I have a question about my Drupal Answers post: Installing a site with a specific configuration

I've read through most all of the install documentation, and it seems like what I'm trying to do should be possible. However, there's no specific examples. I've even read through some of the source code, but I wasn't able to find anything obvious.

Yet, the question was closed as off-topic, with the comment:

Questions asking to recommend or find a book, tool, module, theme, distribution, tutorial, or other off-site resource are off-topic for Drupal Answers as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it.

But I am not seeking recommendations, or even a specific tool. I've described a specific problem and what I've looked at so far to try to solve it. It directly relates to the install process and using Drupal's configuration mechanism.

How is this off-topic? What are my options for getting an answer?

  • 2
    I'm not going to cleanup comments, but things like the above need to be either in the question on the main site or an answer here about why it was closed.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:46
  • I most-likely voted to close this because I felt the question was asking for an off-site resource (documentation) rather than a specific question with technical details. This is the closest close reason to that. The original question was also "too broad" (Needs details/focus) as mpdonadio writes in their answer below. I don't often have time to make a comment, and I apologize that might have seemed unwelcoming.
    – mradcliffe
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


When a question is closed, keep in mind that closure doesn't not always mean the end of a question.

We are also limited with our close reasons. Often, a question needs to be closed, but the stock choices aren't perfect matches. For your current question, that is the case.

Personally, I would have closed this question with the Needs details or clarity or Needs more focus reason. Let's dissect your original:

I would like to use drush site-install to automate installing and configuring a new Drupal 8 website. What process would I need to do to write the configuration, then perform the automated installation?

Are you cloning a site? Deploying a local one? Starting a new site from a template site? Or do you want to make a new site and fully configure it without the UI? Isn't really clear what you are after.

I looked at another answer (Installing a site from existing configuration) but it doesn't specify how you actually get the configuration in the first place, or how you pass that configuration to the install command.

Again, it isn't clear what you are trying to accomplish here.

You then made an edit to add

I've looked at creating a new, blank website, and then importing the configuration. However it doesn't seem to be officially supported, and seems difficult to automate (you have to edit a YAML file). It seems to me like this should be possible to do with a single drush command (or comparable tool).

You add what you think doesn't work, what you think should be a solution (which may or not be correct), but still haven't described what you are trying to accomplish. There are several different ways to accomplish automated installation, and some are best (or only appropriate) for certain situations.

So, I suggest editing the question to

  • outline your starting point and end goal (see my commentary about the first paragraph), and disambiguate whether you have config already or don't (there are some potential contradictions in the question and the comments)
  • outline what you have tried so far

From there, we can see if we can help solve your problem.

  • I don't really have a "starting point" as such. I have multiple sites where I manually load up the Installer page, then configure everything through the UI; and it seems the configuration tools in Drupal 8 offer a good way to automate this (at least the second time, after I've exported a configuration from somewhere). There's not really a single task I'm doing this for.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:56
  • I don't consider this much different than, say, automating changing a password: drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/2/… I linked to two questions with answers that I've also tried. If you think one of them should have worked for some reason, I'm happy to elaborate on my experience.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:57
  • To provide one example, I have a Drupal 8 site that I created, I'm configuring it to look like an existing Drupal 7 site. I would like to export the configuration of my D8 clone, and install it on development and CI servers.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:58
  • My reading of the rules only allows questions to be closed for one of the listed reasons. drupal.stackexchange.com/help/closed-questions If none of the listed reasons apply, you should consider a different course of action, rather than closing the question.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 0:06
  • 1
    @awwright As I outlined in my answer, your question could be closed for at least two of the reasons on that help page. And, this wasn't outright an diamond moderator action; five community members thought the question should be closed. We don't reopen and then reclose questions just to have the closest reason attached. All of the right things have happened here.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 0:14
  • @awwright (cont) There were comments on the question to try to get clarity, it was closed, and then you came here asking why it was closed. You also have some guidance on how to get the question reopened, which is going to take some editing to the question. (and my pizza now here, so I am signing off for the evening)
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 0:17
  • There was only one comment on the question before it was closed. Nobody tried to get clarification. They just voted, and with an incorrect reason that I think should be cleared out.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 0:20
  • @awwright I have mentioned, the precise close reason is not what matters here, and further comments aren't going to get it reopened by a diamond moderator. And, as I mentioned in my answer, closure is not the end of a question. Once we have a clear question (as the question, not scattered in comments), the community can figure out it it can be reopened.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 0:58
  • (1) The close reason does matter because this site has rules about when questions may be closed, and I would like people to follow those rules. (2) I believe I have a clear question. It should be no less clear than "How do I use Drush to change my password" or "How do I back up my site configuration?" If there is anything I can do to clarify it for other users I'm happy to do so in the original question's comment section. (3) I believe there's plenty of people capable of answering the question as-is, without clarification. These people cannot do that when the question is closed.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 1:49
  • 2
    @awwright I am well aware of the site and network rules, written and unwritten. You may think you have clear question, but at least five other people don't think so. None of that means that you don't have a problem that needs to be answered; Comments on SE sites are ephemeral; questions and answers should be able to stand on their own after all comments have been deleted. The only thing that will get this question reopened is by consolidating your comments and editing into a concise question. You need to understand that I really am trying to help out here so we can reopen this question.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 2:03
  • At least 4 of those people had an opportunity to seek clarification in the comments. Instead they voted to close as "offtopic", which is not the intended purpose of closing a question.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 2:05
  • And again, I'm happy to edit the question as directed by comments. Closing is not constructive, and prohibits people who understand the question from answering it.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 2:07
  • 2
    @awwright Arguing with a diamond moderator about the precise closure reason is also not constructive. The precise close reason does not matter. Edit your question and flag for reopening, which will allow it to be evaluated.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 2:17
  • (1) I think it's fair to ask if the site rules say you can only vote to close certain kinds of questions, to ask that those rules be followed and enforced. Is that not fair? (2) I've edited the question to incorporate all feedback so far, but I don't see any option to flag for reopening.
    – awwright
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 2:23
  • 1
    We don't reopen the questions that are still off-topic just to show the correct closing reasons. Even if an edit changed the meaning of the question, and it's off-topic for a different reason, we don't re-open it to close it immediately after.
    – apaderno Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 3:30

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