This is the multi-page printable view of this section. Click here to print.

Return to the regular view of this page.

User Guide

This user guide is for project teams who are using the Drupal WxT distribution.

1 - General

Userguide for all of the general information related to the maintenance and operation of Drupal WxT.

1.1 - Installation

We highly recommend using our Composer Project Template to build and maintain your WxT derived project’s codebase.

Server Requirements

As Drupal WxT is a Drupal distribution, the official guide for Drupal system requirements will apply.

Installation

  • Composer Download
  • Tarball Download
  • Site Installation
  • Standalone Installation
  • Default Content via Migrate

Composer Download

Run this command and replace DIRECTORY with the directory of your choice this is where Open Social will be installed.

composer self-update
composer create-project drupalwxt/site-wxt:4.3.x-dev <site-name> --no-interaction

Note: Normally you would pass a stable tag to the above command rather then just pulling from the development branch.

Tarball Download

If you don’t want to use Composer, you can install WxT the traditional way by downloading a tarball from WxT’s GitHub releases page.

Note: That the tarball generated by the Drupal.org packager does not include the required Composer dependencies and should not be used without following the specialized instructions.

Site Installation

a) The Drupal Root is in <site-name>/html

b) You can install Drupal WxT through the browser as any other drupal installation or use drush site-install to install the WxT installation profile:

drush si wxt \
  --sites-subdir=default \
  --db-url=mysql://root:root@db:3306/wxt \
  --account-name=admin \
  --account-pass=Drupal@2021 \
  --site-mail=admin@example.com \
  --site-name="Drupal Install Profile (WxT)" \
  wxt_extension_configure_form.select_all='TRUE' \
  install_configure_form.update_status_module='array(FALSE,FALSE)' \
  --yes

Note: If you wish to only install the minimum set of dependencies please remove the wxt_extension_configure_form.select_all='TRUE' flag in its entirety.

c) You can download up-to-date translations using:

drush locale-check
drush locale-update

d) If you work for the Government of Canada you will want to enable the canada.ca theme:

drush config-set wxt_library.settings wxt.theme theme-gcweb -y

Note: You can navigate to the admin/config/wxt/wxt_library settings page.

e) The Drupal WxT site should now be sucessfully installed and you can loging via the /user page.

Note: Please always go to the admin/report/status page and confirm there are no warnings and / or errors.

Standalone Installation

The standalone install is provided as an additional method for those who do not wish to have the full weight of a distribution and its required dependencies. You will need to add at the minimum the below listed modules and themes (including Bootstrap base theme) as well as the WxT jQuery Framework assets installed into the /libraries folder with the proper naming scheme.

Note: We highly recommend that you use the distribution method as limited support is provided for the standalone method.

Default Content via Migrate

The following is an example of how to use the Migrate API module to import common design patterns for Canada.ca aligning to the C&IA specifications:

# Set the WxT theme to GCWeb
drush config-set wxt_library.settings wxt.theme theme-gcweb -y

# Import design patterns for Canada.ca
drush migrate:import --group wxt --tag 'Core'
drush migrate:import --group gcweb --tag 'Core'
drush migrate:import --group gcweb --tag 'Menu'

drush cr

Note: There is a corresponding group wxt_translation and gcweb_translation for importing the corresponding french content.

1.2 - Update Process

Drupal WxT relies on Drupal’s configuration system for configuring default features and functionality. A consequence of this is, once you have installed Drupal WxT, that we cannot modify the sites configuration without having an impact on your site. Drupal WxT will, however, offer to make changes to your configuration as part of the update process.

If you’ve installed WxT using our Composer-based project template, all you need to do is following the given steps below.

Update Process

These are the typical steps you should following when updating Drupal WxT:

a) Read the release notes for the release to which you are updating along with any releases in between.

b) To update your WxT codebase you would replace [VERSION] with the release version you wish to use.

composer self update
composer require drupalwxt/wxt:[VERSION]
composer update

Note: We highly recommend that you are using the v2.x.x line of Composer.

c) Run any database updates:

drush cache:rebuild
drush updatedb

Note: You may instead go to /admin/config/development/performance to clear caches and /update.php to run database updates.

d) Run any WxT configuration updates:

drush cache:rebuild
drush update:wxt

Note: You may instead go to /admin/config/development/performance to clear caches and /update.php to run WxT updates.

Configuration Management

If you are using configuration management to move your configuration between development, staging, and production environments, you should follow the standard Drupal process.

a) Export the new configuration:

drush cache:rebuild
drush config:export

b) Commit the code and configuration changes to your source code repository and push them to your environment.

c) Import any configuration changes:

drush cache:rebuild
drush config:import

1.3 - Releases

Releases of Drupal WxT

The following table is a list of all the releases that are housed under the Drupal WxT organization on GitHub:

Release Created Date Description
4.4.0 2022-11-26

Features / Updates:

  • Updates for Drupal Core
    • Patch (bugfix) release of Drupal Core to v9.4.8
  • Updates for WxT
    • Update to D9 core 9.4.x #3284468
    • Remove Lightning from composer required for upgrade path in v9.3.x branch
    • Can’t add multiple fontawesome icons in CKEditor #3316393
    • Fontawesome icons not working with Limit Allowed HTML #3315230
    • Text formats using non-ckeditor editors give error #3314829
    • Layout Builder and Ajax Submit Error #3317048
    • Update of some contributed modules (admin_toolbar, diff, entityqueue, search_api, token_filter, …)
    • Custom block type for WET Carousel #3313685
    • TypeError when exporting config with wxt_ext_config #3315821
    • Make webform content type translatable #3320521
    • Custom block type for WET Carousel #3313685
    • WxT Carousel support nolink #3319559
    • Improve block_content management #3318099
    • Move wxt_ext_layout config to optional #3319806
    • wxt_ext_media PHP 8.1 deprecation #3322200
    • Update the PageTitle block patch #3322590
    • Update drupal/menu_block to 1.10.0 #3304838
  • Updates for WxT Library
    • DateTimeBlock class $time can sometimes not be an integer #3316405
    • Support horizontal main menu in GCWeb #3310969
  • Updates for WxT Bootstrap
    • Canada.ca flyout menu doesn’t work (missing french menu) #3236799
    • Update starterkit readme file #3310485
    • Support horizontal main menu in GCWeb #3310969
    • Horizontal main menu more links #3321303

Upgrade path:

Important: Please backup your database before running the upgrade process for this release.

  • Update your codebase:

    • composer update
  • Run database updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush updatedb
  • Run WxT configuration updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush update:wxt

Note(s):

Lightning has been removed from composer required for upgrade path in v9.3.x branch.

