Drupal distributions

One of the benefits of using Aegir is the ease of distribution deployment. In the last year or two, the Drupal community has built and released some amazing free Drupal distributions for anyone to download and use. These are preconfigured Drupal installations, specialised at a specfic task, with all necessary modules included, custom theme and an installation profile that takes care of all default settings.

Most of these distributions are using or converting to drush_make to keep their package organized and maintainable. In fact, we at Merge use our own custom distribution as a starting point for many projects as it will boost the initial phase of any Drupal project.

Here are most of the more popular Drupal distributions I checked out. Do you have experience with other?


open atrium
Intranet/extranet
made by: developmentseed
official site: http://openatrium.comProbably the most famous (and first) distribution. Built on Features, very customisable and looks great. We use it all the time for team collaboration/communication/ticketing.


drupal commons
Community site
made by: acquia
official site:http://acquia.com/products-services/drupal-commons

Lots of functionality (modules), but with a very basic theme. But you can of course customize other themes.


open publish
Wordpress on steroids?
made by: Phase2
official site: http://openpublishapp.com

Has some nifty stuff like Apture support (with CKEDitor), Open Calais and other (tagging/referencing) tools to provide for powerful publishing.


managing news
Aggregating content in a visual way.
made by: developmentseed
official site: http://managingnews.com

Another very polished product. Just enter some feeds and watch what happens! Uses Feeds and OpenLayers module among many others.


tattler (beta)
Searches the internet for keywords/phrases.
made by: Phase 2
official site: http://tattlerapp.com
I had a little trouble setting it up with Aegir, but it worked out. Requires some configuration, development seems to have stalled but it looks pretty awesome anyway. Main difference with managing news is this distro actively looks on the internet for your keywords, instead of relying on feeds. Uses Buzzmonitor among other.


voicebox (beta)
Community platform, focused on contribution
made by: funnymonkey
official site: http://code.funnymonkey.com/introducing-voicebox

I couldn't get it working with Aegir yet. It's funded by the Knight Drupal Initiative and you can check out screencasts here as there is no demo.

I'm sure 2011 will be offering a lot more distributions as this is a powerful feature of Drupal. Expect Open Public from Phase2 in early 2011 for example.

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