A minimal Drupal docker setup with no bells, or whistles!
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A simple Docker setup for lazy developers like me.

This project exists because local development in Drupal 8 is just too darn complicated. I wanted a tool that had minimal dependencies and a single command that set up everything for me, so I wrote one!

If you want a more complicated setup, see Alternatives.

System requirements

  1. Docker 17.05 or later. This project has admittedly only been tested with Docker for Mac.
  2. Composer, unless you have an existing codebase.


  1. git clone git@github.com:mortenson/drupal-docker-lite.git your-project
  2. cd your-project
  3. ./ddl.sh start

That's it!

Feel free to run ./ddl.sh start whenever you can't remember the address for your site, or if your Docker containers are down.

ddl.sh commands

Common operations have been abstracted into commands that can be run with ddl.sh. Omitting the instance name for any command will use the local drupal-docker-lite instance.

  • create [DIR] - Creates a new instance in a given directory.
  • create-lite [DIR] - Creates a new minimal instance in a given directory.
  • customize - Customizes instance to use local images for PHP and MySQL.
  • drupal [NAME] [COMMAND] - Run Drupal Console for a given instance.
  • drush [NAME] [COMMAND] - Run drush for a given instance.
  • drushlocal [NAME] [COMMAND] - Run Drush on your host for a given instance.
  • exec [NAME] [COMMAND] - Executes a single command for a given instance.
  • export [NAME] [DESTINATION] - Exports a database dump to a given directory.
  • import [NAME] [SOURCE] - Imports a given database dump.
  • inspect [NAME] - List all containers for a given instance.
  • list - List all running drupal-docker-lite instances.
  • logs [NAME] [OPTIONS] - Print logs for a given instance. Run "docker help logs" for options.
  • mail [NAME] - Open the Mailhog interface for a given instance.
  • phpunit [NAME] [FILENAME] - Runs PHPUnit tests contained in the given file.
  • proxy - Restarts the reverse proxy.
  • prune - Remove unused Docker volumes and images.
  • rebuild [NAME] - Rebuilds a given instance.
  • remove [NAME] - Stop and remove a given instance, permanently.
  • start [NAME] - Start a given instance.
  • stop [NAME] - Stop a given instance.
  • update - Makes sure that drupal-docker-lite is up to date for all instances.
  • url [NAME] - Print the URL for a given instance.

Making ddl.sh globally available

If you have a lot of local instances, you may want to run ddl from any directory. To do this, symlink ddl.sh to your local bin folder.

For example:

git clone git@github.com:mortenson/drupal-docker-lite.git ~/drupal-docker-lite
ln -s ~/drupal-docker-lite/ddl.sh /usr/local/bin/ddl

Now a ddl command should be available to you. Run ddl help to get started.

Running PHPUnit tests

PHPUnit tests can be run using the ddl phpunit command, ex:

ddl phpunit core/modules/field/tests/src/FunctionalJavascript/FormJSAddMoreTest.php

You can also run PHPUnit manually, if custom flags or debugging is needed:

ddl exec ./docroot/vendor/bin/phpunit -c ./docroot/core ./docroot/core/tests/Drupal/KernelTests/Core/Form/FormCacheTest.php

If you need to run a Javascript test, you can run PhantomJS in one session:

ddl exec phantomjs --ssl-protocol=any --ignore-ssl-errors=true ./docroot/vendor/jcalderonzumba/gastonjs/src/Client/main.js 8510 1024 768

then in another session run the Javascript test.

Running Simpletest tests

Simpletest tests can be run using the ddl exec command, ex:

ddl exec php ./docroot/core/scripts/run-tests.sh --php /usr/local/bin/php --class "\Drupal\image\Tests\QuickEditImageControllerTest"

Using XDebug

To enable XDebug, uncomment the xdebug.* lines from php.ini, then run ddl.sh rebuild.

From there you'll need to configure your IDE to listen on port 9000 and accept external connections, and then debugging should just work.

How does it all work?

Please see DETAILS for information about this project's implementation.


There are loads of good Drupal Docker projects out there. Here are some I'm aware of:

  1. Drupal VM
  2. Docksal
  3. docker4drupal