Last updated February 11, 2015. Created on May 29, 2007.
Edited by mikran, tedbow, wusel, dasjo. Log in to edit this page.

drush geeks talking

Use these development tools to help you create Drupal sites faster and with less effort. If you have a favorite Drupal tool that is not listed, make sure you've checked every section of this document.

Still can't find your fav? Please add it using the format as other listings, similar to:
Toolname (Free/Commercial. FOSS/Proprietary. OS Platforms.) - Description.

'Total' Solutions

Acquia Cloud

(Free/Commercial, OS limitations, continuous delivery and developer tools.)

Acquia Cloud is a Drupal hosting platform and developer tool suite that aims to make Drupal developers faster and more powerful. You can sign up for free to try out most of the tools with unlimited sandboxes.

Acquia Cloud provides multiple development environments out of the box, with support for a drag-and-drop workflow on the web, a desktop GUI client, or Drush/command line integration. It also includes Insight (a set of tests to check that your site follows best practices). Different tiers include different levels of Acquia Search, Mollom anti-spam, and Drupal support. Acquia was co-founded by Drupal project lead Dries Buytaert.

Pantheon cloud

(Free/Commercial, No OS limitations, Cloud hosting and development pipeline.)

Pantheon provides instant drupal 7 development environments hosted in the cloud. You can sign up for a free account and with one click script you get three sites, development, test and production all protected by Git version control. The sub domains are built automatically.

The control panel simplifies the Git pull and push between the sites. There is a one click site back up and site download feature. You can export sites to your own hosting environment. You can also collaborate within your team if they each sign up for a free account. Costs kick in when you want to park the sites on your own domain names. The killer feature is the command line access into the sites via SSH/ SFTP. That way you can execute commands using the built-in Drush.

Aegir hosting

(Free, OS limitations, Aegir is a sophisticated Devops solution for Drupal. It is for the Pros.)

What makes Aegir exceptional is that some advanced work has been done to integrate it into large project 'control panels' along with other power tools like Jenkins and Vagrant. The goals of the Aegir project are ambitious. This is about as close as you will find to a complete solution to the Drupal 7 deployment, version control, everything-in-code puzzle. The project is mature and there are some excellent screencasts out there. The downside is that if you go the Aegir route you will need to invest a certain amount of time planning your Aegir infrastructure and creating the scripts to do the job the way you need. However, the rewards could be considerable a month or two into the project.

Command line tools

Drush

Drush is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, Drupal development tool out there. Drush is the command line and scripting interface for Drupal. You can use it to speed up installing, developing and maintaining Drupal sites. It takes some getting used to, and there are a lot of commands to remember but, once you do, it is a real time saver. Rather than clicking through the admin interface to achieve something, you simply type in one command. When building Drupal sites and developing custom modules and themes, this can really help.

Drush is hosted on github: https://github.com/drush-ops/drush

Git

Git is the modern version control system, and has become the defacto standard for open source projects. You can use it to track changes made to files within your entire Drupal installation, or just the module or theme that you are working on. Git makes it easy to try out changes, and if necessary, revert to a previous version of your files if there is a problem.

Tools for Your Browser

Microsoft Internet Explorer
(Commercial. Proprietary. Windows only.)
Mozilla Firefox

(Free. Open Source. Linux, Mac, Windows, Android and others.)

  • Web Developer Extension - Adds a tool bar and menu to the browser with various web developer tools. For example, you can disable form fields; reveal hidden form elements; edit CSS in real time; and clear the browser cache and session cookies.
  • Firebug – More tools for the web developer. Program CSS, HTML and JavaScript in real time; easily locate HTML elements and see what CSS is affecting them; examine a breakdown of the time components of your page download; discover errors in Javascript, CSS and XML; and explore the DOM.
  • YSlow - A Firefox add-on integrated with the Firebug web development tool, YSlow analyzes a web page's performance and returns a "performance report card" that shows how well the page utilizes a set of best practice guidelines for high performance web sites.
  • Page Speed - Similar to YSlow, Page Speed Firefox/Firebug add-on allows you to evaluate the performance of your web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them.
  • There is also a Drupal for Firebug module, which includes a Firebug extension.
  • How to setup a Firefox quick search for the Drupal API
  • FireFTP - An FTP plugin for Firefox.
Opera

(Free. Proprietary. Linux, Mac, Windows and others.)

Versions 9.5 and above contain developer tools similar to Firebug for debugging web pages.

  • Opera Dragonfly is a full-featured development and debugging tool integrated into the Opera web browser. It supports debugging JavaScript, viewing the DOM
Safari

(Free. Proprietary. Mac and Windows. Shares code with Chrome.)