4.3.4 2022-10-01

Features / Updates:

  • Security Updates for Drupal Core (v9.3.22)
  • Updates for WxT
    • CKEditor improvement leverage responsive images #3280946
    • Update blog listing page to latest spec #3306505
    • Translate the History tab #3311926
    • Brand menu in French no editable #3312412
    • Correct mislabelled wxt_extension.yml files
  • Updates for WxT Bootstrap
    • CKEditor improvement leverage responsive images #3280946
    • Update blog listing page to latest spec #3306505
    • Fix GCintranet link in header on French pages #3308918
    • Adjust theme suggestion alter in starterkit #3310485

Upgrade path:

Important: Please backup your database before running the upgrade process for this release.

  • Update your codebase:

    • composer update
  • Run database updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush updatedb
  • Run WxT configuration updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush update:wxt

Note(s):

This will be the last release which includes the Lightning modules, even though they have been uninstalled in an earlier release.

4.3.3 2022-08-19

Features / Updates:

  • Updates for Drupal Core
    • Patch (bugfix) release of Drupal Core to v9.3.21
  • Updates for Drupal Contrib
    • ckeditor_codemirror update to 2.4
    • core_context update to 1.0
    • ctools module update to ^3.9
    • inline_entity_form to ^2.7
    • layout_builder_restrictions to ^2.14
    • pathauto to ^1.8
  • Updates for WxT
    • [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Core #3302473
    • [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Media #3301875
    • Corrected bulk of reported issues by phpcs
    • FilterHtml throws Unsupported operand types #3300111
    • Core patch causing error when serializing top-level terms #3302126
    • WSOD on node forms with fresh install of WxT or ctools update #3300983
  • Updates for WxT Bootstrap
    • Preprocess field issue with video #3300986
    • Provide favicons with starterkit #3304675
    • Facet improvements (WCAG) #3282148
  • Updates for WxT Library
    • Switch to dynamic menu handling for wxt_library
    • Update to theme-gc-intranet theme to 4.0.43.1
    • SearchCanadaBlockForm missing dependency injection #3300107

Upgrade path:

Important: Please backup your database before running the upgrade process for this release.

  • Update your codebase:

    • composer update
  • Run database updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush updatedb
  • Run WxT configuration updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush update:wxt

Note(s):

To facilitate keeping the distribution lightweight and because soon the Lightning Contrib modules will be EOL we need to remove all of the Lightning contrib in a way that doesn’t break an upgrade path and documents the modules removed in case site builders will want to manually add them to their own composer.json file

Note: that all error messages stating “Currently using Missing or invalid module” will be resolved after running the drush updatedb step above.

a) [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Core #3302473

Please read over the above issue and consult the below list of the removed composer entries in case you are depending on any of them and need to apply them manually to your composer.json file.

"drupal/acquia_telemetry-acquia_telemetry": "^1.0-alpha3",
"drupal/contact_storage": "^1.0",

All of the Lightning Core functionality was directly ported to support an upgrade path and an update script written in the wxt_core_update_8433 function.

Note: Any Lightning sub modules will also be uninstalled.

b) [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Media #3301875

Please read over the above issue and consult the below list of the removed composer entries in case you are depending on any of them and need to apply them manually to your composer.json file.

Nothing removed at the moment

c) All of the Lightning Media functionality was directly ported to support an upgrade path and an update script written in the wxt_core_update_8433 function.

Note: Any Lightning sub modules will also be uninstalled.

d) Finally check your custom modules and / or configuration objects for any reference to lightning_core, lightning_page and lightning_media as some of your config objects (that we couldn’t automatically correct) might reference the old modules and this step will be important to get your configuration objects properly loaded.

Note: These references should be replaced by their new counterparts wxt_core, wxt_ext_page and wxt_ext_media. As some of your config objects might reference the old modules this step is important to get your config loaded.

4.3.2 2022-07-23

Features / Updates:

  • HotFix
    • Autosave missing OverrideHelper #3299197
  • Security Updates for Drupal Core (v9.3.19)
  • Updates for WxT
    • Translation patch causes whitescreen #3291183
    • Main menu in French not editable #3291230
    • [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Layout #3298505
    • [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Workflow #3295862
    • [Deprecate] SubProfile Generator #3295858
    • Incompatible version for ckeditor/fakeobjects #3298214
  • Updates for WxT Bootstrap
    • Corrected all reported issues by phpcs
    • Main menu in French not editable #3291230
    • PHP 8.1 compatibility #3294596
    • GCIntranet WxT search form label visible on mobile #3294629
    • Set dynamic wrapper element for Did you find webform block #3291816
  • Updates for WxT Library
    • Corrected all reported issues by phpcs
    • Passing null to parameter #1 ($string) #3286651

Upgrade path:

Important: Please backup your database before running the upgrade process for this release.

  • Update your codebase:

    • composer update
  • Run database updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush updatedb
  • Run WxT configuration updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush update:wxt

Note(s):

To facilitate keeping the distribution lightweight and because soon the Lightning Contrib modules will be EOL we need to remove all of the Lightning contrib in a way that doesn’t break an upgrade path and documents the modules removed in case site builders will want to manually add them to their own composer.json file

Note: that all error messages stating “Currently using Missing or invalid module” will be resolved after running the drush updatedb step above.

a) [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Layout #3298505

Please read over the above issue and consult the below list of the removed composer entries in case you are depending on any of them and need to apply them manually to your composer.json file.

"drupal/bg_image_formatter": "^1.10",
"drupal/panelizer": "^4.1 || ^5.0",
"drupal/simple_gmap": "^3.0"

All of the Lightning Layout functionality was directly ported to support an upgrade path and an update script written in the wxt_core_update_8431 function.

Note: Any Lightning sub modules will also be uninstalled.

b) [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Workflow #3295862

Please read over the above issue and consult the below list of the removed composer entries in case you are depending on any of them and need to apply them manually to your composer.json file.

"drupal/conflict": "^2.0-alpha2",
"drupal/moderation_dashboard": "^1.0",
"drupal/moderation_sidebar": "^1.2"

All of the Lightning Workflow functionality was directly ported to support an upgrade path and an update script written in the wxt_core_update_8431 function.

Note: Any Lightning sub modules will also be uninstalled.

4.3.1 2022-07-21

Features / Updates:

  • Security Updates for Drupal Core (v9.3.19)
  • Updates for WxT
    • Translation patch causes whitescreen #3291183
    • Main menu in French not editable #3291230
    • [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Layout #3298505
    • [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Workflow #3295862
    • [Deprecate] SubProfile Generator #3295858
    • Incompatible version for ckeditor/fakeobjects #3298214
  • Updates for WxT Bootstrap
    • Corrected all reported issues by phpcs
    • Main menu in French not editable #3291230
    • PHP 8.1 compatibility #3294596
    • GCIntranet WxT search form label visible on mobile #3294629
    • Set dynamic wrapper element for Did you find webform block #3291816
  • Updates for WxT Library
    • Corrected all reported issues by phpcs
    • Passing null to parameter #1 ($string) #3286651

Upgrade path:

Important: Please backup your database before running the upgrade process for this release.

