It’s possible to develop Drupal websites on a Raspberry Pi, and the performance is pretty good considering the specs of this sub $75 computer.
While I expect no professional Drupal developers are using a Raspberry Pi as their primary development environment, everyone starts somewhere. If a computer like a Raspberry Pi is all someone has, they can begin a Drupal career and someday earn, at least, an hourly rate equal to the cost of a Raspberry Pi.
This post details the steps to install DDEV, Docker, and a Drupal 9 website. DDEV is an open source tool that makes it dead simple to get local PHP development environments up and running within minutes. You can follow the written steps and watch along with the video below.
NOTE: I wrote this post many months ago but decided not to publish it. Running Drupal via DDEV requires a 64-bit OS, and Raspberry Pi OS’s 64-bit version has been stuck in beta for a few years. In my experience, alternative 64-bit operating systems available for the Pi were not stable enough to recommend. Yesterday, the 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS was released. I successfully retested the installation steps in this post with the 64-bit OS. It’s time to publish.
- Raspberry Pi 400 or Pi 4 B with minimum of 4GB RAM
- Micro SD
- Desire to learn
The steps below will install DDEV, Docker and a Drupal 9 website.
A 64 bit OS is required to install DDEV. Start by downloading a Raspberry Pi OS 64 image to a Micro SD with Imager. If you are not familiar with this process, you can learn more on the Raspberry Pi website.
After booting your Pi with the new Micro SD, complete the setup process. Reboot the Pi.
Verify your packages are up to date.
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade
Install Docker and DDEV
Install Docker and docker-composer
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y docker.io docker-compose
Update your permission to run Docker:
sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
Verify Docker is running by running the hello-world app:
docker run hello-world
Install required packages:
sudo apt-get install libnss3-tools xdg-utils
Install DDEV using install script:
curl -LO https://raw.githubusercontent.com/drud/ddev/master/scripts/install_ddev.sh && bash install_ddev.sh
Verify DDEV is installed:
Configure Drupal 9 Website
Create folder for the Drupal website:
mkdir drupal9 cd drupal9
Configure and start DDEV:
ddev config --project-type=drupal9 --docroot=web --create-docroot ddev start
Install Drupal and drush:
ddev composer create "drupal/recommended-project" ddev composer require drush/drush ddev drush site:install -y
Launch website as administrator:
ddev drush uli ddev launch
USB SSD Drive – For faster, more reliable drive access, consider running your Pi from a USB SSD instead of the Micro SD card. You can find instructions for setting this us at Tom’ Hardware.
DDEV – If you new to DDEV, you learn more at DDEV-Local Documentation.