A distribution for professional publishers

by Hubert Burda Media

Thunder is a Drupal 8 distribution for professional publishers. It consists of the current Drupal 8 functionality, lots of handpicked publisher-centric modules with custom enhancements, and an environment which makes it easy to install, deploy and add new functionality.

Thunder users also benefit from a whole range of channel- and feature-specific enhancements through collaboration with industry partners such as nexx.tv, Riddle.com, and Valiton.

As members of the Thunder Coalition, publishers, industry partners, and developers build custom extensions and share them with the Coalition to further enhance Thunder.

Using Thunder? Tell us about it!

Try it out

Thunder Demo from our partners MD Systems, Platform.sh and Microsoft Cloud Germany

Quick install on your desktop (Video tutorial)

  1. Download and install the Acquia Dev Desktop: https://dev.acquia.com/downloads
  2. Open the Acquia Dev Desktop. Click on “+“ and then on “New Drupal Site“.
  3. Find Thunder in the list and click on “Install“. You’ll be asked to fill a form with some data, but for testing Thunder just leave it as it is. Click “Finish” and Thunder will be downloaded to your system.
  4. After this process is finished, click on the link to the „Local site” and Thunder will open in your browser.
  5. The menu will navigate you through the installation process. Choose your language and click on “Save and continue”.
  6. In the next step, you can configure your installation: add a site name, your e-mail-address, a user name and a password. Click on “Save and continue”.
  7. Now you could choose additional modules, but for an easy start, we recommend using the default selection. Click on “Save and Continue” for the last time.
  8. You’re done! Your Thunder site opens and you can start the tour to show you around.


For further information on installing drupal, follow the install instructions.

Feature Highlights

  • Create articles dynamically with paragraphs: Using paragraphs, you can add text with a WYSIWYG-editor, pictures, videos, Instagram or Twitter cards to your article – and change the order by dragging and dropping the content wherever you like it. Thanks to a preview mode, you get a good idea of how your article will look like in the end.
  • Schedule your content: You can plan when texts should be published, and you can also set a date to remove the article from your website. Also, you can set an expire date for images. After this, the picture will be replaced with a placeholder.
  • Improved media handling: With the help of the media browser, it’s very easy to add pictures, galleries, or videos to your article. You can upload new pictures to the media browser by just dragging and dropping. The pictures are cropped automatically and with the focal point, you can define the important part of the picture, which should be visible in every layout.
  • Keep your users engaged with Riddle: With Riddle, any editor can quickly create professional quizzes, polls, or personality tests. Publishers can use these to generate more traffic on their sites and to monetize this traffic with lead generation or selling sponsored quiz slots.
  • Multi-device video player: With the easy-to-embed media player nexxPLAY from nexx.tv, you get a powerful tool for video distribution. It enables live streaming as well as video-on-demand services for all relevant platforms. Plus, nexx.tv offers solutions for monetizing videos. Alternatively, you can include videos from Youtube or Vimeo to your article, too.
  • Single Sign-On solution: The Harbourmaster is a multi-site, multi-device Single Sign-On solution, developed for the media industry by our industry partner Valiton. The Harbourmaster contains a Policy Server, User Directory, Authentication Gateway, and User Manger.
  • Facebook Instant Articles: With Thunder, editors may publish their content easily as instant articles on Facebook. This reduces loading times on the mobile web.
  • Mobile Friendly: With the Thunder installation, you get a responsive theme for frontend and backend. When writing an article, you can check how your text will look on different smartphones and tablets with the help of the device preview.
  • Demo Content and Guided Tour: We added demo content and a guided tour to make it easier for newcomers to understand how Thunder works. Step by step, we explain how to add an article, how to edit an article, or how to add and sort channels.
  • Flexible System: With Thunder, you get a system with a very high scalability. It’s extendable with more than 2500 modules to fit every need. Plus, it’s themeable.
  • Big Drupal community: Benefit from an active community with more than 100.000 user actively contributing and more than 2000 commits per week. In the Drupal and the Thunder community you’ll find support if needed.

Further Links

Supporting organizations: 

Project Information