Install dev desktop

Needs revision -- Last peer review: 23 Sep 2013

This lesson explains how to install the Acquia Dev Desktop. This application wraps Apache, MySQL, and PHP into a single app, so that you can run Drupal (or just about any other web application) on your computer.

Acquia Dev Desktop is one of many options to host websites locally, and one of the easiest to setup. If you already have a stack installed (MAMP, XAMMP, system binaries on Linux or Mac, etc), then you can move on to the next step. You can also use one of those other options, but this lesson only includes instructions for Dev Desktop.

  • A computer that you have permissions to install new software on. In most circumstances, this means you will need to have administrator level access to your computer.
  • If you are using a Mac, you must have at least OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) for Dev Desktop to install properly.

Download Dev Desktop

  1. Download the latest version of Acquia Dev Desktop for Drupal 7.
  2. Select the version for your computer in the dropdown menu.
  3. Click the "Download" button and download the file to your computer.

Install Dev Desktop

  1. As a rule, it is a good idea to do a backup of your computer before installing new software. You should create a backup, or restore point, according to your regular backup plan, and however your OS can provide that (e.g. Windows Create a restore point, Mac Time Machine backup, or Linux disk image).
  2. Double-click the installer (.exe for Windows or .dmg for Mac) and follow the installation instructions.
    Use default settings to install.
  3. Use the default settings throughout the installation process. Make note of the "Site location" as this is where you will normally want to add additional sites.
  4. When prompted, name your first site and add your login name and password. Remember these!
    Drupal settings
  5. Click the "Save" button.
    Click Save

Continue with section 2 of 3 to install Drupal locally: Download Drupal 8


After attempting to install Dev Desktop received a Norton message indicating that the download was a medium risk due to Few users of the file within their network. As a result it quarantined the file, so that every time I looked for it on my machine after install it was no where to be found.

Resolved it by removing the file from quarantine from within Norton and manually executing it.

Update status: 
Final / Up to date
sascher's picture

I've had these issues in the past

1) Drupal 8 would not get past the database configuration step
2) I could not delete unwanted sites

Both of these issues were resolved by update to v 7.21

If the beta is any indication of the near-future use of Acquia Dev Desktop, this page may need an overhaul.

By default, the latest version of Dev Desktop now forces the user to select a distribution (Drupal 7.x only as of the time of this post).

The rest of the ladder site revolves around using Drupal 8 in later ladder rungs. Unless we're also going to have the user working in Drupal 7, we should just skip ahead and have them download and install Drupal 8.

Update status: 
Needs revision
jrbeeman's picture

Sorry, double-post.

jrbeeman's picture

I've been working on rewriting this step to utilize Acquia Dev Desktop 2. You can find the current draft in this public Google Doc.