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2.2.4-alpha2 2017-11-22 19:55 UTC


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Drupal Lightning

Lightning's mission is to enable developers to create great authoring experiences and empower editorial teams.

You'll notice that Lightning appears very sparse out of the box. This is by design. We want to empower editorial teams and enable developers to jump-start their site builds. That means that a developer should never have to undo something that Lightning has done. So we started with a blank slate and justified each addition from there.

Installing Lightning

The preferred way to install Lightning is using our Composer-based project template. It's easy!

$ composer self-update
$ composer create-project acquia/lightning-project MY_PROJECT

If you don't want to use Composer, you can install Lightning the traditional way by downloading a tarball from our project page. (Please note that the tarball does not contain any experimental features.)

You can customize your installation by creating a sub-profile which uses Lightning as its base profile. Lightning includes a Drupal Console command (lightning:subprofile) which will generate a sub-profile for you.

What Lightning Does

Through custom modules and configuration, Lightning aims to target four functional areas:


The current version of media includes the following functionality:

  • A preconfigured Text Format (Rich Text) with CKEditor WYSIWYG.
  • A media button (indicated by a star -- for now) within the WYSIWYG that launches a custom media widget.
  • The ability to place media into the text area and have it fully embedded as it will appear in the live entity. The following media types are currently supported:
    • Tweets
    • Instagram posts
    • Videos (YouTube and Vimeo supported out of the box)
    • Images
  • Drag-and-drop bulk image uploads.
  • Image cropping.
  • Ability to create new media through the media library (/media/add)
  • Ability to embed tweets, Instagrams, and YouTube/Vimeo videos directly into CKEditor by pasting the video URL

Extending Lightning Media (Contributed Modules)

Drupal community members have contributed several modules which integrate Lightning Media with additional third-party media services. These modules are not packaged with Lightning or maintained by Acquia, but they are stable and you can use them in your Lightning site:


Lightning includes the Panelizer module, which allows you to configure the layout of any content type using a drag-and-drop interface (Panels IPE). Lightning also includes a Landing Page content type for you to create landing pages with their own one-off layouts and content.

Any content type that uses Panelizer will allow you to set up default layouts for each view mode of that content type, which you can choose from (or override on a one-off basis) for individual pieces of content.

Eight layouts are provided out of the box by Panels. You can create your own layouts (see the Layout Plugin module) or install a contributed library of layouts like Radix Layouts.


Lightning includes tools for building organization-specific content workflows. Out of the box, Lightning gives you the ability to manage content in one of four workflow states (draft, needs review, published, and archived). You can create as many additional states as you like and define transitions between them. It's also possible to schedule content (either a single node or many at once) to be transitioned between states at a specific future date and time.


Lightning ships with several modules which, together, quickly set up Drupal to deliver data to decoupled applications via a standardized API. By default, Lightning installs the OpenAPI and JSON API modules, plus the Simple OAuth module, as a toolkit for authentication, authorization, and delivery of data to API consumers. Currently, Lightning includes no default configuration for any of these modules, because it does not make any assumptions about how the API data will be consumed, but we might add support for standard use cases as they present themselves.

If you have PHP's OpenSSL extension enabled, Lightning can automatically create an asymmetric key pair for use with OAuth.

Project Roadmap

We publish sprint plans for each patch release. You can find a link to the current one in [this meta-issue][meta_releases] on


You can find general best practices documentation inside the help directory of each Lightning "base" module. Integration with the Advanced Help module is planned.

Demonstration videos for each of our user stories can be found here.

Please use the issue queue for latest information and to request features or bug fixes.

Running Tests

These instructions assume you have used Composer to install Lightning. Once you have it up and running, follow these steps to execute all of Lightning's Behat tests:


$ ./bin/drupal behat:init http://YOUR.LIGHTNING.SITE --merge=../tests/behat.yml
$ ./bin/drupal behat:include ../tests/features --with-subcontexts=../tests/features/bootstrap --with-subcontexts=../src/LightningExtension/Context
$ ./bin/behat --config ./docroot/sites/default/files/behat.yml

If necessary, you can edit docroot/sites/default/files/behat.yml to match your environment, but generally you will not need to do this.

Known Issues


  • If you upload an image into an image field using the new image browser, you can set the image's alt text at upload time, but that text will not be replicated to the image field. This is due to a limitation of Entity Browser's API.
  • Some of the Lightning contributed media module listed above might not yet be compatible with the Core Media entity.
  • The Video Embed Field module, a dependency of Lightning Media, might report that it is unsupported. We're working with the module maintainer to remove this warning.
  • Using the bulk upload feature in environments with a load balancer might result in some images not being saved.


  • Lightning Workflow is based on Workbench Moderation, which is incompatible with the experimental Content Moderation module included with Drupal core 8.3.0 and later and serves the same purpose as Workbench Moderation. We plan to seamlessly migrate Lightning Workflow to Content Moderation once it is ready and an update path exists (see Issue #2863059 for more information). But for now, installing Content Moderation alongside Lightning Workflow may have unpredictable and dangerous effects, an is best avoided.

Inherited profiles

Neither Drush nor Drupal Console are aware of the concept of inherited profiles and as a result, you will be unable to uninstall dependencies of any parent profile using either of those tools. You can still uninstall these dependencies via the UI at "/admin/modules/uninstall". We have provided patches here for both Drush and Drupal Console which allow you to uninstall dependencies of parent profiles.