I'm using the new version of Acquia's Dev Desktop beta 2 (https://docs.acquia.com/dev-desktop2) and I want to use it to test and develop on Drupal 8, but it seems tied to a specific set of distributions (ex. commons, COD, Acquia Drupal) and doesn't have the option to install a separate installation. How can I use this for another version of Drupal, besides the versions they are offering?

2 Answers 2


To do this, I used dev desktop to create the site instance (instantiating the database and vhost files within Apache) than overwrote that with the install I wanted. Specifically,

I created my site instance normally, selecting "Acquia Drupal" or any of the installations when it asked me to choose a distribution.

For my site settings, I changed it from the long name to 'drupal8' for simplicity

then I went to my local sites directory through terminal and removed the Drupal 8 installation it created (these commands assume OS X environment)

cd ~/Sites/Dev\ Desktop/
rm -rf ./drupal8

Now I can add whatever I like back into this directory, making sure I create it with the same name:

git clone --branch 8.x http://git.drupal.org/project/drupal.git ./drupal8

Now we should be able to install this normally with a couple changes at the install stage. For the database settings, you can use

username: drupaluser
password: <blank>

as Dev Desktop uses these credentials for all the databases.

Under advanced configuration there were two other settings you need to get this to work:

port: 33067
  • Awesome write up :) Presumably you could use this method to run any PHP/MySQL site under Acquia Dev
    – Clive
    Oct 14, 2013 at 18:02
  • Pretty much so Clive. I use it all the time to take over a codebase previously run with a different server. You simply create an empty database and then use Acquia Dev's "import" function. This also lets you use URLs like example.dev quite easily. Then you just load the SQL into your empty DB and off and ready. One of the great things for me with ADD running Drupal 6-8 and Wordpress, is you have quick and easy on-the-fly switching between PHP 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4.
    – ergophobe
    Oct 19, 2013 at 22:36

There is an even easier way to do this via drush:

$ mkdir path/to/your/new/docroot
$ cd path/to/your/new/docroot
$ drush dl drupal-8.x

You then simply open acquia dev desktop 2 and select "import local site" and tell it to create you a new database.

Acquia basically handles the rest for you and creates you a fresh database. It will pre populate most of the details for you, including tagging the acquia specific details onto your settings.php file.

The only setting I had to change was the database port (change to 33067) and complete the install.

This will keep your code living outside of the dev desktop docroot but it works just fine. This is the same process I used to import sites I had already developed using a slightly different local workflow prior to using Acquia.

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