As a modern content management system (CMS), Drupal accelerates web application development by supporting various types of content, providing advanced user management features, and facilitating web content categorization. But the developers still need to focus on the user experience delivered by the Drupal application across devices, operating systems, and browsers. The virtual machines (VMs) make it easier for programmers to run multiple OS environments on the same machine simultaneously. Also, the web application developers can keep the OS environment isolated from each other. As a virtual machine for Drupal environment, Drupal VM helps programmers to create local Drupal development environments without putting extra time and effort. Also, the programmers can avail the robust features provided by Drupal VM to simplify and speed up web application development.
What Drupal Developers Need to Know about Drupal VM?
The VM for Drupal environment is built with Vagrant and Ansible. Vagrant is designed as a cross-platform tool for simplifying virtual machine environment development and maintenance. The software developers can use Vagrant to create and configure varying development environments rapidly. On the other hand, Ansible is an open source automation engine for software deployment and configuration management. It speeds up software deployment through IT automation. The programmers can use Ansible to deploy web applications efficiently without writing lengthy and complex code.
Drupal VM is compatible with major operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Also, it allows user to change the web server and database engine. However, the Drupal developers must install base components of Drupal VM as a prerequisite – Apache 2.4.x, PHP 7.1.x and Drupal 7 or 8. Additionally, they have to install a specific database like MySQL 5.7, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. They can even consider installing additional components like Ruby, Drupal Console, Memcached, SQLite, Redis, XDebug and adminer based on the precise needs of the project.
Drupal VM enables web developers to build and rebuild development environments from scratch within 5 to 10 minutes. Also, it facilitates local development by providing a myriad of utilities. Based on their precise needs, the users can use the utilities provided by Drupal VM to accomplish common web application development tasks like database management, testing, website optimization, and site administration. Also, they can simplify the local environment management by installing additional tools like Selenium, XDebug, Memcached, Pimp and MailHog.
The Drupal developers are not required to configure Drupal VM while developing and managing a simple local environment. But they can easily make changes to the default configuration of Drupal VM to build and create complex local environments more efficiently. They can further change the default configuration to make changes to any of the four files. default.config.yml, config.yml, local.config.yml and vagrant.config.yml. Config.yml is the main configuration file of the project, whereas default.config.yml contains the default configuration of the project. At the same time, local.config.yml contains local overrides, and vagrant.config.yml contains environment specific overrides.
The Drupal developers also have option to customize the VM according to their precise needs. They can make changes to all aspects of the software installed in the VM by modifying config.yml. Once they make changes to the config.yml, the default configuration of the VM will be overridden. At the same time, the developers can also customize the VM by making changes to drupal.composer.json or drupal.make.yml. The option enables users to change the configuration of core components, modules, and patches installed with Drupal.
Drupal VM is an open source virtual machine for Drupal environment. Hence, the developers can use the software without increasing project overheads. At the same time, they can also opt for the latest version of Drupal VM to avail several new features and enhancements.