Kalatheme in Kalabox on Pantheon for a minute about time

What flavor is Kalatheme?

Create a Kalatheme sub-theme project right on Pantheon

Pull it down to your laptop on Kalabox

Work on it in Eclipse IDE, for example

What flavor is Kalatheme?

Kalatheme is a very convenient theme to use, and should be the default theme for Panopoly, with all due respect. Peruse its Drupal project page.  Panopoly + Bootstrap 3 + Bootstrap themes + browser based sub-theme generator (<- Bootswatch, etc., etc.!) + views grids + reusable custom CSS classes that can be registered as optional in any panels pane + advanced stuff for the folks that, inline with Kalatheme philosophy, don't like to admit they use it:Sass and Compass Tools.

I watched an interesting video given by Mike Pirog of Kalamuna, which gives you a really good feel for Kalatheme's philosophy, objectives and look and feel, despite being a few months old. Then take a gander at the Kalatheme docs on d.o. 

Some cool concepts are:

  • Twitter bootstrap
    • Drupal Libraries API for themes!
    • Straightforward upgrade path for any library
    • Responsive classes
  • One region: content (that's it). Then, panels layouts and panes. Page manager, Panelizer, Panopoly goodness.
    • No more blocks! No more regions!
    • Way, way fewer files!
  • Panopoly layouts + Kalatheme layouts + custom layouts

Create a Kalatheme sub-theme project right on Pantheon

  • Sign up and/or login to your pantheon dashboard.
  • Add a new site
  • Select the Panopoly distribution
  • SFTP mode is required, and it will be (should be) by default
  • Visit the site to complete the installation of Panopoly. Initially, just use any old theme. I installed the Panopoly News demo too, just to see some stuff.
  • Once the install process is complete, visit your new site as admin.
  • From the Appearances page click on "Install a new theme" and paste in a link the latest stable archive of Kalatheme. I entered http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/kalatheme-7.x-3.0-rc1.tar.gz in Install from a URL field and clicked Install (it works since we are in SFTP mode and the necessary permissions are automatically set up).
  • Initially enable Kalatheme and set it to the default and admin theme. You can safely disregard the error message "You do not have a Bootstrap library installed but that is ok! To get equipped either check out our Start Up Guide or run our Setup Wizard."
    • Startup guide: https://drupal.org/node/2167149
    • Setup Wizard: http://dev-kalatesting.gotpantheon.com/admin/appearance/kalasetup
  • Now to create your sub-theme based on your favorite Bootswatch theme.
    • Did you remember to clear cache after setting a new theme :)  ?
    • Go back to your Admin > Appearances page.
    • At the top is the Setup Kalatheme link, click on it.
    • Complete the setup webform, with name, bootswatch theme (with preview! I chose Simplex; you can also choose third-party Bootstrap themes, for example there are paid themes at https://wrapbootstrap.com/ ), whether or not you want awesome font included (you do!), then click on Dress me up.
    • Lo and behold it becometh the default theme everywhere! REJOICE, as the instructions say.
  • Important Pantheonic note: Commit your changes on your site dashboard! Then you can switch to Git mode and do a backup or clone the project with Git. This will be important if you want to download a backup to your local laptop or workstation, say using Kalabox.

Pull it down to your laptop on Kalabox

"Kalabox is more than just a local development environment. It's an easy to use, site building and deployment toolkit for the masses. Advanced webtools now belong to the people." Built on kalastack using Vagrant and VirtualBox, integrated with Pantheon, I'm interested!

I shot them an email at kalabox@kalamuna.com to apply for a keycode since kalabox is in private beta. Mike Pirog shot me a nifty code, and I entered it together with my name and address in order to get "boxed". I downloaded the kalabox-1.0-beta4.dmg file for my Mac.

From the Readme.md (please read in its entirety) included in the install package:


  • Kalabox has been tested mostly on Mac OS X 10.8 and partially tested on 10.7 and 10.6. It may work on 10.6 or lower. If you try it out on an older OS X version, please share your experience.
  • For now, Kalabox supports 64-bit operating systems only. So if you're on a 32-bit machine, just hang tight, as support is coming soon!
  • Vagrant 1.3.5 and VirtualBox 4.2.18
  • 1GB+ of RAM Kalabox dynamically allocates memory to itself based on your available RAM. It needs at least 1GB available to run. 


  1. Double click on the installer.
  2. Agree to the terms of service
  3. Rejoice. NOTE: Apple may warn you...

Connecting with Pantheon

All you need is an account and a site on Pantheon. Go to the configure tab, enter your username and password, click back to My Sites and start developing! If you're interested in interacting with your Pantheon sites directly from the command line, you can use some of the handy Drush commands that come packaged with the Terminatur. https://github.com/kalamuna/terminatur

More? https://kalamuna.atlassian.net/wiki/display/kalabox/Kalabox+Home

After installing in the usual Mac way, I executed it. It asked me for permissions and downloaded some extra stuff... After a while (quite a while, actually, something like 15 minutes with a pretty decent internet connection), I had my Kalabox up and running. Edit: Actually, this is a very short time if you take into consideration that a full Linux server is being downloaded and setup!

I clicked on the Configure tab and entered my Pantheon credentials and logged in.

Then I clicked on My Sites and all my sites were to be found. I clicked on one, I thought I checked Download my files also, and chose the nifty option Create a new Pantheon backup and download it, and hit Submit.

The site was downloaded and I was greated with the Boomshakalaka! message that my site was good to go right here on my laptop. I clicked Great in answer to the offer Give it a try. There was my site right in my local browser!

I had forgotten to click on the Download my files also, so the images weren't present. So from the My Sites tab, I clicked on the gear just below the front page thumbnail of my site, and selected Refresh, then selected the Files checkbox only, and clicked Refresh. My images appeared on my site :)

I then clicked on the Home tab, and then selected SSH. Local Terminal opened at /home/vagrant. I cd'd to /var/www and then to my site and did a drush status


Work on it in Eclipse IDE, for example

From https://github.com/kalamuna/kalastack:

"Kalastack uses NFS file sharing. You can access your server webroot at ~/kalabox/www on your host machine. This way you can use your local IDE to edit files on your server."

Well, that was easy!


In a later article, we'll deal with Pantheon integrated workflow using Kalabox. Can't wait!