  • Update your codebase:

    • composer update
  • Run database updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush updatedb
  • Run WxT configuration updates:

    • drush cache:rebuild
    • drush update:wxt

Note(s):

To facilitate keeping the distribution lightweight and because soon the Lightning Contrib modules will be EOL we need to remove all of the Lightning contrib in a way that doesn’t break an upgrade path and documents the modules removed in case site builders will want to manually add them to their own composer.json file

Note: that all error messages stating “Currently using Missing or invalid module” will be resolved after running the drush updatedb step above.

a) [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Layout #3298505

Please read over the above issue and consult the below list of the removed composer entries in case you are depending on any of them and need to apply them manually to your composer.json file.

"drupal/bg_image_formatter": "^1.10",
"drupal/panelizer": "^4.1 || ^5.0",
"drupal/simple_gmap": "^3.0"

All of the Lightning Layout functionality was directly ported to support an upgrade path and an update script written in the wxt_core_update_8431 function.

Note: Any Lightning sub modules will also be uninstalled.

b) [Deprecate] Remove Lightning Workflow #3295862

Please read over the above issue and consult the below list of the removed composer entries in case you are depending on any of them and need to apply them manually to your composer.json file.

"drupal/conflict": "^2.0-alpha2",
"drupal/moderation_dashboard": "^1.0",
"drupal/moderation_sidebar": "^1.2"

All of the Lightning Workflow functionality was directly ported to support an upgrade path and an update script written in the wxt_core_update_8431 function.

Note: Any Lightning sub modules will also be uninstalled.

Repositories for Drupal WxT

The following table is a list of all the repositories that are housed under the Drupal WxT organization on GitHub:

Name Website Description Size
composer-extdeps drupalwxt/composer-extdeps Composer repository for external dependencies on Drupal WxT Size: 45 Bytes
docker-scaffold drupalwxt/docker-scaffold Docker Scaffold for Drupal WxT Size: 118 Bytes
drupalwxt.github.io drupalwxt/drupalwxt.github.io GitHub Pages for Drupal WxT. Size: 7140 Bytes
helm-drupal drupalwxt/helm-drupal Helm chart for running Drupal on Kubernetes Size: 54219 Bytes
site-wxt drupalwxt/site-wxt An example composer project for the Drupal WxT distribution used for integration testing. Size: 2680 Bytes
terraform-kubernetes-drupalwxt drupalwxt/terraform-kubernetes-drupalwxt Terraform module for Drupal WxT Size: 53 Bytes
themes-cdn drupalwxt/themes-cdn Content Delivery Network (CDN) files for the theme repositories of the Web Experience Toolkit (WET) Size: 12445 Bytes
wxt drupalwxt/wxt Drupal 9 variant of the Web Experience Toolkit (WxT). Size: 2203 Bytes
wxt-project drupalwxt/wxt-project Composer project template for Drupal 9 sites built with the WxT distribution. Size: 69 Bytes
wxt_bootstrap drupalwxt/wxt_bootstrap Bootstrap derived sub-theme aligned for use with the Web Experience Toolkit jQuery Framework. Size: 1132 Bytes
wxt_library drupalwxt/wxt_library Web Experience Toolkit Framework integration for Drupal. Size: 113 Bytes

1.5 - Roadmap

The core distribution will always strive to be:

  • As minimal as possible on top of Drupal Core providing performance, scalability, and security features on top of it
  • Provide best practices for users to follow which includes our Composer workflow, CI / CD methodologies, and deployment strategies
  • Provide a place for all Government Departments to inherit the base requirements such as Language Handling, GC Approved Themes, and other functionalities such as Date Format, Metadata Output, and Accessibility improvements

Beyond the above the distribution will provide extensible features that can be opted into through the wxt_ext suite of modules:

  • Each of these modules must explicitly state all of there contributed dependencies
  • Governance around these “extension” modules can be a bit looser
  • These modules should be clear in focus and not try to do to much other then an immediate task at hand
  • These modules should have an modulename.wxt_extension.yml file so can be enabled as optional extension during profile installation

In addition, Drupal WxT will offer out of tree (external) modules that implement specific features:

  • These features are not included by the core platform because they are only used by a subset of users
  • These modules may be subject to change though update hooks will always be provided
  • Community supported modules will also be listed in our README of additional modules but will not be supported by the Drupal WxT team

Note: The governance around the core distribution will always be much stricter then the governance around adding a wxt_ext or an out of tree module.

2 - Development

This section provides information for developers who wish to help collaborate and improve Drupal WxT.

2.1 - Architecture

The goal of Drupal WxT since the 4.1.x line is to make the installation profile very minimal by default but providing additional extensions that can be enabled as desired.

What WxT offers is some light enhancements to Drupal Core, mainly around security and performance, and integration with the Web Experience Toolkit. By default, the distribution offers minimal functionality to allow full customizations by users. However a great deal of optional extensions are available that can provide additional functionality generally beneficial to Government departments.

Note: In the future we are looking into providing a list of community modules that are build to work with the distribution but are “out of tree”.

All of the optional modules are located in the wxt_ext folder named after WxT Extend and can be enabled during the initial site installation by passing the following flag via the drush cli:

wxt_extension_configure_form.select_all='TRUE'

Note: If you wish to only install the minimum set of dependencies please remove the wxt_extension_configure_form.select_all='TRUE' flag in its entirety.

In order to provide a list of the optional enabled extensions during the installation that can be checked, all that any module has to do is provide a modulename.wxt_extension.yml file in their root and they will be picked as installable during the profile install and also respond to the additional drush flag discussed above.

For more information on some of the history leading to this design:

2.2 - Composer

We highly recommend using our Composer Project Template to build and maintain your WxT derived project’s codebase.

Getting Started

The following command is all you need to get started:

composer create-project drupalwxt/wxt-project:4.3.4 <site-name>

Note: For development you may also specify a branch using drupalwxt/wxt-project:4.3.x-dev.

You can see a working example of a fully generated Composer Project Template over at:

Where the following is the command that was used for the initial generation:

composer create-project drupalwxt/wxt-project:4.3.4 site-wxt

Note: Remember to keep the composer.json and composer.lock files that exist above docroot in source control as they are controlling your dependencies.

Maintenance

List of common commands are as follows:

Task Composer
Installing a contrib project (latest version) composer require drupal/PROJECT
Installing a contrib project (specific version) composer require drupal/PROJECT:1.0.0-beta5
Updating all projects including Drupal Core composer update
Updating a single contrib project composer update drupal/PROJECT_NAME
Updating Drupal Core composer update drupal/core

Note: Composer is a dependency manager and helps us keep track of what code and at what version our application relies on so that it always get installed the right way on every copy of that application.

