Lightning is a packaged distribution of the open source Drupal social publishing system for Drupal 8. As a free collection of useful modules from Acquia and the Drupal community, Lightning offers you a quick on-ramp to begin building your website.

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Lightning for Drupal 8

In Drupal 8, we have taken advantage of new functionality and tightly coupled functional areas that comprise the new standard for enterprise authoring in Drupal, including layout, preview, workflow, and media. We have embedded hundreds of automated tests allowing developers to implement continuous integration pipelines that monitor major functionality, providing a safe environment to innovate with their own custom code additions to Lightning.

Development and Maintenance

Although many other Drupal installations and distributions rely on Drush for updates and development, Lightning requires the use of Composer commands with your installation.

Unlike Drush, Composer is a dependency manager system that you can use to prevent module mismatches and better ensure system reliability. As an example of this, if the ModuleA 8.x-1.0 module depends on ModuleB 8.x-3.2, Composer will not let you update ModuleB to version 3.3 or downgrade it to version 3.1.

The following table includes Composer command replacements for the Drush commands that you may already be familiar with:

Task Drush (version <= 8 only) Composer
Fetch the latest version of a project drush pm-download [project] composer require drupal/[project]:8.*
Fetch a specific version of a project drush pm-download [project]-8.x-1.0-beta3 composer require drupal/[project]:8.1.0-beta3
Update all projects and Drupal core drush pm-update composer update
Update a single project drush pm-update [project] composer update drupal/[project]
Updating Drupal core drush pm-update drupal composer update drupal/core

Drush is still in use, however, as it handles certain tasks, such as database updates (drush updatedb). This installer will install a copy of Drush (local to the project) in the bin directory.

Source Control

If you review the .gitignore file provided in the distribution, you’ll see that certain directories, including all directories containing contributed projects, are excluded from source control. This might be disconcerting if you’re used to Drush, but in a Composer-based project, you should not commit your installed dependencies to source control.

When you set up the project, Composer will create a file called composer.lock, which lists which dependencies were installed, and which versions. Commit the composer.lock file to source control. When others want to install copies of the project, they simply need to run composer install, which will install the correct versions of everything listed in composer.lock. This ensures a consistent base development environment for all the members of a team.

Use the information on these pages as a guide as you install or upgrade to Lightning, connect your website to an Acquia subscription, and get introduced to Acquia’s technical support and network services.

Committing settings.php to your repository

Drupal websites use a settings.php file for basic configuration. Applications on Acquia Cloud have a special include statement that configures your settings.php file to function properly in all of your environments that are hosted on Acquia Cloud. Unless you’re building a distribution or deploying to multiple environments with different databases, Acquia recommends that you commit the settings.php file to your repository.

For an example of how to add a require line to settings.php to protect sensitive credentials from being stored in version control, see the blt.settings.php file in Acquia BLT.

Getting started with Lightning

To start taking advantage of Lightning, select one of the following links:

Contact supportStill need assistance? Contact Acquia Support

Acquia: Think Ahead

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Phone: 888-922-7842

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