Working with Drupal 8

Lando offers a configurable recipe for spinning up Drupal 8 apps. Let's go over some basic usage.

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Getting Started

Before you get started with this recipe we assume that you have:

  1. Installed Lando
  2. Read up on how to get a .lando.yml

If after reading #2 above you are still unclear how to get started then try this

# Go into a local folder with your site or app codebase
# You can get this via git clone or from an archive
cd /path/to/my/codebase

# Initialize a basic .lando.yml file for my recipe with sane defaults
lando init

# Commit the .lando.yml to your git repo (Optional but recommended)
git add -A
git commit -m "Adding Lando configuration file for easy and fun local development!"
git push

For more info on how lando init works check out this.

Starting Your Site

Once you've completed the above you should be able to start your Drupal 8 site.

# Start up app
lando start

# List information about this app.
lando info

# Optionally run composer install if needed
lando composer install

If you visit any of the green-listed URLs that show up afterwards you should be welcomed with the Drupal 8 installation screen.

If you are installing Drupal 8 from scratch will also want to scope out your database credentials by running lando info so you can be prepped to enter them during the drupal installation. You will want to use internal_connection information. Note that you will likely have to open up the Advanced Settings during the Drupal 8 database configuration to change the hostname.

Or you can read below on how to import your database.

Importing Your Database

Once you've started up your Drupal 8 site you will need to pull in your database and files before you can really start to dev all the dev. Pulling your files is as easy as downloading an archive and extracting it to the correct location. Importing a database can be done using our helpful lando db-import command.

# Go into my app
cd /path/to/my/app

# Grab your database dump
curl -fsSL -o database.sql.gz ""

# Import the database
# NOTE: db-import can handle uncompressed, gzipped or zipped files
# Due to restrictions in how Docker handles file sharing your database
# dump MUST exist somewhere inside of your app directory.
lando db-import database.sql.gz

You can learn more about the db-import command over here.


Each Lando Drupal 8 recipe will also ship with helpful dev utilities. This means you can use things like drush, drupal, composer and php-cli via Lando and avoid mucking up your actual computer trying to manage php versions and tooling.

lando composer                 Run composer commands
lando db-import <file>         Import <file> into database. File is relative to approot.
lando db-export                Export a database. Resulting file: {DB_NAME}.TIMESTAMP.gz
lando drupal                   Run drupal console commands
lando drush                    Run drush commands
lando mysql                    Drop into a MySQL shell
lando php                      Run php commands
# Check the status of your site with drush
lando drush status

# Init with the drupal console
lando drupal init

# Run composer install
lando composer install

# Drop into a mysql shell
lando mysql

# Check the app's php version
lando php -v

You can also run lando from inside your app directory for a complete list of commands.


By default our Drupal 8 recipe will globally install the latest version of the Drush Launcher. This means that it is up to the user to list Drush as a dependency in their site's composer.json and to lando composer install. If you do not do this then you will get an error from the Drush Launcher indicating you need to install Drush.

If you are not running your Drupal 8 project with composer you can easily change the Drush installation behavior to install Drush globally like we do in our Drupal 7 recipe.

If you are using a nested webroot you will need to cd into your webroot and run lando drush from there. This is because many site-specific drush commands will only run correctly if you run drush from a directory that also contains a Drupal site.

To get around this you might want to consider overriding the drush tooling command in your .lando.yml so that Drush can detect your nested Drupal site from your project root. Note that hardcoding the root like this may have unforeseen and bad consequences for some drush commands such as drush scr.

    service: appserver
      - "drush"
      - "--root=/app/PATH/TO/WEBROOT"

URL Setup

To set up your environment so that commands like lando drush uli return the proper URL, you will need to configure Drush.

Create or edit the relevant settings.php file and add these lines. Note that you may need to specify a port depending on your Lando installation. You can run lando info to see if your URLs use explicit ports or not.

// Set the base URL for the Drupal site.
$options['uri'] = "";


You can also use drush aliases with command like lando drush @sitealias cc all by following the instructions below.

Make sure the alias file exists within the drush folder in your app. An example could be the files structure below.


For info on how to setup your alias please refer to the following link or see this example.

and by adding the following example to your .lando.yml file:

      - "mkdir -p ~/.drush/site-aliases"
      - "ln -sf /app/drush/yoursite.aliases.drushrc.php ~/.drush/site-aliases/yoursite.drushrc.php"

Depending on your file structure and alias name the .lando.yml file should change accordingly.

Please refer the ssh sectionif you need to set-up keys that require a passphrase.



You can also manually configure the .lando.yml file to switch php or drush versions, toggle between apache and nginx, activate xdebug or drupal console, choose a database type and version, set a custom webroot locaton and use your own configuration files.

