Starting from scratch

Watch a video about installing Drupal (2:00)

To create a new Drupal website, starting from one of a variety of popular Drupal distributions, complete the following steps:

In the Acquia Dev Desktop window, click the + button, and then click New Drupal site. If you are starting from the Welcome window shown in Getting started, skip this step. Ensure that the PHP version is the right one for the Drupal version you’re installing.

Install a Drupal distribution

Select a Drupal distribution to start from, and click Install.

Choose a Drupal distribution

Choosing a Drupal distribution

A Drupal distribution is a curated package of Drupal software, including Drupal core, Drupal contributed modules, themes, libraries, and installation profiles that together provide a Drupal solution. While most Drupal distributions can be used with Acquia Dev Desktop, a selection of popular Drupal distributions are linked from Acquia Dev Desktop for easy installation. If you don’t know which distribution you want to start with, use Drupal 8.

For more information about choosing a Drupal distribution, read Distributions and Additional distribution documentation on

The Install a Drupal distribution (Step 2) dialog box displays. Click Finish to install the selected distribution using the default options, or modify them by completing the following steps:

Install step 2

  1. Enter the folder on your computer where the Drupal website codebase should be installed. The default folder name is based on the Dev Desktop sites folder you selected when you installed Acquia Dev Desktop, with a subfolder based on the Drupal distribution and version you selected. Click Change to select a different folder.
  2. Enter a name for your local website. The local website URL will be based on this name, so it can only use characters valid for a URL.
  3. Select a PHP version to use. You can accept the default PHP version; however, some Drupal distributions or modules may require specific PHP versions.
  4. Specify how to set up the database for your Drupal website. If you’re really starting from scratch, select Create a new database. For other options, read Importing a database.
  5. Enter a name for your Drupal website’s database. In most cases, you can accept the default value, which will match the local site name that you chose.
  6. Click Finish.

Acquia Dev Desktop downloads the distribution you selected and extracts it in your local Drupal codebase folder.

Completing the installation

After you finish installing the Drupal distribution using Acquia Dev Desktop, you need to finish setting up the Drupal website using Drupal.

  1. In Acquia Dev Desktop, select your site name, and click the local website URL.

    Visit your website to complete installation

    Acquia Dev Desktop uses Apache web server handles this URL request, and the Drupal install page for your new website opens in a browser window.

  2. What happens next depends on which Drupal distribution you selected. The Drupal install page completes the installation of your website, including installing Drupal core and modules and setting up the website’s database. In most cases, you will be prompted to complete the configuration of your website with administration account information.

After you have completed installing your Drupal website, you can proceed to develop it and add content to meet your organization’s needs. If you are hosting your website on Acquia Cloud, see Hosting a site on Acquia Cloud for information about syncing your local website with the Acquia Cloud version of the website.

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