Contains a firebug-like debugger for JavaScript/html/css, a profiler and storage and audit tools, and the Webkit team is working on new and improved developer tools.

Google Chrome

(Free, proprietary—based on the open source edition "Chromium", multi-platform)

Contains a firebug-like debugger for JavaScript/dom/css, a profiler and storage and audit tools. Shares code with Safari.

Cross-browser extensions
A set of plug-ins, tools and utilities used in browsers that works across several browsers.
  • Dreditor – Enhances your drupal.org experience. Useful in issue queues and working with content. Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
  • Firebug Lite offers some Firebug functionality in a non-Firefox browser; also available as a Drupal module
  • Drupal For Firebug Enhances the debugging experience in Chrome and Firefox. Provides extensions for both.

Tools for working with text & code

In the world of pure Linux/Unix, the most popular editors are the intimidating but powerful Emacs and Vi. Devotees have long argued the merits of which is better. You'll want a cheat sheet to learn either, but serious users find that Emacs and Vi allow fast, touch-typed editing that's quicker than using a mouse-based desktop application.

Emacs

(Free. Open source. Runs on Linux, Mac, Windows and others.)

An extensible, customizable text editor with its own interpreter for Emacs Lisp. Read more about Emacs setup for Drupal.

VIM

(Free. Open source. Linux, Mac, Windows and others)

An advanced text editor based on vi, but more powerful. The learning curve is reasonably steep and the interface can be confusing at first, but this is soon rewarded with greater editing efficiency. Read more about configuring VIM for Drupal and documentation for the Vimrc project.

GNU Global
A editor independent source code tagging system commonly used in Emacs and Vim. Read more about GNU Global setup for Drupal

Other Editors

  • BBEdit (Commercial. Proprietary. Mac only.) Check out BBEdit Clippings for Drupal 7
  • Bluefish Editor (Free. Open Source. POSIX > Linux. Mac. Windows. Fast, lean multi syntax WYSIWYN editor with a focus on HTML/CSS/Javascript - GTK+ based). The Windows version can be found at http://code.google.com/p/bluefish-win/
  • Dreamweaver (Commercial. Proprietary. Mac and Windows.) - A WYSIWYG HTML/XHTML, CSS, PHP, XSL/T editor, and there's a free Drupal API extension for Dreamweaver.
  • gPHPEdit (Free. Open source. Runs on Linux)
  • jEdit (Free. Open source. Runs on Linux, Mac, Windows and others. Java based.)
  • Komodo Edit (Free. Open source. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Configuration guide available.)
  • Notepad++ (Free. Open Source. Windows only.) - A light-weight notepad replacement with tabbing and syntax highlighting.
  • Smultron (Commercial. Proprietary. Mac only.)
  • TextMate (Commercial. Proprietary. Mac only although a Windows clone exists) - A couple of Drupal specific bundles are available, the PHP Drupal bundle which has the most features and another by Steven Wittens which allows tab completion of function signatures - both can exist without conflict. A lot of the power of TextMate is in its bundle system and it has built-in support for diff which speeds up the rolling and applying of patches and many more.
  • TextWrangler (Free. Proprietary. Mac only.) -- Lets you read and save via FTP/SFTP, and supports grep and Show Changes (diff).
  • Coda (Proprietary. Mac only.) - Editor for web pages (HTML, CSS) with preview and FTP capabilities; has a Drupal plugin.
  • Sublime Text 2 - Win, Mac OSX, and Linux. A very clean and user friendly code editor. Interface is smooth. And compatible with many TextMate bundles. (Proprietary. Has full-featured trial available with no time limit.)

Integrated Development Environments (IDE)

IDE's expand on the ability of a simple text editor. Here is a list of IDE's that work well with PHP and Drupal.
Note: There is also a Drupal IDE group dedicated to setting up an IDE for Drupal development for starter tips, and ongoing interactive discussions.

