May 27, 2016

Easy Drupal Development with Drush Scripting
Whether you work on one Drupal site or multiple, it is often necessary for your local dev environment to be slightly different from your site's server.  Perhaps you need to disable Secure Pages because you don't want to set up SSL on your local environment, or there are modules specific to your website's server config.  If you work on multiple sites in a sporadic fashion its possible you need to synchronize your local database with the dev server between tasks, that way you aren't missing any updated configurations.

Sure, you can pull this off manually by grabbing the database, reloading your local, and updating your Drupal site's config; but why not add a little automation to help out?

Using a Shell Script with Drush

Recently I was setting up a local environment and had the opportunity to use a script created by Colan Schwartz. If you are running Linux or OSX then you can easily use this script and modify it to your own needs.  If you haven't done much shell scripting, or you use an alternative OS such as Windows, you may want to get a quick overview from

Now that you're an expert on shell scripting you should check out Colan's very well documented script on gitlab. You may need to update the command path variables

# Set command paths.

Also, the default USER_WEB settings may be incorrect for you setup and your web server user is not one of: php-fpm, nginx, apache, or www-data.

The MODULES_DISABLE variable controls what modules are disabled on your local environment, and you can modify MODULES_ACQUIA and MODULES_ADVAGG with your own variables and module lists.  

If you'd like to test out the script make sure you have a backup of your code and databases.  Once you get the base settings adjusted for your setup, updating the settings for subsequent sites will be quite easy.  Running the script executes the following commands:

  1. Saves a cache-cleared dump of the destination database (DB) as a backup.
  2. Overwrites the destination DB with the source's.
  3. Updates the DB schema.
  4. Imports the latest configuration saved in code.
  5. Disables modules that shouldn't be enabled during development.
  6. Enables modules that are helpful for development.
  7. Clears all caches.
  8. Overwrites the destination's files directory with the source's.
  9. Runs cron.

I hope this helps your development workflow, if you were able to adjust the script for your specific setup please share your results.  Happy scripting!


Some additional items:

If all you need to do is rebuild your local dev environment then check out this cool project which turns the process into a simple drush command: Drush Rebuild.

Here are a few other scripts that you might find useful or inspirational: