OSTips – Can You Really Manage Your Drupal Site On An iPad?

So you head outside for a break maybe to the park because it’s a beautiful day. You’re sitting there relaxing, and you get a call from a client asking for help with a site. If you’re like me, you don’t go anywhere without your iPad.  Can I help the client without leaving the serenity of the park?  The answer is, “Yeah, I can troubleshoot it right now from here.” 

Let’s take a look.

With  Drupal, the news is actually pretty good!  Literally, I can touch with my finger and get anywhere within the UI. I can even just type the title with my pencil and the iPad recognizes it.

I have a keyboard if I need it as well. 

Of course, if I’m using my Magic Keyboard, I’ve got the full keyboard experience as well as the trackpad.

You have the ability to pretty much work anywhere in the Drupal UI that you want.  Almost everything in the UI works. If I want to go to the menus and update my main navigation, I can click and drag and drop just like I could with a mouse.

With iOS, there’s a number of options for both ssh-ing into your site as well as sftp so you have complete access to the command line.  I can run Composer commands and edit files as I need to.  There’s also a couple of other options here: Coda, Working Copy (if you’re working on a branch from a git repository), and Textastic.

None of these are free, but they are not that expensive.

Now for the Bad News (UPDATE – there is no “bad” news – read below)

There’s really only one thing in the UI that doesn’t work, and it’s kind of a big one.

I’m going to head back to that node that I just created and click Layout.

I can do anything I want I can

  1. add that block in from the article media
  2. hide the label
  3. change it to a reference entity
  4. add the block

And that works except the quick edit icons are now missing.  This will be true across the board. Even in Chrome, you cannot access the quick edit icons. Even with the trackpad, when you’re using the Magic Keyboard.

So while I can add things to my layout, and I can move fields around within my layout, I can no longer edit it or configure it. I can completely remove a section, but of course, that’s kind of starting over.  


I’m filing this under “You learn something new every day” – HUGE thanks to Xaq (see comment below).  All you have to do to show the pencil icons is click the Edit button at the top right of the administration screen.

So, contrary to the video and my comments – you CAN TOTALLY manage your Drupal site from your iOS device!

This has been OSTips from OSTraining.  I’m Rod Martin. Thanks for joining me today in the park, and we’ll see you next time.


  • Rod Martin

    Rod holds two masters degrees and has been training people how to do "things" for over 25 years. Originally from Australia, he grew up in Canada and now resides just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. He has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit worlds, in small companies and large corporations. His extensive open source experience includes WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and he really knows how to help you get the most out of the system you chose. Rod plays ice hockey a couple of times a week and rides his Goldwing motorcycle pretty much everywhere he can.

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2 years ago

If you click the “Edit” button with the pencil icon on the right of the toolbar, it toggles all the contextual link buttons to appear. 

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