  • Eclipse (Free. Open source. Linux, Mac, Windows and others. Java based.) Probably the most popular open source IDE. Eclipse requires plugins in order to develop PHP. The PHP editing plugins for Eclipse are listed below by popularity:
  • Aptana (Free. Open source, though some features, notably SFTP support, require a commercial license. Linux, Mac, Windows and others. Java based.) -- A full-featured Web Development IDE. A package based on the Eclipse environment that comes with the essentials right out of the box (PHP highlighting, ftp/sftp, code browser, etc).
  • Netbeans cross-platform IDE with full PHP and debugging support. (Free. Open Source. Linux. Mac. Win. Solaris). Supported by Sun Microsystems (Oracle).
    • Firefox extension easy Xdebug makes debugging easy with Netbeans.
    • Very nice code completion
    • Automatic text highlighting for tons of languages
    • In context HTML, CSS, PHP reference makes it easy to find help on code syntax without leaving the file you are working on.
    • Instructions for configuring Netbeans for Drupal
    • Two Netbeans plugins are available to aid Drupal developers: NBDrupalSupport and NBDrupalDevel
    • Note that NetBeans is missing an option to display the inherited methods and properties from parent Classes and Interfaces which makes it very hard to use for developing code for Drupal 8 and using another editor/IDE is recommended.
  • Bluefish Editor (Free. Open Source. Linux. Mac. Fast Lean multi syntax WYSIWYN editor - GTK+ based). A lightweight, fast, multi-syntax IDE that supports projects, multiple documents, ftp/webDAV/sftp/http/https/samba, user custom integration with many programs like make, lint, weblint, xmllint, tidy, javac, more..., multi-language translations, etc. Just an awesome text editor on steroids.
  • Emacs (Free. Open source. Runs on Linux, Mac, Windows and others.) Mentioned above as "text editor" but also may be used as fully functional IDE for Drupal and PHP. Some of Emacs IDE functions appliable for PHP and Drupal are: syntax highlighting for PHP/JS/CSS/HTML, integration with VCSs (include git), debugger, on-type syntax checking for PHP/JS/CSS, Texmate-like code templates. (See details about Emacs for Drupal for various IDE solutions.)
  • Quanta Plus (Free. Open Source. Linux - Part of the KDE environment).
  • Geany (Free. Open Source. POSIX > GTk+. Linux. Mac. Windows. Fast lean multi syntax - GTK+ based).
  • Komodo IDE (Commercial. Proprietary. Linux, Mac and Windows.) Drupal Configuration notes available and Module building extension with node and user code intelligence
  • Zend Studio (Commercial. Proprietary. Linux, Mac and others. Java based.)
  • PhpEd (Commercial. Proprietary. Windows, Linux.)
  • CodeLobster (Commercial and free versions. Proprietary. Windows only.) IDE with PHP/HTML/CSS/JavaScript highlighting, advanced PHP/HTML/CSS/JavaScript autocomplete, PHP debugger, SQL autocomplete, context and dynamic help.
  • Xcode (Commercial, free with Mac OS X. Mac only.) Here are instructions on setting up Xcode to work with Drupal.
  • PhpStorm (Commercial. Proprietary. Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. Java Based.) Code hinting, X-Debug.
  • KDevelop (Free. Open source. Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and other Unix flavors.)

SQL & Database tools

There is software that can aid your SQL and database needs with features ranging from queries to administration.

  • DbVisualizer - Free & Commercial universal db tool for linux, windows and OSX. Works with any database that has jdbc drivers available.
  • phpMyAdmin - Industry-standard PHP tool for querying, modifying and administering a MySQL database, included in most shared hosting packages (if not, find a different host! Or just install it yourself, not hard). For local database installations you could try phpminiadmin which is an order of magnitude faster than phpMyAdmin, but has fewer features.
  • Adminer - Adminer (formerly phpMinAdmin) is Free & Open Source, full-featured database management tool written in PHP. Conversely to phpMyAdmin, it consist of a single file ready to deploy to the target server. Adminer is available for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL and Oracle. See also Adminer vs. phpMyAdmin comparison.
  • pgadmin3 (Free. Windows/Linux/Mac PostgreSQL). Industry-standard for administering a PostgreSQL database, the SQL99 reference database. Runs from your desktop, SSL aware, no need to install anything on your server. The application also includes a syntax highlighting SQL editor, a server-side script editor, an SQL/batch/shell job scheduling agent, support for the Slony-I replication engine and much more.
  • MySQL Workbench (Free. Windows/Mac/Linux. Source available. MySQL only.) - A GUI from MySQL allowing developers to design, model, query and administer MySQL databases. Replaces the MySQL GUI Tools Bundle.
  • Toad for MySQL (Free. Windows. MySQL only.) - Toad for MySQL Freeware is a tool that improves the productivity of developers and administrators by providing an easy-to-use development environment.
    Features:
    • Version Control Integration,
    • Macro Record and Playback,
    • Database Browser,
    • Code Snippet Editor,
    • Security Manager,
    • SQL Editor, Fast,
    • Multi-Tabbed Schema Browser,
    • DB Extract,
    • Compare-and-Search Utility,
    • Import/Export Utility.
  • FlySpeed SQL Query (Free. Windows. MySQL/PostgreSQL) -- Builds queries without needing deep knowledge of SQL syntax and performs data manipulations such as export and reporting.
  • Navicat (Free & Commercial. Windows, Linux, Mac. Versions for MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL.)
  • Sequel Pro (Free. Mac. MySQL)
  • SQLyog (Free Community Edition, Enterprise Edition. Windows. MySQL)
  • HeidiSQL (Free & Open Source. Windows. MySQL only.)

