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Screenshot of Configuration Synchronizer initialization screen.

Configuration Synchronizer provides methods for safely importing site configuration from updated modules, themes, or distributions.

Configuration Synchronizer requires Configuration Provider and Configuration Update Base, part of the Configuration Update Manager project.

By taking a snapshot of configuration as installed and comparing the snapshot to the new module or theme as well as the current active configuration, Configuration Synchronizer safely merges in updates without overwriting customizations.

Using Configuration Synchronizer

Ideally, install Configuration Synchronizer and its dependencies as early as possible on a site, so that it can take snapshots of configuration as other modules are installed.

Each time you upgrade to a new version of a distribution, module, or theme, after you run any updates, navigate to Administration > Configuration > Development > Synchronize > Synchronize from extensions (admin/config/development/configuration/sync-extensions).

This page displays any available configuration updates. If there are no updates available, you will see the text "No configuration updates are available from installed modules and themes."

If there are available updates, you will see a list of available updates arranged by module or theme. To import the, click the "Initialize" button. You will be forwarded to a page listing configuration updates that can be merged into the site's active configuration.

Background and use case

The Drupal 8 model that sites, not modules, own their configuration creates significant issues for distributions; see the blog post Drupal 8 configuration management: what about small sites and distributions?

Building on the configuration snapshot system that takes a snapshot of configuration when it's installed or synchronized via the staging system, Configuration Synchronizer snapshots configuration as installed or updated from extensions, then compares those snapshots to the active configuration to determine whether customizations were made. This approach allows merging changes into the site without losing customizations.

Related modules

  • Configuration Development provides automated import and export of configuration between the active configuration storage and exported modules.
  • Configuration Tools is a package of modules that help to manage Drupal 8 configuration files.
  • Configuration Update Manager provides a report that allows you to see the differences between the configuration items provided by the current versions of your installed modules, themes, and install profile, and the configuration on your site. From this report, you can also import new configuration provided by updates, and revert your site configuration to the provided values.
  • Nimbus is a configuration management tool aimed at extending the configuration import functionality of Drupal core to support the import from multiple concurrent configuration directories for sophisticated configuration deployment workflows using dependency management tools.
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