Manage multidev environments for a Pantheon site using a GitHub PR workflow.
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Terminus Build Tools Plugin

CircleCI Terminus v1.x Compatible

Terminus Plugin that contains a collection of commands useful during the build step on a Pantheon site that manages its files using Composer, and uses a GitHub PR workflow with Behat tests run via Circle CI (or some other testing service).

An example circle.yml file has been provided to show how this tool should be used with CircleCI. When a test runs against a "canonical" repository on GitHub, the following things will happen:

  • Git is configured for making clones and commits.
  • Terminus 1.x is installed.
  • The oldest multidev testing environments are deleted.
  • A build step is fired off via composer build-assets.
  • A new multidev environment is created for testing.
  • The build artifacts are pushed up to the test environment.

The multidev environment created to test the pull request persists until the pull request is merged. Pantheon on-server development (SFTP) mode may be used as usual on these environments; any commits made on the Pantheon dashboard will be pushed back to the GitHub repository on the PR branch. Once the PR is merged to the master branch, then the corresponding multidev environment is also merged into the Pantheon dev environment. When using this workflow, all work is done in pull requests; the dev environment is never used for development.

See below for the list of supported commands. This plugin is only available for Terminus 1.x.


In order to use this plugin, you will need to set up a GitHub repository and a CircleCI project for the site you wish to build. Credentials also need to be set up. Most of the work can be done for you automatically using the New Project Quickstart below, or you may set everything up manually.


In order to use the build:project:create command, the first thing that you need to do is set up credentials to access GitHub and Circle CI. Instructions on creating these credentials can be found on the pages listed below:

The GitHub token needs the "repo" and "delete repo" scopes.

These credentials may be exported as environment variables. For example:


If you do not export these environment variables, you will be prompted to enter them when you run the build:project:create command. Credentials that you enter will be cached in the ~/.terminus/cache folder; terminus self:cc will erase cached credentials.

New Project Quickstart

EXPERIMENTAL: The build:project:create is in beta. Backwards compatibility not guaranteed.

To create a new project consisting of a GitHub project, a Pantheon site, and Circle CI tests, first set up credentials as shown in the previous section, and then run the build:project:create command as shown below:

terminus build:project:create --team="Agency Org Name" d8 example-site

This single command will:

  • Create a new GitHub repository named example-site, cloned from the started site repository.
  • Create a new Pantheon site built from the GitHub repository.
  • Install the specified CMS and commit the exported configuration to the GitHub repository.
  • Configure CircleCI to run Behat tests on the site on every pull request.
  • Configure credentials on all of these services to allow the test scripts to run.

Note that it is important to specify the name of your agency organization via the --team option. If you do not do this, then your new site will not have the capability to create multidev environments. In this instance, all of your tests will run on the dev environment. See Running Tests without Multidevs, below, for more information.

In the example above, the parameter d8 is shorthand for the project pantheon-systems/example-drops-8-composer, the canonical Composer-managed Drupal 8 site for Pantheon. You may replace this parameter with the GitHub organization and project name for any other canonical starter site that you would like to use.

Starter Site Shortcut Packagist Project Name
Drupal 8 d8 pantheon-systems/example-drops-8-composer
Drupal 7 d7 pantheon-systems/example-drops-7-composer
WordPress wp pantheon-systems/example-wordpress-composer

Note: At the moment, the Drupal 7 and WordPress starter sites have only alpha releases. To use one of these starter sites, you must also add --stability=alpha to the command line options.

More starter sites will be available in the future. You may easily create your own by following the example of the existing starter site, and publishing your customized version on Packagist. See Starter Site Shortcuts below for instructions on defining your own shortcuts.

Additional options are available to further customize the build:project:create command:

Option Description
--pantheon-site The name to use for the Pantheon site (defaults to the name of the GitHub site)
--team The Pantheon team to associate the site with
--org The GitHub org to place the repository in (defaults to authenticated user)
--email The git user email address to use when committing build results
--test-site-name The name to use when installing the test site
--admin-password The password to use for the admin when installing the test site
--admin-email The email address to use for the admin
--ci The CI provider to use. Defaults to "circle"
--git The git repository provider to use. Not yet implemented. Will default to "github"

See terminus help build:project:create for more information.


Configuration values for the Terminus Build Tools Plugin may be stored in your Terminus Configuration file, located at ~/.terminus/config.yml.

