Starting with a Cloud Platform site


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.

If you already have a Drupal website hosted by Cloud Platform, you can import the website into Acquia Dev Desktop so you can develop it locally. Then, you can sync your changes back to Cloud Platform.

Importing from Cloud Platform

To import a website from Cloud Platform:

  1. Click +, and then click Add Acquia Cloud sites.

    If you are starting from the Welcome window displayed in Getting started with Acquia Dev Desktop, you can skip this step.

  2. Enter the email address and password you use to sign in to your Cloud Platform subscription, and then click Log in.

    Acquia Dev Desktop displays all the websites you can access on Cloud Platform.

    Select a website

  3. Select the Cloud Platform website name and environment, and then click Clone this site locally and use it in Dev Desktop.

    The Clone Acquia Cloud Site Locally dialog displays.

    Cloning a local site copy

  4. Accept or change the following values:

    • Local site name
    • Use PHP
    • New database name
  5. (Optional) Deselect Clone Cloud database and Clone Cloud files.

    If your Cloud Platform website has a large database or several files, it can take a long time to copy the website into your local Acquia Dev Desktop website. By clearing these check boxes, you can avoid this delay if you don’t need local copies of the database or files.

  6. (Optional) Select Sanitize database to scrub the database of user emails and passwords. This is best practice for security, so your local website never includes real user emails and passwords. For more information, see Sanitizing the database on import.

  7. Click OK.

  8. If you haven’t already entered the location of your Private key file, enter the location, and then click OK.

    Enter private key location

    Communication with your Cloud Platform server is protected with a private key. For more information, see Acquia Cloud credentials and permissions.

Acquia Dev Desktop then checks your local machine for the location of your version control system (VCS)–Git.

Important Windows note

Windows doesn’t support using the colon character (:) in file paths. Also, Git on Windows doesn’t support paths longer than 260 characters. If the website you are importing uses colons in a file or directory name or has any paths longer than 260 characters in the code repository or file storage, the import will fail with a message similar to Git Error: Invalid path for filesystem.

Acquia Dev Desktop then imports the website from Cloud Platform into Acquia Dev Desktop. You can now work with the website either locally, in Acquia Dev Desktop, or on the cloud in Cloud Platform. See Working with your sites and Working with sites on Acquia Cloud for more information.

Site after import


One instance of Acquia Dev Desktop can connect to one Cloud Platform account. If you want to work with more than one Cloud Platform account, you can install a second instance of Acquia Dev Desktop using a different installation folder, a different Apache web server port, and a different MySQL database server port.