# Drupal 8 recipe
name: d8

# Start with the default Drupal 8 recipe
recipe: drupal8

# Configure the Drupal8 recipe

  # See:

  # Optionally specify the php version to use.
  # If ommitted this will default to the latest php version supported by Drupal 8.
  # Consult the `php` service to see what versions are available. Note that all
  # such versions may not be supported in Drupal 8s so YMMV.
  # See:
  # NOTE: that this needs to be wrapped in quotes so that it is a string
  php: '7.1'

  # Optionally specify whether you want to serve drupal via nginx or apache
  # If ommitted this will default to the latest apache
  # See:
  via: nginx

  # Optionally specify the location of the webroot relative to your approot.
  # If ommitted this will be your approot itself.
  webroot: web

  # Optionally specify how you want Lando to handle Drush. There are a few options
  # If omitted this will install the Drush Launcher and assume you've installed a
  # site-local version of Drush with Composer
  # You can also configure it in the following ways:
  # 1. Install via Composer
  # This will install the Drush Launcher (
  # and will delegate to the site-local version of Drush you've installed with Composer
  # drush: composer
  # 2. Install Globally
  # This will globally install the corresponding Drush 8 PHAR posted over at
  # drush: global:8.1.12
  # This will ATTEMPT to globally install any pre Drush 8 versions via Composer
  # drush: global:~7
  # 3. Specify a path
  # This assumes the user has already installed Drush but wishes to tell Lando where
  # it exists.
  # drush: path:/app/vendor/bin/drush
  # 4. Do nothing
  # This will tell Lando to not do anything, e.g. it's up to the user
  # drush: false
  drush: composer

  # Optionally specify whether you want to disable the global install of drupal console.
  # You should also consider a site-local install of drupal console via composer
  # See:
  # drupal: false

  # Optionally specify the database type, this can be one of:
  #   - `mysql`
  #   - `mariadb`
  #   - `postgres`
  # If ommitted this will default to the latest mysql. You can additionally provide
  # a version with `type:version` but you will need to consult the documentation
  # for the correct DB service to see what versions are available
  # see:
  # database: mariadb:10.1

  # Optionally activate xdebug
  # If you are having trouble getting xdebug to work please see:
  xdebug: true

  # Optionally mix in your own config files
  # If ommitted this will use "sane defaults" for your recipe type
  # conf:

    # For more information on setting these files check out the documentation
    # and examples
    # Docs:
    # Examples:
    # server: config/drupal8.conf
    # php: config/php.ini

    # For more information on setting these files check out the documentation
    # and examples for the relevant services:
    # MySQL:
    # MariaDB:
    # PostGres:
    # Examples:
    # database: config/mysql

You will need to rebuild your app with lando rebuild to apply the changes to this file. You can check out the full code for this example over here.

If you set PostgreSQL as your database (with e.g. database:postgres), you will need to change settings in /sites/default/settings.php to configure the correct port, namespace and driver. Here's an example:

$databases['default']['default'] = array (
  'database' => 'drupal8',
  'username' => 'drupal8',
  'password' => 'drupal8',
  'prefix' => '',
  'host' => 'database',
  'port' => '5432',
  'namespace' => 'Drupal\\Core\\Database\\Driver\\pgsql',
  'driver' => 'pgsql',

Environment Variables

The below are in addition to the default variables that we inject into every container. These are accessible via php's getenv() function.

# The below is a specific example to ILLUSTRATE the KINDS of things provided by this variable
# The content of your variable may differ

NOTE: These can vary based on the choices you make in your recipe config. NOTE: See this tutorial for more information on how to properly use $LANDO_INFO.


You can take advantage of Lando's events framework to automate common tasks. Here are some useful examples you can drop in your .lando.yml to make your Drupal 8 app super slick.


  # Clear caches after a database import
    - appserver: cd $LANDO_WEBROOT && drush cr -y

  # Runs composer install and a custom php script after your app starts
    - appserver: cd $LANDO_MOUNT && composer install
    - appserver: cd $LANDO_WEBROOT && php script.php

Advanced Service Usage

You can get more in-depth information about the services this recipe provides by running lando info.

Read More

Workflow Docs

Advanced Usage

Setting up PHPStorm for running tests

We want to be able to run PHPUnit, Kernel and Functional Test with PHPStorm instead by Commandline so we can debug our tests. We want to be able to do this by the FPM from our lando app. To do this we need to setup a Remote interpreter and make out Test Framework us it.

  • Currently we have issues running functional test through PHPStorm.


1. Docker integration.

Go to "Preferences" >> "Build, Execution, Deployment" >> "Docker". Click on the "+" and simply select "Docker for Mac".

2. Remote CLI interpreter.

Go to "Preferences" >> "Languages and Framework" >> "PHP". Click on the "..." for the CLI interpreter and in the pop-up window add a new interpreter by clicking on the "+". Select "From Docker, Vagrant, VM, Remote..". In the next window select "Docker". This should automatically fill with the FPM container from lando. See for example:

Add remote interpreter for docker

3. Test Frameworks

Go to "Preferences" >> "Languages and Framework" >> "PHP" >> "Test Frameworks". Click on the "+" and select "PHPUnit by Remote interpreter". Select the CLI interpreter from Step 2. All we need to do is target the "autoload.php" within our container and the "Default configuration / bootstrap" file:

Add remote interpreter for docker

Setup phpunit.xml variables

Note that for SIMPLETEST_DB we target the "tmp" directory this is done because we spin up a container and we need write permissions to create the sqlite file.

    <!-- Set error reporting to E_ALL. -->
    <ini name="error_reporting" value="32767"/>
    <!-- Do not limit the amount of memory tests take to run. -->
    <ini name="memory_limit" value="-1"/>
    <!-- Example SIMPLETEST_BASE_URL value: http://localhost -->
    <env name="SIMPLETEST_BASE_URL" value="http://domainname.localhost/"/>
    <!-- Example SIMPLETEST_DB value: mysql://username:[email protected]/databasename#table_prefix -->
    <env name="SIMPLETEST_DB" value="sqlite://tmp/test.sqlite"/>
    <!-- Example BROWSERTEST_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY value: /path/to/webroot/sites/simpletest/browser_output -->
    <env name="BROWSERTEST_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY" value="/opt/project/web/sites/default/files/browser_output"/>

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