Distributions and Install Profiles: The Challenge and the Glory


In this core conversation we will discuss the difficult challenges (and glorious rewards!) of building or maintaining a Drupal distribution (“distro”) or install profile. These are an incredibly useful and underrated corner of the Drupalverse, and done right, they can save agencies and organizations a huge amount of time. But they can be very complex and they are not as well-supported by core, or by drupal.org, as they perhaps could be.

We are a panel of distro builders and core maintainers who wrestle with this stuff on a daily basis, and we’re there to answer your distros questions, share our approaches to building, and discuss how support for install profiles and distributions might be expanded and improved.

First we’ll share our experiences in distro-building:

  • The differences between a distro and an install profile
  • What kind of configuration should you package in an install profile?
  • Common build/install problems and how to avoid or fix them
  • Why distros make helpful starting points
  • Planning, purposing, and targeting a distro

Then, we’ll open things up for discussion:

  • How could we improve drupal.org’s support for distros?
    • Using Composer to build distro packages
    • Making testbot run distros’ tests
    • How might we make it easier for folks to find the right distribution for them?
    • How might Drupal core better support distro updates?
    • Extending/inheriting from existing install profiles
  • How to provide coherent, continuous update paths for distros
  • Compositing or shipping several install profiles in a single distro

Attendees should have intermediate-to-advanced knowledge of site building and module development in Drupal 8.

Session Track

Core Conversations

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 - 17:00 to 18:00
Schubert 3