Default Values for Options

Terminus configuration is based on the Robo PHP configuration system. Default option values for Terminus commands can be defined in the same way as other Robo applications. For example, the options for the command build:project:create are stored in the section command: > build: > project: > create: > options:. The example below provides default values for the --admin-password and --team options.

          admin-password: secret-secret
          team: My Pantheon Org

Starter Site Shortcuts

If you often create sites based on certain common starter sites, you may also use your Terminus configuration file to define custom starter site shortcuts. The example below defines shortcuts for the Lightning and Contenta distributions:

          contenta: pantheon-systems/example-drops-8-composer:dev-contenta

Note that the project name follows the standard defined by Composer: org-name / project-name : dev- branch-name.

Build Customizations

To customize this for a specific project:

  • Define necessary environment variables in the Circle project settings file circle.yml:
    • TERMINUS_SITE: The name of the Pantheon site that will be used in testing.
    • TERMINUS_TOKEN: A Terminus OAuth token that has write access to the terminus site specified by TERMINUS_SITE.
    • GIT_EMAIL: Used to configure the git user’s email address for commits we make.
    • GITHUB_TOKEN: Optional, if needed.
  • Customize dependencies: as needed to install additional tools.
  • Replace example test: section with commands to run your tests.
  • Add a build-assets script to your composer.json file.
  • Add any needed cleanup steps (e.g. drush updatedb) after build:env:merge.

PR Environments vs Other Test Environments

Note that using a single environment for each PR means that it is not possible to run multiple tests against the same PR at the same time. Currently, no effort is made to cancel running tests when a new one is kicked off; if the concurrent build is not cancelled before a new commit is pushed to the PR branch, then the two tests could potentially conflict with each other. If support for parallel tests on the same PR is desired, then it is possible to eliminate PR environments, and make all tests run in their own independent CI environment. To do this, make the following change in the environments section of the circle.yml file:


Running Tests without Multidevs

To use this tool on a Pantheon site that does not have multidev environments support, it is possible to run all tests against the dev environment. If this is done, then clearly it is not possible to run multiple tests at the same time. To use the dev environment, make the following change in the environments section of the circle.yml file:


** IMPORTANT NOTE: ** If you initially set up your site using terminus build:project:create, and you do not use the --team option, or the team you specify is not an Agency organization, then your Circle configuration will automatically be set up to use only the dev environment. If you later add multidev capabilities to your site, you will need to visit the Circle CI environment variables configuration page and delete the entry for TERMINUS_ENV.

Adding More Providers

At the moment, the build:project:create command only supports GitHub and Circle CI. It is possible to add other providers.

There is no plugin mechanism for providers; additional implementations must be added to the Terminus Build Tools plugin. Pull requests are welcome.

Declare the Provider Class

In the ProviderManager class, add the classname to the list in the findProvider method.

Impementing a New CI Provider

Follow the example provided by the CircleCIProvider class. A number of interfaces should be implemented:

  • CredentialClientInterface: declare the credentials (e.g. OAuth tokens) the CredentialManager shoud look up or prompt for on behalf of your CI Provider.
  • CIProvider: set environment variables and configure the CI service to begin running tests.
  • PrivateKeyReceiver: receive the private key that will be generated for your CI Provider. The corresponding public key is added to Pantheon.
  • LoggerAwareInterface: A logger will be injected into your class.

Implement a New Git Repository Provider

Follow the example provided by the GithubProvider class. A number of interfaces should be implemented:

  • CredentialClientInterface: declare the credentials (e.g. OAuth tokens) the CredentialManager shoud look up or prompt for on behalf of your CI Provider.
  • GitProvider: create a repository on the remote Git service, and push a local repository to the remote service.
  • LoggerAwareInterface: A logger will be injected into your class.


The examples below show how some of the other build:env: commands are used within test scripts. It is not usually necessary to run any of these commands directly.

Create Testing Multidev

terminus build:env:create ci-1234

This command will commit the generated artifacts to a new branch and then create the requested multidev environment for use in testing.

Push Code to an Existing Multidev

terminus build:env:push

This command will commit the generated artifacts to an existing multidev environment, or to the dev environment.

Merge Testing Multidev into Dev Environment

terminus build:env:merge

Delete Testing Multidevs

terminus build:env:delete my-pantheon-site '^ci-' --keep=2 --delete-branch

List Testing Multidevs

terminus build:env:list


For help installing, see Manage Plugins

mkdir -p ~/.terminus/plugins
composer create-project -d ~/.terminus/plugins pantheon-systems/terminus-build-tools-plugin:~1


Run terminus list build for a complete list of available commands. Use terminus help <command> to get help on one command.