Working with a Local Clone

In this article we explain how you can work with a local clone of your Umbraco Cloud project.

To work with a local copy of your site, you'll need to use Windows with a local web server installed (like WebMatrix/IIS). If you're using macOS or Linux-based operating system, see the Working with Linux/macOS article.

Video Tutorial

Video example.


We recommend using the following tools to work with a local clone of your Umbraco Cloud project:

  • Git needs to be installed on your computer in order to clone down the project and push your changes up to Cloud.

  • Visual Studio - for running the project on your local machine.

In the root of your local project, there is a README file containing information about the project structure and the build process on Umbraco Cloud.

Cloning an Umbraco Cloud Project

To clone an Umbraco Cloud project, follow these steps:

  1. Open the project you wish to clone in the Umbraco Cloud Portal.

  2. Click on the arrow next to the Development environment.

  3. Select Clone project.

    Clone project option
    Clone project option
  4. Copy the clone URL to copy the Development environment's git repository endpoint.

    Copy the clone URL
    Copy the clone URL
  5. Use your favorite Git client to clone down the project. In this guide, we will use Git Bash.

  6. Type the following command in the Git Bash terminal:

    git clone <Git clone URL>

    The <Git clone URL> should be the URL you copied from the Cloud Development environment.

  1. Press Enter.

Once the project has been cloned down, you will get a folder with files for your Umbraco Cloud project. Now, you have a copy of your Umbraco Cloud Development environment that you can run locally.

Cloned Project

Running the site Locally

To run your Umbraco Cloud project locally, you will need to install the latest .NET SDK (if you do not have this already).

With dotnet installed, run the following commands in a terminal application of your choice. You can also refer to the Readme file in the project folder.

  1. Navigate to the newly created project folder.

  2. Run the following commands:

    cd src/UmbracoProject
  3. Build and run the project:

    dotnet build
    dotnet run

The terminal output will show the application starting up and will include localhost URLs which you can use to browse to your local Umbraco site.

Terminal Output

We recommend setting up a developer certificate and running the website under HTTPS. If you haven't configured one already, run the following command:

dotnet dev-certs https --trust

The first time the project is run locally, you will see the Restore from Umbraco Cloud screen. If the environment you have cloned already contains Umbraco Deploy metadata files (such as Document Types, Templates, etc), these are automatically extracted with the option to restore content from the Cloud environment into the local installation.

clone dialog

Click Restore to restore your site's content if any. Wait until this process is completed as it also creates the local SqlCE database for your site.

Working with Visual Studio

When working locally, we recommend using Visual Studio but you can use any other development tool of your choice.

Once the project has been cloned down, you will get a folder with files for your Umbraco Cloud project.

Umbraco 9 files
  1. Navigate to src/UmbracoProject. Here, you will find the files for your Umbraco installation.

    Umbraco 9 files
  2. Open the UmbracoProject.csproj file in Visual Studio.

  3. Build and run your solution in Visual studio.

You can create content, add media, and create your custom code. When you're ready to deploy your changes make sure to have a look at the deployments documentation.

If you have more than "a few" media items, see our recommendations for working with Media on Umbraco Cloud.

Adding a Solution File to your Cloud Project

Working with Visual Studio, you will likely want a solution file, so you and your team can work with an Umbraco Cloud project and have the option to add additional projects.

If you want to add a solution file for your Cloud project, you can do it either:

Using the Command Line

Using the terminal of your choice, navigate to the root of the git repository of your Umbraco Cloud project and enter the following command:

dotnet new sln --name <MyAwesomeSolution>

Using Visual Studio

  1. Open the UmbracoProject.csproj project in Visual studio.

  2. Click on the solution:

    Visual studio solution
  3. Save the solution file using the Save as option:

    save file as
  4. Provide a File name to create the solution file in the folder that you specified.

When creating a solution file, we recommend placing it at the root of the git repository.

Adding Additional Projects to your Solution

When creating new projects alongside the default Umbraco project, we recommend adding the projects to the src folder in the git repository.

If you want to add additional projects to your solution, you can do it either through the:

Command Line

Run the following commands to add additional projects to your solution:

dotnet new classlib --name MyAwesomeProject.Web --output src/MyAwesomeProject.Web
dotnet sln add .\src\MyAwesomeProject.Code\MyAwesomeProject.Code.csproj
dotnet sln add .\src\MyAwesomeProject.Web\MyAwesomeProject.Web.csproj

Visual Studio

  1. Open the UmbracoProject.csproj project in Visual studio.

  2. Click on the solution:

  3. Right-click the solution and choose Add -> New Project...

    add new project
  4. Add a class library using the latest .NET SDK to your project:

    Class library

Once the Class library (.Core) has been added, you can see the project(s) that have been added in Solution Explorer:

New project added

Renaming the Project Files and Folders

To rename your Umbraco Cloud project files and folder, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the .umbraco file at the root of the project and view the following:

    base = "src/UmbracoProject"
    csproj = "UmbracoProject.csproj"

    The base property provides the folder location which contains the application and the csproj property is the name of the .csproj file.

  2. Rename the UmbracoProject directory and .csproj file.

  3. Update the .umbraco file with the new name and any C# code namespaces reflecting the name of your project.

  4. Additionally, if you prefer to organize your code, you can add additional Class Library projects that are referenced by the Umbraco application .csproj file.

    For example: Rename UmbracoProject.csproj to MyAwesomeProject.Web.csproj and have one or more additional class library projects such as MyAwesomeProject.Code.csproj

    base = "src/MyAwesomeProject.Web"
    csproj = "MyAwesomeProject.Web.csproj"

It's a good idea to update the namespace used in the Program.cs, Startup.cs and _ViewImports.cshtml files so the naming is consistent throughout your project structure. Once updated, you will need to clear out the bin and obj folders locally to avoid build errors. When you are done, commit the changes and push them to Cloud.

If you have already built and run the project locally using the original project file and folder, make an update in your local .git repository to reflect the change that has been made. When a Cloud project first runs, a git hook is created to trigger a schema update via Umbraco Deploy when changes are pulled from an upstream environment.

The file you'll need to update is the post-merge within .git/hooks/ in your cloned environment files. It can be opened with a text editor. You can either delete the file so it will be recreated with the new path or update it. The default contents are shown below and can be updated to reflect the new path to the umbraco/Deploy folder.

echo > src/UmbracoProject/umbraco/Deploy/deploy

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