

How do I do X?

Acquia CMS ships with a Tour page (/admin/tour) that contains answers to most common configuration and Drupal content management questions. This page:

  • Organizes content into high-level concepts friendly to Drupal newbies. For example, Creating Content.

  • Links to the appropriate documentation on,, or Acquia Academy.

  • Contains a dashboard that drives new Drupal admins to simplified config actions that are very common for Acquia CMS. For example, setting API keys or enabling key features. A Drupal novice should not need to have deep knowledge of Drupal configuration to get an Acquia CMS site functional. It should mostly work out-of-the-box.

    If a troubleshooting question is related to Drupal enablement, direct the user to the Tour content.

I’m getting out of memory issues during Composer install

Composer uses a lot of memory when installing Acquia CMS because it has multiple dependencies. To resolve this, you can do one of the following:

  • Temporarily increase the memory at the command line. For example, php -d memory_limit=2G /usr/local/bin/composer install.
  • If you have access to the php.ini config file of your servers, you can increase the memory limit to memory_limit=2G or memory_limit=-1. It is a nuclear option that requires root access to the server, and also requires you to restart your webserver for the change to take effect. It is only reasonable for local environments and does not work in ACE/ACSF as you don’t have access. Therefore, Acquia recommends increasing the memory at the command line.

I’m getting out of memory issues during Drupal site install

The Site Studio team is working to improve memory consumption. In the meantime, Acquia CMS tries to increase memory limits temporarily through code. If you’re still experiencing out of memory errors, you can run the following command to install Acquia CMS using Drush, as Drush is more efficient with memory than the UI:

php -d memory_limit=2G vendor/bin/drush site:install acquia_cms --yes --account-pass admin

When working with the Site Studio API, installing and importing from Drush is more performant than using the Drupal admin UI. If you’re running into memory errors, try using Drush where you can override the memory limit.

I’m getting out of memory issues when enabling the Public Sector demo or Starter module

This is the same issue as the one that you experience when installing the site. If you’re enabling one of the Acquia CMS modules that ships default content, you can run the following command:

php -d memory_limit=2G vendor/bin/drush pm:enable acquia_cms_demo_pubsec

My ACMS website is very empty - how do I get started?

Enable one of the following modules:

  • Acquia CMS Public Sector Demo: It enables a complete website with a functional homepage, content detail pages, landing pages for all content types, built menus, and more. Note that this is for demonstration and training purposes only and is not meant to be a starting point for building an actual website with Acquia CMS.
  • Acquia CMS Starter: It enables a small set of starter content and templates. This is meant to be a starting point for building an actual website. Note that it requires deleting some of the starter content because it is a filler.

After you get familiar with Acquia CMS, you don’t need either of the two demo content modules, and should be more comfortable starting from a blank canvas. However, you might still find some helpful things in Starter.

I see errors about ‘the Google Maps API key is not set’ or ‘Unable to Geocode’

Acquia CMS collects a Google Maps API key on the Tour Dashboard at /admin/tour/dashboard to keep things simple for the user. Acquia CMS displays Google Maps through the following features:

  1. In a Site Studio Map component that uses the API key stored at Admin > Site Studio > Configuration > Google Maps API Key.
  2. Displaying the Address field on a Place content type, which uses the API key stored at Admin > Configuration > System > Geocoders > Providers > Google.

If you observe one of the two errors, set the API key at Tour Dashboard and Acquia CMS sets the key at both places.


Ensure that you resave any Place content that is created prior to the API key being set so that maps appear on Place detail pages. This is required because maps are built whenever a node is saved.

Why do I see duplicate menu content?

Duplicate menu items in the header indicate that the user installed both the Public Sector demo module and the Starter module. Both modules are not meant to be installed together. The admin UI shows an error to prevent the user from installing both modules. However, Drush doesn’t show any error. To fix this, go to Admin > Structure > Menus > menu-name and delete the duplicate content from the menu.

I get the following error when saving content: ‘Unable to send email. Contact the site administrator if the problem persists’

This error occurs from the workflow notification module when you test in a local machine or Cloud IDE. Cloud IDEs and local dev environments, such as DevDesktop, DVM, and Lando, do not have a mail service installed at this time. You should test this feature in Acquia CMS while hosted in Acquia Cloud. If you receive this error in Acquia Cloud, proceed with troubleshooting the inability for Drupal to send email.

I see errors in the browser, terminal, or logs about Memcache - OR, I want to enable ACMS integration for Memcache

Acquia CMS comes with built-in configuration for memcache that is disabled by default. Not all Drupal sites need memcache, and not all Drupal sites behave well with memcache. When memcache and Drupal misbehave, it’s almost always because of custom code or scaling issues with multisite. To make this easy to resolve without a code deploy, Acquia CMS leverages a server-level toggle to enable or disable its integration with the memcached daemon.

  1. Acquia Cloud Enterprise - to enable memcache for ACE, you must set an environment variable. For more information, see Creating customer environment variables from the user interface.

    The variable is ENABLE_MEMCACHED and the value should be ‘1’. To disable, either set the value to ‘0’, or delete the variable.

  2. Site Factory - to enable memcache for ACSF, an Acquian needs to select the Enable Memcache checkbox for the applicable Site node. Disabling memcache is as simple as reversing the checkbox state. By default, ACSF has only one memcache server for each Factory, which all sites share. The default memory is fairly small. Therefore, a small number of sites in a Factory with memcache enabled will quickly cause memcache to overflow and cause more evictions than successful cache queries, which in turn will cause Drupal to slow down or go offline entirely. Acquia urges caution when implementing memcache for Acquia CMS sites in ACSF.

When enabling or disabling Acquia CMS integration with memcache, you might occasionally see a Drupal WSOD, which can be resolved by rebuilding the cache through Drush or admin UI. Therefore, Acquia does not recommend enabling or disabling memcache during high traffic.

I changed my Site Studio API key and now my pages are empty

  1. Go to Site Studio > Developer Tools > Rebuild to rebuild Site Studio assets. Alternatively, you can run the drush cohesion:rebuild) command.
  2. Go to Configuration > Search and Metadata > Search API, and click the currently-active index name.
  3. Click Rebuild Tracking Information.
  4. Click Index now.

I’m getting warnings saying ‘failed to drop or create the database’ or ‘Access denied for user’ when installing ACMS locally

Your settings file is either not set or misconfigured. Drupal will automatically copy default.settings.php to settings.php if it doesn’t exist. Acquia CMS adds Acquia-specific settings configuration for the database to this file during the Composer install process. Acquia CMS has no opinion or direct knowledge of any local development environments other than Cloud IDEs. For information about setting up the correct database settings, see the install documentation of your local dev environment of choice.

I get a 403 error after upgrading to Drupal 9.2 and installing via UI

A known permissions issue is currently being fixed in Site Studio. Therefore, Acquia recommends you to not upgrade to Drupal 9.2 until the issue is resolved and there is a new Acquia CMS release.

I get ACMS version 1.2 and an ugly patch error when running ‘composer create-project acquia/acquia-cms-project’ in a Cloud IDE

There is an incompatibility between contenthub-console and Cloud IDEs that needs to be fixed. If you experience an issue on the acquia-cms-project repository, see Known issues in Acquia CMS.