Specifying a version

A specific version can be specified from the cli:

composer require drupal/<modulename>:<version>

However please note if you specify a branch, such as 1.x you must add -dev to the end of the version:

composer require drupal/token:1.x-dev

Source Control

Taking a look at the .gitignore file, you will discover that certain directories, including all those directories containing contributed projects, are excluded from source control which is by design.

Note: Unlike Drush in a Composer derived project you should never commit your install dependencies to source control.

Composer will create composer.lock file, which is a list of dependencies that were installed, and in which versions.

Note: In general you should always commit your composer.lock file to source control so that others via a quick composer install can have everything installed along with the correct versions specified in the composer.lock file.

How to update Drupal Core?

Please don’t add drupal/core to your project’s composer.json since WxT manages Drupal Core for you along with the series of patches on top of it.

WxT’s minor versions will always correspond to Drupal Core’s. For example, drupalwxt/wxt:~4.3.x will require Drupal Core 9.3.x and drupalwxt/wxt:~4.2.x required Drupal Core 9.2.x.

When you need to update Drupal Core as an example from 9.2.x to 9.3.x, all you would do is change your requirement for drupalwxt/wxt in your composer.json file:

composer require --no-update drupalwxt/wxt:~4.3.4
composer update

Compatibility table

drupalwxt/wxt version Drupal Core version Drush version
~4.4.x 9.4.x >=9.7
~4.3.x 9.3.x >=9.7
~4.2.x 9.2.x >=9.7
~4.1.x 9.1.x >=9.7
~4.0.x 8.8.x+ >=9.7

2.3 - Configuration Management

Drupal WxT thanks to the work done by the Acquia Team is able to use advanced configuration management strategies.

At the moment this remains an opt-in process and you will have to add the following modules to your composer.json before you add the code snippet below to your settings.php file.

Once enabled all default configuration will be stored in /sites/default/files/config/default/ and then depending on your environment additionally configuration splits can be leveraged depending on your SDLC.

/**
 * Configuration Split for Configuration Management
 *
 * WxT is following the best practices given by Acquia for configuration
 * management. The "default" configuration directory should be shared between
 * all multi-sites, and each multisite will override this selectively using
 * configuration splits.
 *
 * To disable this functionality simply set the following parameters:
 * $wxt_override_config_dirs = FALSE;
 * $settings['config_sync_directory'] = $dir . "/config/$site_dir";
 *
 * See https://github.com/acquia/blt/blob/12.x/settings/config.settings.php
 * for more information.
 */

use Drupal\wxt\Robo\Common\EnvironmentDetector;

if (!isset($wxt_override_config_dirs)) {
  $wxt_override_config_dirs = TRUE;
}
if ($wxt_override_config_dirs) {
  $config_directories['sync'] = $repo_root . "/var/www/html/sites/default/files/config/default";
  $settings['config_sync_directory'] = $repo_root . "/var/www/html/sites/default/files/config/default";
}
$split_filename_prefix = 'config_split.config_split';
if (isset($config_directories['sync'])) {
  $split_filepath_prefix = $config_directories['sync'] . '/' . $split_filename_prefix;
}
else {
  $split_filepath_prefix = $settings['config_sync_directory'] . '/' . $split_filename_prefix;
}

/**
 * Set environment splits.
 */
$split_envs = [
  'local',
  'dev',
  'test',
  'qa',
  'prod',
  'ci',
];
foreach ($split_envs as $split_env) {
  $config["$split_filename_prefix.$split_env"]['status'] = FALSE;
}
if (!isset($split)) {
  $split = 'none';
  if (EnvironmentDetector::isLocalEnv()) {
    $split = 'local';
  }
  if (EnvironmentDetector::isCiEnv()) {
    $split = 'ci';
  }
  if (EnvironmentDetector::isDevEnv()) {
    $split = 'dev';
  }
  elseif (EnvironmentDetector::isTestEnv()) {
    $split = 'test';
  }
  elseif (EnvironmentDetector::isQaEnv()) {
    $split = 'qa';
  }
  elseif (EnvironmentDetector::isProdEnv()) {
    $split = 'prod';
  }
}
if ($split != 'none') {
  $config["$split_filename_prefix.$split"]['status'] = TRUE;
}

/**
 * Set multisite split.
 */
// $config["$split_filename_prefix.SITENAME"]['status'] = TRUE;

2.4 - Performance

Below are some recommended settings that improve the performance of Drupal WxT sites.

2.4.1 - PostgreSQL

To properly configure PostgreSQL with Drupal you should ensure the following configuration is used.

Note: Some customizations might be necessary depending on your individual requirements.

postgresqlConfiguration:
  listenAddresses: "'*'"
  maxConnections: "200"
  sharedBuffers: 512MB
  workMem: 2048MB
  effectiveCacheSize: 512MB
  effectiveIoConcurrency: "100"
  maintenanceWorkMem: 32MB
  minWalSize: 512MB
  maxWalSize: 512MB
  walBuffers: 8048kB
  byteaOutput: "'escape'"
  hugePages: "off"
  walLevel: "replica"
  maxWalSenders: "0"
  synchronousCommit: "on"
  walKeepSegments: "130"
  checkpointTimeout: "'15 min'"
  checkpointCompletionTarget: "0.9"
  walCompression: "on"
  walWriterDelay: 200ms
  walWriterFlushAfter: 1MB
  bgwriterDelay: 200ms
  bgwriterLruMaxpages: "100"
  bgwriterLruMultiplier: "2.0"
  bgwriterFlushAfter: "0"
  maxWorkerProcesses: "8"
  maxParallelWorkersPerGather: "4"
  maxParallelWorkers: "4"

Note: The above is written in yaml syntax which will work for both Docker Compose and Kubernetes Helm Charts. For the postgresql.conf file itself without using these tools simply find the _ counterpart.

Queries leveraging ILIKE

There is a known PostgreSQL performance issue that exists in Drupal and is related to leveraging queries with ILIKE.

This issue is particularly noticeable in relation to the path_alias table.

There are patches being worked on to handle this in Drupal core but a very quick fix can be implemented leveraging pg_trgm.

There is a great blog article listed below which goes over this issue in more detail.

The instructions are a bit outdated so the updated syntax to enter in psql is given below:

CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm;
CREATE INDEX path_alias__alias_trgm_gist_idx ON path_alias USING gist (alias gist_trgm_ops);
CREATE INDEX path_alias__path_trgm_gist_idx ON path_alias USING gist (path gist_trgm_ops);
ANALYZE path_alias;

2.4.2 - Redis

To properly configure Redis with Drupal you should ensure the following configuration is added to your settings.php file.

