Working with your sites


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 Lando as an open source alternative to Cloud IDE.

Acquia Dev Desktop displays all your websites in the left panel. The following icons distinguish the location of your websites:

Icon Description
Acquia Cloud site icon Exists both locally and on Acquia Cloud
Local site icon Exists only locally in Acquia Dev Desktop

Viewing local websites

When you select a local website from the left panel, Acquia Dev Desktop displays the following fields:

Local website

  • Local site: Click the link to view the website in your browser. Select Use https to test your website using SSL. For more information, see Using HTTPS (SSL) with local sites.
  • Local code: Click the link to view your website’s codebase in your local file system, or copy the URL to use it in a Git client. Click the terminal icon Terminal icon to open a command line, set your Drush path, and go to your website’s docroot folder. You can also open the command line by clicking More > Open Console.
  • Local database: Click the link to inspect and manage your website’s database in your browser, using phpMyAdmin. See Working with your local database.
  • PHP version: From the drop-down list, select the PHP version used for your local website. You can select the PHP version for a website only if your PHP mode is set to the default mode, which is Fast CGI (mod_fcgid), and not Apache module (mod_php). For more information about the Config tab, see Config.
  • Host this site on Acquia Cloud: Select this option to import the website into Acquia Cloud. For more information, see Hosting a site on Cloud Platform.

Working with your local database

You can work with the database in your local website, using phpMyAdmin (which is included in Acquia Dev Desktop), the command line, or other database administration tools.

Using phpMyAdmin

To access the database with phpMyAdmin, click the Local database link to inspect and manage your website’s database in your browser, using phpMyAdmin. phpMyAdmin is a full-featured database management tool through which you can examine your database structure, run SQL queries, perform import and export operations, and more. See the phpMyAdmin documentation for more information.

Using the command line

You can access the database from the command line and use the mysql command line tool. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. Click the console icon at the end of the Local code line, or click More> Open Console.

  2. In the console, enter mysql.

    This command gives you access to the mysql tool, which enables you to execute SQL commands against your database. For more information, see the mysql documentation.

Viewing Acquia Cloud websites

Acquia Cloud website

When you select an Acquia Cloud website in the left panel, Acquia Dev Desktop displays information about the website. Click the arrow in the left panel to view information about the website’s other environments (Dev, Stage, or Prod).

  • Acquia Cloud workflow: Opens the Cloud > Workflow page in the Acquia Cloud user interface, so you can drag and drop your website’s code among the Development, Stage, and Production environments, switch deployed code branches or tags, and manage other aspects of your Acquia Cloud website.

  • Cloud site: Click the link to view the website in your browser, served by the Acquia Cloud server.

  • Git: The location of your website’s code base in your Acquia Cloud VCS (version control system). Click the clipboard icon to copy this URL to use at the command line or in a client to make changes to your code repository. For more information, see Working with code and Sending updates to your code repository.

  • Code: The name of the branch or tag currently deployed on Acquia Cloud. To change the version of code deployed in an environment, click Acquia Cloud workflow. On the Cloud > Workflow page, select the code version you want, using the code selector in the environment’s Code block. Learn more.

  • SSH: The URL of your website’s Acquia Cloud server.

    • Click the clipboard icon Clipboard icon to copy the URL. You can then use it at the command line to connect to the server.
    • Click the terminal icon Terminal icon to connect to the server.

    For more information, see Working with code and Sending updates to your code repository.

  • Clone the site locally and use it in Dev Desktop: Select this option to create a local clone of the Acquia Cloud website in your Acquia Dev Desktop local sites folder. For more information, see Working with sites on Acquia Cloud.

For more information, see Working with sites on Acquia Cloud.

Using a Git client to work with your code repository

You can use a local Git client with a graphical user interface to work with your code repository. Some examples are:

You can configure your Git client by pointing it to the location of your local code repository (listed on the Local code line in Acquia Dev Desktop) or Acquia Cloud code repository (listed on the Git line in Acquia Dev Desktop).

Using HTTPS (SSL) with local sites

The Local site URL link for local websites provides a Use https check box. When you select the Use https check box, Acquia Dev Desktop serves your website using the HTTPS protocol and uses a self-signed SSL certificate to simulate secure traffic. You can develop and test secure websites locally without requiring you to duplicate the SSL certificates you use on your production website.


By default, Acquia Dev Desktop uses port 8443 for HTTPS traffic instead of the standard port 443. Due to this behavior, redirects from HTTP to HTTPS based on port 443 won’t work. To have Acquia Dev Desktop use port 443, update the settings at Acquia Dev Desktop > Preferences > Ports.

Apache and MySQL status indicators

The Apache and MySQL status indicators at the bottom of the dialog denote when the Apache server and MySQL server are running (green) or stopped (gray). Click Start/Stop to start or stop them.

Status indicators

Enabling XHProf in Acquia Dev Desktop

XHProf is a hierarchical profiler for PHP allowing you to evaluate your website’s code performance. To enable XHProf in Acquia Dev Desktop:

  1. In Acquia Dev Desktop, go to Acquia Dev Desktop > Preferences.

  2. Click the Config tab.

  3. In the Stack configuration files section, find the php.ini path for the version of PHP you are using, and then click its Edit link.

    Edit your php.ini file

    Your php.ini file will open in a text editor.

  4. Search for and uncomment the following line by deleting its semicolon ( ; ):

  5. Save the php.ini file.

For more information about using XHProf to evaluate code performance, see the Using XHProf to evaluate code performance Knowledge Base article.