Other Tools

  • PuTTY (Free. Windows only.) - An SSH and telnet client.
  • WinSCP - WinSCP is an open source free SFTP client and FTP client for Windows.
  • 7 Zip (Free. Open Source. Windows is the primary platform, with ports listed on the download page.) - Extracts archived and compacted files (such as tarballs).
  • Cygwin (Free. Open Source. Windows only.) - Allows Windows users to use a Unix like shell. This is particularly useful for interfacing with git and patching files; read more.
  • Filezilla (Free. Open Source. Windows, Mac, and Linux.) - Graphical FTP client
  • IE Net Renderer - Check your site on IE 6 & 7 without Windows
  • UnxUtils (Free. Open Source. Windows only.) - a lightweight option for adding some Unix command line utilities such as patch and grep to Windows, for those not wishing to download Cygwin.
  • Realtime CSS Viewer Gem (Free, runs on Ruby) - This is a CSS viewer that monitors your changes as you edit in any text editor.This link does not work anymore
  • Vagrant - a tool to quickly set up a virtual machine for local development. There are configuration GUIs that can help with creating custom configurations: Rove, PuPHPet, Protobox.
    Watch this video on how to quickly get up and running a Vagrant VM.
  • Kalabox - "Kalabox is a free, integrated workflow solution for Drupal developers. It’s the thing that connects all your things -- including your Pantheon account -- to provide a complete desktop-to-live workflow loop."

Looking for support? Visit the Drupal.org forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.

Comments

ivanjaros’s picture

Canine Coaches’s picture

I cannot find the download link as google czech to english translation is very bad and it only translates about half the content on the page. Can you add a more direct link to the download please. Thank you.

Chris

sparkweb’s picture

I've been using PS Pad for a couple of years. If you have more information about a plugin for it for Drupal functions, that would be excellent. It's a great editor that's simple but also a lot of advanced tools and I use it for everything from basic day to day stuff to full out projects. Not as fancy as some IDE's but many of the same abilities -- others should check it out. In any case, I too can't locate on your site, and more info in English, where to download, how to install, etc.. I realize this is an old post, but maybe you're still around.

Thanks!

ivanjaros’s picture

Get it from here http://pastebin.com/Ssfvs8es
Copy the code and save it into program files/pspad editor/context/drupal.def
There is also a php definition in it so you can change your template without loosing list of php functions.

The code isnt complete. There are missing function names and only hooks are included so you wont find drupal_set_message and so on.

Spiked’s picture

Google Chrome not only has a good javascript debugger, but also an awesome Resource Inspector, DOM inspector (with live manipulation) and much more for debugging and developing.

captaindav’s picture

I posted on another thread but thought I should add a link here:

http://drupal.org/node/259622#comment-2108192

zvikico’s picture

Introducing nWire for PHP: Real-time Code Analysis and Exploration Plugin for Eclipse

I'd like to recommend a new tool which was recently released: nWire for PHP. It is a code exploration plugin for Eclipse PDT and Zend Studio 7. It enables code visualization, navigation and search. For large complex projects, like Drupal, this can be a big time saver. If you are doing custom Drupal development, you may find this a valuable addition to your arsenal.

nWire for PHP was developed with support from the Zend Studio team. A fully functional 30-day free trial is available.

Thanks,
Zviki

xgretsch’s picture

...and is very buggy. Most database queries work fine, but almost anything that involves creating or editing tables is prone to crashing. Filing a bug with MySQL results in the response that they're not maintaining the tool on this platform.

If you're Mac based, use a different tool (either phpMyAdmin, the command line client, etc) if you're making changes to table structures. Alternatively, run a virtual copy of Windows under Parallels or similar and use the MySQL Browser out of the partition.

xgretsch

forestmonster’s picture

zyxware’s picture

You could also add gPHPEdit (http://gphpedit.org) to the list of other editors. It is a GPL licensed PHP/HTML editor for GNU Linux with inline PHP help.

andrewmacpherson’s picture

Firebug Lite is okay, but there are some better developer tools available.

Dragonfly provides a set of developer tools native to the Opera browser, very similar to Firebug.

Web Inspector provides these tools for Safari, Chrome, and other WebKit-based browsers.

andrewmacpherson’s picture

Update to the browsers section:

Safari is now available for Windows and Mac OS X.