Note: Some customizations might be necessary depending on your individual requirements.

if (extension_loaded('redis')) {
  // Set Redis as the default backend for any cache bin not otherwise specified.
  $settings['cache']['default'] = 'cache.backend.redis';
  $settings['redis.connection']['interface'] = 'PhpRedis';
  $settings['redis.connection']['scheme'] = 'http';
  $settings['redis.connection']['host'] = 'localhost';
  $settings['redis.connection']['port'] = '6379';
  $settings['redis.connection']['password'] = getenv('REDIS_PASSWORD') ?: '';
  $settings['redis.connection']['persistent'] = FALSE;

  // Allow the services to work before the Redis module itself is enabled.
  $settings['container_yamls'][] = 'modules/contrib/redis/example.services.yml';
  $settings['container_yamls'][] = 'modules/contrib/redis/redis.services.yml';

  // Manually add the classloader path, this is required for the container cache bin definition below
  // and allows to use it without the redis module being enabled.
  $class_loader->addPsr4('Drupal\\redis\\', 'modules/contrib/redis/src');

  $settings['bootstrap_container_definition'] = [
    'parameters' => [],
    'services' => [
      'redis.factory' => [
        'class' => 'Drupal\redis\ClientFactory',
      ],
      'cache.backend.redis' => [
        'class' => 'Drupal\redis\Cache\CacheBackendFactory',
        'arguments' => ['@redis.factory', '@cache_tags_provider.container', '@serialization.phpserialize'],
      ],
      'cache.container' => [
        'class' => '\Drupal\redis\Cache\PhpRedis',
        'factory' => ['@cache.backend.redis', 'get'],
        'arguments' => ['container'],
      ],
      'cache_tags_provider.container' => [
        'class' => 'Drupal\redis\Cache\RedisCacheTagsChecksum',
        'arguments' => ['@redis.factory'],
      ],
      'serialization.phpserialize' => [
        'class' => 'Drupal\Component\Serialization\PhpSerialize',
      ],
    ],
  ];

  /** Optional prefix for cache entries */
  $settings['cache_prefix'] = 'drupal_';

  // Always set the fast backend for bootstrap, discover and config, otherwise
  // this gets lost when redis is enabled.
  $settings['cache']['bins']['bootstrap'] = 'cache.backend.chainedfast';
  $settings['cache']['bins']['discovery'] = 'cache.backend.chainedfast';
  $settings['cache']['bins']['config'] = 'cache.backend.chainedfast';

  // Use for all bins otherwise specified.
  $settings['cache']['default'] = 'cache.backend.redis';

  // Use for all queues unless otherwise specified for a specific queue.
  $settings['queue_default'] = 'queue.redis';

  // Or if you want to use reliable queue implementation.
  // $settings['queue_default'] = 'queue.redis_reliable';

  // Use this to only use Redis for a specific queue.
  // $settings['queue_service_aggregator_feeds'] = 'queue.redis';

  // Use this to use reliable queue implementation.
  // $settings['queue_service_aggregator_feeds'] = 'queue.redis_reliable';
}

2.4.3 - Varnish

To properly configure Varnish with Drupal you should ensure the following configuration is your default.vcl file.

Note: Some customizations might be necessary depending on your individual requirements.

vcl 4.0;

import std;
import directors;

backend nginx {
  .host = "hostname-nginx";
  .host_header = "hostname-nginx";
  .port = "80";
}

sub vcl_init {
  new backends = directors.round_robin();
  backends.add_backend(nginx);
}

sub vcl_recv {
  set req.http.X-Forwarded-Host = req.http.Host;
  if (!req.http.X-Forwarded-Proto) {
    set req.http.X-Forwarded-Proto = "http";
  }

  # Answer healthcheck
  if (req.url == "/_healthcheck" || req.url == "/healthcheck.txt") {
    return (synth(700, "HEALTHCHECK"));
  }
  set req.backend_hint = backends.backend();

  # Answer healthcheck
  if (req.url == "/_healthcheck" || req.url == "/healthcheck.txt") {
    return (synth(700, "HEALTHCHECK"));
  }
  set req.backend_hint = backends.backend();

  # Always cache certain file types
  # Remove cookies that Drupal doesn't care about
  if (req.url ~ "(?i)\.(asc|dat|tgz|png|gif|jpeg|jpg|ico|swf|css|js)(\?.*)?$") {
    unset req.http.Cookie;
  } else if (req.http.Cookie) {
    set req.http.Cookie = ";" + req.http.Cookie;
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, "; +", ";");
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, ";(SESS[a-z0-9]+|SSESS[a-z0-9]+|NO_CACHE)=", "; \1=");
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, ";[^ ][^;]*", "");
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, "^[; ]+|[; ]+$", "");
    if (req.http.Cookie == "") {
        unset req.http.Cookie;
    } else {
        return (pass);
    }
  }
  # If POST, PUT or DELETE, then don't cache
  if (req.method == "POST" || req.method == "PUT" || req.method == "DELETE") {
    return (pass);
  }
  # Happens before we check if we have this in cache already.
  #
  # Typically you clean up the request here, removing cookies you don't need,
  # rewriting the request, etc.
  return (hash);
  #return (pass);
}

sub vcl_backend_fetch {
  # NEW
  set bereq.http.Host = "hostname-nginx";

  # Don't add 127.0.0.1 to X-Forwarded-For
  set bereq.http.X-Forwarded-For = regsub(bereq.http.X-Forwarded-For, "(, )?127\.0\.0\.1$", "");
}

sub vcl_backend_response {
  if (beresp.http.Location) {
    set beresp.http.Location = regsub(
      beresp.http.Location,
      "^https?://[^/]+/",
      bereq.http.X-Forwarded-Proto + "://" + bereq.http.X-Forwarded-Host + "/"
    );
  }
  # Only cache select response codes
  if (beresp.status == 200 || beresp.status == 203 || beresp.status == 204 || beresp.status == 206 || beresp.status == 300 || beresp.status == 301 || beresp.status == 404 || beresp.status == 405 || beresp.status == 410 || beresp.status == 414 || beresp.status == 501) {
    # Cache for 5 minutes
    set beresp.ttl = 5m;
    set beresp.grace = 12h;
    set beresp.keep = 24h;
  } else {
    set beresp.ttl = 0s;
  }
}

sub vcl_deliver {
  # Remove identifying information
  unset resp.http.Server;
  unset resp.http.X-Powered-By;
  unset resp.http.X-Varnish;
  unset resp.http.Via;

  # Comment these for easier Drupal cache tag debugging in development.
  unset resp.http.Cache-Tags;
  unset resp.http.X-Drupal-Cache-Contexts;

  # Add Content-Security-Policy
  # set resp.http.Content-Security-Policy = "default-src 'self' *.example.ca *.example.ca; style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' *.example.ca https://fonts.googleapis.com; script-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval' *.example.ca  *.adobedtm.com use.fontawesome.com blob:; connect-src 'self' *.example.ca *.omtrdc.net *.demdex.net *.everesttech.net; img-src 'self' *.example.ca *.omtrdc.net *.demdex.net *.everesttech.net data:; font-src 'self' *.example.ca https://fonts.gstatic.com";

