Acquia Dev Desktop troubleshooting guide


End of Support notice! Acquia has stopped support for Dev Desktop on June 30, 2021. Acquia recommends that you transition to Acquia Cloud IDE for a managed development environment on Cloud Platform. For more information, see Migrating from Dev Desktop to Cloud IDE.

Acquia also provides limited integration with open source alternatives to Cloud IDE for local development. For more information, see Local development solutions.

Here are some tips for troubleshooting issues you might run into while using Acquia Dev Desktop. In addition to the tips on this page, be sure to review the following documentation pages:

Examining log files

Acquia Dev Desktop creates two log files in its top-level folder:

  • installer.log: Records everything done during the most recent installation. This log is useful for diagnosing issues during the Acquia Dev Desktop install process

  • piscript.log: Records actions performed with Acquia Dev Desktop. This log is useful for diagnosing runtime issues.

Both of these logs are packaged and sent to Acquia when you use the Help > Report an issue feature.

Enabling verbose debug logging

You can enable verbose logging and progress monitoring text, which can be useful for debugging issues. Open Acquia Dev Desktop > Preferences > General, and select Verbose logging. If, before you report an issue to Acquia, you enable verbose logging and then reproduce the issue you encountered, the logs you send will have more information, which makes it easier to diagnose the issue. You can then disable verbose logging to reduce disk space usage and improve Acquia Dev Desktop performance.

Collisions in settings.php

When you create a local website or sync a website from Cloud Platform, Acquia Dev Desktop modifies the website’s settings.php file. It adds a block enclosed in comments labeled DDSETTINGS at the end of the settings.php file. Some Drupal modules may possibly modify the settings.php file in a way that conflicts with the Acquia Dev Desktop settings. If you run into errors, read the documentation for the Drupal module to see if it has special requirements for settings.php, and consider whether the module settings can be moved after the DDSETTINGS block in the settings.php file.

Problems syncing sites with Cloud Platform


You won’t be able to sync websites with Cloud Platform unless your Cloud Platform user profile has the correct permissions. For more information, see Acquia Cloud credentials and permissions.


If Drush isn’t working on your Cloud Platform website, you won’t be able to sync the website using Acquia Dev Desktop. To test Drush on your Cloud Platform website:

  1. Connect to your Cloud Platform website with SSH.

  2. Run a Drush command, such as drush status.

If that doesn’t work, either contact Acquia support (if you are an Acquia subscriber with support), or use the Feedback button in the Cloud Platform UI to report your issue.

SSH key error

If, when you synchronize a website between Acquia Dev Desktop and Cloud Platform, you experience an SSH key error, you may be able to resolve it by doing the following:

  1. In Acquia Dev Desktop, click Acquia Dev Desktop > Preferences.

  2. On the Settings > General tab, click Remove local websites cloned from Cloud Platform, and then click OK.

  3. Click the + button and select Add Cloud Platform websites.

Workaround: Use the Cloud Platform import procedure

If you’re unable to sync your local website to Cloud Platform, as a workaround you can try to use the import procedure described in Importing manually and Importing your codebase.

Problems with installation

If you have problems installing Acquia Dev Desktop, see Reporting issues, feature requests, and bugs.

Timeout during stack start

You could get a timeout error (for example, “Process ‘MySQL database server’ failed to start”) while starting Acquia Dev Desktop if you have unusually large or many databases. If this happens, you can try increasing the startTimeout setting in the Acquia Dev Desktop dynamic.xml configuration file. When you modify the startTimeout setting, ensure that Acquia Dev Desktop is not running; otherwise, edits to dynamic.xml will not persist. The dynamic.xml configuration file is located:

  • On macOS, in /Applications/DevDesktop/common/cfgbox/Acquia Dev

  • On Windows, in C:\Program Files (x86)\Dev Desktop\common\cfgbox\AcquiaDevDesktop\dynamic.xml

The default value of the startTimeout setting is 30 seconds. You may want to increase this to 240 or 300 (4 or 5 minutes).

Reporting issues

If after checking out these troubleshooting tips, you still have problems, see Reporting issues, feature requests, and bugs.