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Customizing settings.php


"Sites Folder"

Aegir was designed around multi-site. Because of this, it always uses the domain-specific "sites folder" for settings, files and backups.


Be aware that the sites/default/settings.php file is not used at all.

Settings.php is a Template

Do not write changes directly to your site's settings.php file.

If you open it, you will notice at the top:

Settings.php includes

To allow users to make customizations to settings.php, aegir and devshop include certain files from elsewhere.

To see exactly what files are included, you can open a working settings.php file for a working environment.

Possible include files:

  • sites/all/settings.devshop.php
  • sites/default/settings.devshop.php

   # Include devshop environment configuration settings, if there is any.
    if (file_exists(__DIR__ . '/../all/settings.devshop.php')) {
      include_once(__DIR__ . '/../all/settings.devshop.php');

    if (file_exists(__DIR__ . '/../default/settings.devshop.php')) {
      include_once(__DIR__ . '/../default/settings.devshop.php');

    # Additional host wide configuration settings. Useful for safely specifying configuration settings.
    if (is_readable('/var/aegir/config/includes/')) {

    # Additional site configuration settings.
    if (is_readable('/var/aegir/devmaster-0.x/sites/ENVIRONMENT.PROJECT.DEVMASTER-HOSTNAME/local.settings.php')) {


Remote Servers

If you are using Remote Servers to host your sites, please be aware of the Verify/RSYNC System.

All code is stored on the server_master, and is copied to remote servers via RSYNC during the provision-verify command.

This Rsync will also delete files if they are removed from server_master.

When modifying settings.php using these includes, do so on the server_master server (or in your git repository.). Then, Verify the environment. The Verify task will copy the custom settings to remote server.