  # Add CORS Headers
  # if (req.http.Origin ~ "(?i)\.example\.ca$") {
  #   if (req.url ~ "\.(ttd|woff|woff2)(\?.*)?$") {
  #     set resp.http.Access-Control-Allow-Origin = "*";
  #     set resp.http.Access-Control-Allow-Methods = "GET";
  #   }
  # }

  # Add X-Frame-Options
  if (req.url ~ "^/livechat" || req.url ~ "^/(en/|fr/)?entity-browser/") {
    set resp.http.X-Frame-Options = "SAMEORIGIN";
  } else {
    set resp.http.X-Frame-Options = "DENY";
  }

  set resp.http.X-Content-Type-Options = "nosniff";
  set resp.http.X-XSS-Protection = "1; mode=block";

  # Happens when we have all the pieces we need, and are about to send the
  # response to the client.
  #
  # You can do accounting or modifying the final object here.
  if (obj.hits > 0) {
    set resp.http.X-Cache = "HIT";
  } else {
    set resp.http.X-Cache = "MISS";
  }
  # Handle errors
  if ( (resp.status >= 500 && resp.status <= 599)
    || resp.status == 400
    || resp.status == 401
    || resp.status == 403
    || resp.status == 404) {
    return (synth(resp.status));
  }
}

sub vcl_synth {
  # Remove identifying information
  unset resp.http.Server;
  unset resp.http.X-Powered-By;
  unset resp.http.X-Varnish;
  unset resp.http.Via;

  # Add Content-Security-Policy
  # set resp.http.Content-Security-Policy = "default-src 'self' *.example.ca; style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' *.example.ca; script-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval' *.example.ca *.adobedtm.com use.fontawesome.com blob:; connect-src 'self' *.example.ca *.omtrdc.net *.demdex.net *.everesttech.net; img-src 'self' *.example.ca data:;";
  # set resp.http.X-Content-Type-Options = "nosniff";
  # set resp.http.X-Frame-Options = "DENY";
  # set resp.http.X-XSS-Protection = "1; mode=block";

  # if (resp.status >= 500 && resp.status <= 599) {
  #   set resp.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
  #   synthetic(std.fileread("/data/configuration/varnish/errors/503.html"));
  #   return (deliver);
  # } elseif (resp.status == 400) { # 400 - Bad Request
  #   set resp.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
  #   synthetic(std.fileread("/data/configuration/varnish/errors/400.html"));
  #   return (deliver);
  # } elseif (resp.status == 401) { # 401 - Unauthorized
  #   set resp.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
  #   synthetic(std.fileread("/data/configuration/varnish/errors/401.html"));
  #   return (deliver);
  # } elseif (resp.status == 403) { # 403 - Forbidden
  #   set resp.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
  #   synthetic(std.fileread("/data/configuration/varnish/errors/403.html"));
  #   return (deliver);
  # } elseif (resp.status == 404) { # 404 - Not Found
  #   set resp.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
  #   synthetic(std.fileread("/data/configuration/varnish/errors/404.html"));
  #   return (deliver);
  # } else
  if (resp.status == 700) { # Respond to healthcheck
    set resp.status = 200;
    set resp.http.Content-Type = "text/plain";
    synthetic ( {"OK"} );
    return (deliver);
  }
}

##
# ERROR HANDLING
##
# sub vcl_backend_error {
#   set beresp.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
#   synthetic(std.fileread("/data/configuration/varnish/errors/503.html"));
#   return (deliver);
# }

2.5 - Release Process

Select a version number

WxT releases are numbered using a form of semantic versioning. More information can be found in our Versioning page.

MAJOR.FEATURE.SPRINT

In general, when preparing a release: increment the FEATURE when Drupal Core has a major release (ie. 9.2.x to 9.3.x) otherwise simply increment the SPRINT number.

Create an issue on GitHub.com

Create an issue in the Drupal WxT project on GitHub for release tracking, title it Release x.x.x (where x.x.x is the incremented version number).

This issue should contain the following checklist as well as any other related steps or information regarding preparing the release.

See the [full release documentation](https://drupalwxt.github.io/en/docs/development/release-process/) for more detail.

- [ ] All related projects (wxt_library and wxt_bootstrap) tagged and released on GitHub.com and Drupal.org
- [ ] Version number selected
- [ ] CHANGELOG.md updated
- [ ] composer.json updated
- [ ] Run version.sh for hook_updates and wxt contrib
- [ ] CI build passes
- [ ] Releases tagged and pushed to GitHub.com and Drupal.org
- [ ] WxT released on Drupal.org (https://drupalwxt.github.io/en/docs/development/release-process/#release)
- [ ] Add changelog information to published tag once CI is done

Update changelog

Ensure the changelog contains an entry for the release and is updated as issues and changes are resolved (in the next steps or when committing code / changes).

Review dependent wxt modules

  1. Review contrib modules in composer.json (or in a site install; extend->update) and update as necessary.
  2. If necessary, tag wxt_library and update wxt’s composer.json file
  3. If necessary, tag wxt_bootstrap and update wxt’s composer.json file

All projects must be released on drupal.org (and github).

Note: Changes to composer.json file (specifically dev dependencies and repositories) should be mentioned in the CHANGELOG.

Drupal.org version

Drupal.org does not currently support semantic versioning. Instead, the version number on drupal.org is 8.x-X.YZZ, where:

  • X = MAJOR
  • Y = FEATURE
  • ZZ = SPRINT (two digits - add leading zero for < 10)

Check composer.json

If the wxt dependent modules are updated, we need to reflect this in wxt composer.json and the CHANGELOG.

  • git clone https://github.com/drupalwxt/wxt.git
  • Confirm or update that it’s using appropriate tags of wxt_library + wxt_bootstrap (composer.json)
  • Push to github.com and drupal.org repositories any changes
  • Ensure GitHub Actions build passes

Tag WxT

GitHub.com and Drupal.org

  • git tag MAJOR.FEATURE.SPRINT
  • git push $GITHUB_REMOTE MAJOR.FEATURE.SPRINT

Release

GitHub.com

  1. Go to Tags page
  2. Click … and select create release on the tag
  3. Enter the version number in the release title
  4. Copy the changelog entry for this release into the release notes
  5. Click publish release

Drupal.org

The builds on Drupal.org are incomplete as they don’t fully support Composer yet which is why we host a tarball on GitHub for those not using Composer.

  1. Drupal WxT Release Page
  2. Select the tag
  3. Copy/paste the following blurb into the release notes:
<strong>CHANGELOG</strong>

See the <a href="https://github.com/drupalwxt/wxt/blob/8.x-2.x/CHANGELOG.md">changelog.md</a> file.

2.6 - Theming

Largely when doing any theme related work with Drupal WxT this almost always should be done in a sub-theme.

For more on creating sub-themes please consult the official documentation:

To assist with sub-theme creation WxT Bootstrap provides an example starterkit that should be of benefit.

Note: Sub-themes are just like any other theme except they inherit the parent theme’s resources.

