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Initial Setup

Instructions for creating your site can be found in the project's README file

This page lists a few things to note about the process, but is not meant to be a replacement for the instructions in the README file.

Custom Drupal Image

ISLE Site Template uses a custom Drupal image that you build on top of the provided Islandora Drupal image. This means you will not be running the islandora/drupal image directly, but the provided Dockerfile will use it to build your image.

Note for those coming from ISLE-DC

In ISLE-DC, we only use a custom image in production, but in the ISLE Site Template, we use it for both.

Building your custom Drupal image is done by running

docker compose --profile dev build for your development image


docker compose --profile prod build for your production image

This builds the docker image based on the Dockerfile in the drupal directory, which uses your composer files to pull the Drupal modules it needs into the image. Because the Dockerfile and composer files are part of the git repository, you can build your Drupal image locally, or on your production server.

This documentation assumes you will be building your production image on the production server. If you do it this way, it is not necessary to push your image to a container registry. Instead you just pull your git repository anytime you make changes to your composer files, and run docker compose build again.

Using a Container Registry

If you want to build your production images somewhere other than on your production server, you can do so. The .env file allows you to set your image repository URL, which will allow you to push / pull your Drupal image to / from your container registry. If you do this, you can then run docker compose pull instead of docker compose build on your production server, to pull the already built image to that server.

For more information please see the documentation on docker compose pull and docker compose build

Adding a Staging Site

The process for setting up a staging site is the same as production, but you will need to change the DOMAIN variable in your .env file on your staging server, to contain the URL for your staging site.


By default, the .env file is stored in the git repository for your site, which means there is only support for one URL. If you are adding a staging site, you may wish to modify this so that you do not accidentally push your staging URL to your git repository.

Restricting Access to Staging Servers

Using letsencrypt to generate your certs requires port 80 to be accessible on your server. If you would like to keep your site private by limiting access to certain IP addresses, you can still firewall port 443, but you will have to leave port 80 open. If you need to firewall port 80 as well, you will have to either use your own certs or look into another method of generating certs.

Adding Demo Content

If you are spinning up a new site for testing, you can add some demo content to your site by running

[ -d "islandora_workbench" ] || (git clone
cd islandora_workbench ; cd islandora_demo_objects || git clone
$(SED_DASH_I) 's#^host.*#host: $(SITE)/#g' islandora_workbench/islandora_demo_objects/create_islandora_objects.yml
$(SED_DASH_I) 's/^password.*/password: "$(shell cat secrets/DRUPAL_DEFAULT_ACCOUNT_PASSWORD | sed s#/#\\\\\\\\/#g)"/g' islandora_workbench/islandora_demo_objects/create_islandora_objects.yml
cd islandora_workbench && docker build -t workbench-docker .
cd islandora_workbench && docker run -it --rm --network="host" -v $(QUOTED_CURDIR)/islandora_workbench:/workbench --name my-running-workbench workbench-docker bash -lc "./workbench --config /workbench/islandora_demo_objects/create_islandora_objects.yml"
`docker compose exec -T drupal-dev with-contenv bash -lc 'drush --root /var/www/drupal/web -l ${DRUPAL_DEFAULT_SITE_URL} search-api-reindex'
docker compose exec -T drupal-dev with-contenv bash -lc 'drush --root /var/www/drupal/web -l ${DRUPAL_DEFAULT_SITE_URL} search-api-index'

Custom Themes & Modules

You may wish to copy themes and modules into your project directly, instead of using Composer to manage them. For example, if you are creating your own theme instead of using a contributed one.

Isle Site Template provides directories at drupal/rootfs/var/www/drupal/web/modules/custom and drupal/rootfs/var/www/drupal/web/themes/custom for you to add your custom themes and modules.

These directories are mounted in development, so any changes to them will be shared between your host machine and your Drupal container.

In production, these themes and modules will be included when the Drupal image is built.

Last update: July 11, 2024