Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

Installation profiles on Acquia Cloud Site Factory

Acquia Cloud Site Factory uses installation profiles to define base features for your platform. Acquia recommends you use the Acquia Lightning Drupal distribution as a base profile with the tools provided in Acquia BLT. Lightning extends Drupal 8 to provide profile inheritance, enabling you to create sub-profiles for building distinct groups of websites that share a common baseline of features. After deploying a profile to Acquia Cloud Site Factory and enabling it, website builders may select the profile when creating a new website.

Depending on your needs, your Acquia Cloud Site Factory platform can contain a single profile for use on all websites, sub-profiles for large groups of websites, or nested sub-profiles for more tailored features. When designing your profiles, you must take the following aspects of website governance into account:

  • Platform layer: Core features of your platform, on which you build additional features
  • Backend feature layer: Features available for managing, creating, and interacting with content
  • Front-end layer: Content in your websites, and its formatting and display


To avoid development missteps and wasted effort, do not begin development on individual websites until you have defined your platform’s profile architecture as part of your Acquia Cloud Site Factory governance strategy.

When designing and implementing profiles, consider the following items:

For instructions about enabling installation profiles on your Factory, or selecting a profile when creating a new website, see Managing installation profiles in your Factory.

Architecture considerations for profiles

When selecting a profile architecture for your platform, consider the following questions from a platform—not individual website—perspective:

  • What global configuration is valid across websites sharing a profile?
  • What configurations (such as modules and permissions) must differ across environments?
  • What default configurations, such as theme and website name, must website builders or administrators configure?
  • Does your development and testing process account for creating new websites on the profile, and provide updates to existing websites created by older versions of the profile?

Minimum requirements for profiles

To work with Acquia Cloud Site Factory, an installation profile must meet the following requirements:

  • Based on Drupal 8 or Drupal 7 core
  • Include the Acquia Cloud Site Factory Connector module to provide necessary platform management functions, such as the acsf-init command
  • Includes an admin role

Drupal 7 installation profiles

For information about creating a Drupal 7 installation profile for use with your codebase, see How to Write a Drupal 7 Installation Profile on

Creating an installation profile

The method you use for creating an installation profile depends on the tools you have selected for use in your platform:

Until you have added your installation profiles to your custom distribution and then enabled the installation profiles, Acquia Cloud Site Factory will not display the installation profiles on the Create a new site page.