Sub Theme Configuration

a) Replace every instance of THEMENAME with your chosen machine name often of the pattern <prefix>_bootstrap.

b) Enable your new sub-theme preferably via drush:

drush en `<prefix>_bootstrap`
drush cc css-js

c) Point to your new sub theme for WxT Library to properly load assets under Themes Visibility on the /admin/config/wxt/wxt_library page.

Notes

Inheriting Block Templates

If the theme you are extending has custom block templates these won’t be immediately inherited because a sub-theme creates copies of all the blocks in the parent theme and renames them with the sub-theme’s name as a prefix. Twig block templates are derived from the block’s name, so this breaks the link between these templates and their block.

Fixing this problem currently requires a hook in the THEMENAME.theme file and should have the following contents:

/**
 * Implements hook_theme_suggestions_HOOK_alter().
 */
function THEMENAME_theme_suggestions_block_alter(&$suggestions, $variables) {
  // Load theme suggestions for blocks from parent theme.
  // https://www.drupal.org/project/wxt/issues/3310485#comment-14715969
  for ($i = 0; $i < count($suggestions); $i++) {
    if (str_contains($suggestions[$i], 'THEMENAME_')) {
      $new_suggestions = [
        str_replace('THEMENAME_', '', $suggestions[$i]),
        str_replace('THEMENAME_', 'wxt_bootstrap_', $suggestions[$i]),
      ];
      array_splice($suggestions, $i, 0, $new_suggestions);
      $i += 2;
    }
  }
}

Programmatic Logic

The following provides an example of how you can configure your sub theme to be installed as the default on a module install:

/**
 * Implements hook_modules_installed().
 */
function MODULENAME_modules_installed($modules) {
    if (in_array('wxt', $modules)) {
      \Drupal::configFactory()
        ->getEditable('system.theme')
        ->set('default', 'THEMENAME')
        ->set('admin', 'claro')
        ->save(TRUE);
    }
  }
}

The following provides an example of how you can configure wxt_library to use your sub theme by creating a config/install/wxt_library.settings.yml file with the following contents:

url:
  visibility: 0
  pages:
    - 'admin*'
    - 'imagebrowser*'
    - 'img_assist*'
    - 'imce*'
    - 'node/add/*'
    - 'node/*/edit'
    - 'print/*'
    - 'printpdf/*'
    - 'system/ajax'
    - 'system/ajax/*'
theme:
  visibility: 1
  themes:
    THEMENAME: THEMENAME
    wxt_bootstrap: wxt_bootstrap
minimized:
  options: 1
files:
  types:
    css: css
    js: js
wxt:
  theme: theme-gcweb

2.7 - Versioning

The Drupal WxT distribution is following semantic versioning.

WxT typically makes a sprint release every four to six weeks. We will also use sprint releases to package new minor releases of Drupal Core with WxT as they become available.

In addition, we will also increment the major version number of WxT about once every four to six months.

Extensions

Support for semantic versioning for extensions (modules, themes, etc) is still ongoing.

The three parts of our versioning system are MAJOR.FEATURE.SPRINT.

Given the following tag: 9.x-2.15:

9 Major version of Drupal Core
x
2 Major version of WxT
1 Feature release of WxT. Also increments with minor core releases.
5 Sprint release between feature releases

Note: Due to the constraints of drupal.org, there is no separator between the FEATURE and SPRINT digits.

3 - Environment

This section documents best practices on how to deploy Drupal WxT to your chosen environment.

3.1 - Containers

For the (optional) container based development workflow this is roughly the steps that are followed.

# Git clone docker scaffold
git clone https://github.com/drupalwxt/docker-scaffold.git docker

Linux Environments

The following are the steps you should follow for a Linux based environment.

# Create symlinks
ln -s docker/docker-compose.yml docker-compose.yml
ln -s docker/docker-compose-ci.yml docker-compose-ci.yml

# Composer install
export COMPOSER_MEMORY_LIMIT=-1 && composer install

# Make our base docker image
make build

# Bring up the dev stack
docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml build --no-cache
docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml up -d

# Install Drupal
make drupal_install

# Development configuration
./docker/bin/drush config-set system.performance js.preprocess 0 -y && \
./docker/bin/drush config-set system.performance css.preprocess 0 -y && \
./docker/bin/drush php-eval 'node_access_rebuild();' && \
./docker/bin/drush config-set wxt_library.settings wxt.theme theme-gcweb -y && \
./docker/bin/drush cr

# Migrate default content
./docker/bin/drush migrate:import --group wxt --tag 'Core' && \
./docker/bin/drush migrate:import --group gcweb --tag 'Core' && \
./docker/bin/drush migrate:import --group gcweb --tag 'Menu'

Modern OSX Environments

If you have Docker for Desktop and a new enough OSX environment (Monterey or higher) then the steps are the exact same as those for the Linux environment given above.

All that is required in advance is to enable VirtioFS accelerated directory sharing which you can see in the attached picture below.

Docker for Desktop VirtioFS
Image: Drupal / CC-BY-CA

For older environments you may still use mutagen which is discussed below.

Legacy OSX Environments (Mutagen)

While this is fixed with the new virtualization framework discussed above.

For older environments mutagen will have to be used instead and as such requires a few additional steps.

# Mutagen Setup
export VOLUME=site-wxt-mutagen-cache
docker volume create $VOLUME
docker container create --name $VOLUME -v $VOLUME:/volumes/$VOLUME mutagenio/sidecar:0.13.0-beta3
docker start $VOLUME
mutagen sync create --name $VOLUME --sync-mode=two-way-resolved --default-file-mode-beta 0666 --default-directory-mode-beta 0777  $(pwd) docker://$VOLUME/volumes/$VOLUME

# Create symlinks
ln -s docker/docker-compose-mutagen.yml docker-compose-mutagen.yml

# Composer install
export COMPOSER_MEMORY_LIMIT=-1 && composer install

# Make our base docker image
make build

# Bring up the dev stack
docker-compose -f docker-compose-mutagen.yml build --no-cache
docker-compose -f docker-compose-mutagen.yml up -d

# Install Drupal
make drupal_install

# Development configuration
./docker/bin/drush config-set system.performance js.preprocess 0 -y && \
./docker/bin/drush config-set system.performance css.preprocess 0 -y && \
./docker/bin/drush php-eval 'node_access_rebuild();' && \
./docker/bin/drush config-set wxt_library.settings wxt.theme theme-gcweb -y && \
./docker/bin/drush cr

# Migrate default content
./docker/bin/drush migrate:import --group wxt --tag 'Core' && \
./docker/bin/drush migrate:import --group gcweb --tag 'Core' && \
./docker/bin/drush migrate:import --group gcweb --tag 'Menu'

Cleanup

If you wish to have a pristine docker environment you may execute the following commands.

docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)
docker rmi $(docker images -q) --force
docker volume prune -f

For those still using Mutagen you may also need to execute the following command:

mutagen sync terminate <sync_xxxxx>

3.2 - Kubernetes

Cloud Native Architecture

Introduction

This document represents a high-level technical overview of how the Helm Chart for Drupal WxT was built and how we envision Drupal itself should be architected in the cloud to support any of the Government of Canada procured cloud service providers (AWS, Azure, and GCP). It should be noted that this Helm chart would also work in an on-premise environment with the appropriate Kubernetes infrastructure.