Chrome is now available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

noobee’s picture

Following the link for "Multiple Internet Explorer versions," the stuff there is no longer updated and no longer works; please remove it from this page.

IETester, however, works great! It lets you test with IE 5.5, 6, 7, and 8. No problems on XP SP3.

Also, Safari now runs (great) in Windoze.

Also, there's a terrific "heavyweight" UNIX-alike for Windoze, written by many of the same people who originally wrote Unix, called UWin, available for free download from: http://www2.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/. It works surprisingly well, and is only limited, it seems, by the capabilities of the underlying filesystem. It really lets you forget you're on a Windoze box as long as you stay in the UWin window. Just amazing. It does install a few services &c to do all the magic, so I'd not call it "lightweight," but it's hardly bloated, either. I haven't found anything missing from it yet.

bend the curve...

sparkweb’s picture

Moved

Arnold Leung’s picture

A really simple to use tool for text editing is Edit Plus -> http://www.editplus.com/ .

Also, in terms of creating wireframes for the design of the site, we use Axure http://www.axure.com.

Appnovation Technologies

Imaaxa-Cory’s picture

SQLyog is now charging $139 for the enterprise edition. They no longer offer a community version.

gennadiy’s picture

It is still available here:
https://code.google.com/p/sqlyog/wiki/Downloads
Great GUI.

fndtn357’s picture

I noticed no one has mentioned FirePHP a plugin for Firefox with a link to its use in debugging code.

I also failed to see the awesome tool called Beyond Compare for file/folder compare, merge and sync if you prefer a GUI.

rmjackson’s picture

It should be noted that installing Eclipse on Ubuntu 10.04 or otherwise should be done on the command line or through synaptic. The software package manager omits the pde package which is needed to install the php module.

Have a nice day,

rmjackson’s picture

It should be noted that installing Eclipse on Ubuntu 10.04 or otherwise should be done on the command line or through synaptic. The software package manager omits the pde package which is needed to install the php module.

Have a nice day,

orit’s picture

dstorozhuk’s picture

Geany also have support for drupal API. They placed in .tags files.
http://www.geany.org/Download/Extras#tags
List of .tags files you can find here:
http://download.geany.org/contrib/tags/

likewhoa’s picture

Please include the Gentoo Prefix project as a way to have a cygwin alternative but on top of a solid metadistro. More info Gentoo Prefix can be found http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/gentoo-alt/prefix/

Bending technology to fit business

EddieN120’s picture

Out of all the Windows OSes, Drupal devs who want to install a WAMP package on a local Windows Vista box run into the most problems. Therefore I was quite happy to see that Acquia has, as usual, made a simple one-stop solution.

In addition to Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), this "DAMP stack" (Drupal-specific xAMP stack installer) has been tested to run on 32 or 64-bit PCs running Windows XP, 2003 Server, and Windows 7, as well as on Macs running OS 10.6 or OS 10.5 (Intel-based, not PowerPC).

Download the Acquia Dev Desktop here:

http://network.acquia.com/documentation/acquia-drupal-stack

EDDYL’s picture

Whatever the tool you have chosen, you should take care that it encodes files automatically in UTF8.

I used to think that this encoding issue was only applicable to mysql, but this is also important on php files (*.module ; *.install ; ...).

This is especially important for french developers as all accents will soon become a "pain in the neck" (hook_menu, mymodule.info,...)

davideads’s picture

MySQL AB would encourage you to use the newer "MySQL Workbench" tool (http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/workbench/). I can say from experience it is a much nicer tool than the old GUI toolkit. I even used it to generate SVG representations of database schema for use in expert testimony in a court case!

SKAUGHT’s picture

geany is a great little editing tool i've discovered recently (installers for GNU/linux & Windows platforms)

Soullas’s picture

Its really very good tool, i have try it also and i am completely happy with it.

samir_mankar’s picture

tarun_nagpal’s picture

Very Nice and useful post.. Thanks for sharing.

Yes we can.

AgileInfoways’s picture

I used PHP Development tools for my 8 years old mobile app development portal - http://www.agileinfoways.com, MYSql definitely for database, filezilla and other tools as well for better development structure.

Chi’s picture

The killer feature is the command line access into the sites via SSH/ SFTP

Is it really possible?

________________________
Override, don't change!

aedwards88’s picture

Atom.io is also a great new editor which is available, it is very similar to Sublime Text 2. The major difference is Atom.io is open source. There is a Drupal package for Atom. As well as many other packages that will speed up development. Overall it is a great editor and one I would definitely recommend.