A key mandate when creating this architecture was to follow the Open Source Directive as given by the Treasury Board Secretariat (C.2.3.8) which states that you should try to use open standards and open source software first. Additionally, where possible all functionality should be exposed as restful services and leverage microservices via a containerized approach (C2.3.10).

We are leveraging a microservices design pattern utilizing immutable and scanned images through containerization running on Kubernetes with a platform that has been built and open sourced by Statistics Canada. While the platform will be discussed briefly to provide context the bulk of the document discusses how Drupal is installed and configured on top of it.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes orchestrates the computing, networking, and storage infrastructure on behalf of user workloads. It assigns workloads and resources to a series of nearly identically-configured virtual machines.

Kukbernetes supports workloads running anywhere, from IoT devices, to private cloud and all the way to public cloud. This is possible due to Kubernetes' pluggable architecture, which defines interfaces that are then implemented for the different environments. Kubernetes provides an Infrastructure as Code environment defined through declarative configuration. Because Kubernetes abstracts away the implementation of the computing environment, application dependencies such as storage, networking, etc., applications do not have to concern themselves with these differences.

Kubernetes is backed by a huge (10,000+) and vibrant growing community, consisting of end users, business, vendors and large cloud providers.

Key Points

This architecture brings many benefits to the Government of Canada:

  • Support for hybrid workloads (Linux and Windows), deployed using the same methodology
  • Abstraction of underlying hardware (“cattle rather than pets”) enabling an automated, highly-available and scaleable infrastructure for microservices
  • Declarative configuration enabling Infrastructure as Code allowing for deployment automation, reproducibility and re-use
  • Constructs to support advanced deployment patterns (blue/green, canary, etc.) enabling zero-downtime deployments
  • Platform-level tooling for traffic handling (routing, error recovery, encyption, etc.), monitoring, observability and logging, and secrets management

Kubernetes is supported across all cloud service providers (fully managed and self managed), preventing vendor lock-in. Managed offerings are available from Google, IBM, Azure, Digital Ocean, Amazon, Oracle and more. The choice whether to roll your own, using a managed service (AKS, EKS, GKE) or a Platform as a Service (OpenShift, Pivotal) is up to the organization to decide based on their requirements and risks. Our preference is to stay as close as possible to the open source version of Kubernetes as well as tooling in order to remain compatible with the different Kubernetes offerings (raw, managed, platform, etc.).

Government

Kubernetes is being actively investigated and/or used by many departments across the Government of Canada. Departments are starting to collaborate more and work together towards a common, well-vetted solution and this is why we have have Open Sourced our platform on the GC Accelerators hoping to foster this collaboration and form a community of practice.

Provided below is the Terraform (Infrastructure as Code) necessarily to install the Azure Kubernetes Service Infrastructure as well as configure with optional platform components (RBAC, Service Mesh, Policies, etc).

Drupal WxT on Kubernetes

A managed Drupal Platform as a Service is a strong candidate to take advantage of what a Kubernetes platform offers. The design enables a quick onboarding of new workloads through the repeatable deployment methodology provided by Kubernetes.

Kubernetes

Recommendation: Kubernetes

Kubernetes is the basis of the Drupal platform and was further discussed above.

The whole Drupal application stack can be easily installed in a distributed fashion in minutes using our Helm chart, The chart facilitates a managed service workflow (rolling updates, cronjobs, health checks, auto-scaling, etc.) without user intervention.

Ingress controller

Recommendation: Istio

The ingress controller is responsible for accepting external HTTPS connections and routing them to backend applications based on configuration defined in Kubernetes Ingress objects. Routing can be done by domain and/or path.

Varnish

Recommendation: Varnish

Varnish is a highly customizable reverse proxy cache. This will aid in supporting a large number of concurrent visitors as the final rendered pages can be served from cache. Varnish is only required on the public environment and is not used in the content staging environment.

Nginx can technically address some of the cache requirements needed, however the open source version does not support purging selective pages. We need to clear caches based on content being updated / saved which Varnish supports along with the Expire Drupal module quite readily

Nginx

Recommendation: Nginx

Nginx is an open source web server that can also be used a reverse proxy, HTTP cache, and load balancer. Due to its root in performance optimization under scale, Nginx often outperforms similarly popular web servers and is built to offer low memory usage, and high concurrency.

Web (PHP-FPM)

Recommendation: PHP-FPM

Drupal runs in the PHP runtime environment. PHP-FPM is the process manager organized as a master process managing pools of individual worker processes. Its architecture shares design similarities with event-driven web servers such as Nginx and allows for PHP scripts to use as much of the server's available resources as necessary without additional overhead that comes from running them inside of web server processes.

The PHP-FPM master process dynamically creates and terminates worker processes (within configurable limits) as traffic to PHP scripts increases and decreases. Processing scripts in this way allows for much higher processing performance, improved security, and better stability. The primary performance benefits from using PHP-FPM are more efficient PHP handling and ability to use opcode caching.

Redis

Recommendation: Redis

Redis is an advanced key-value cache and store.

It is often referred to as a data structure server since keys can contain strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets, bitmaps, etc.

Redis is particularly useful when using cloud managed databases to limit the overall database load and to make performance more consistent.

Database

Recommendation: MySQL or PostgreSQL

Drupal maintains its state in a database and while supports several types only MySQL or PostgreSQL should be considered. Personally, we highly recommend PostgreSQL based on the experience we had building / launching quite a few Drupal sites in the cloud with it. However both run quite well with minimal operational concerns. Additionally the Helm Chart supports connection pooling using either ProxySQL and / or PGBouncer depending on the database used.

Note: Our recommendation would be to use a managed database offering from the cloud providers for a production environment. Coupled with a managed file service, this removes all stateful components from the cluster enabling the best application experience possible.

Stateful Assets

Drupal stores generated CSS/JS assets and uploaded content (images, videos, etc.) in a file storage. As the architecture is designed to be distributed, this present some design considerations for us.

Azure Files (CIFS / NFS)

Fully managed file shares in the cloud that are accessible via Server Message Block (SMB) or NFS protocol. Support is provided for dynamically creating and using a persistent volume with Azure Files in the Azure Kubernetes Service.

For more information on Azure Files, please see Azure Files and AKS.

Note: This is currently our recommended choice as it results in a simpler installation in Azure then relying on an S3 compatible object store discussed below. Similar storage solutions exist with the other cloud providers.