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Drush Integration for Backdrop CMS

Build Status

This project allows you to use Drush with Backdrop CMS. Drush is a command-line tool for manipulating content management systems.

This integration is currently capable of executing the following commands:

  • drush dlb backdrop: Download Backdrop CMS.
  • drush cc: Clear individual or all caches in Backdrop.
  • drush uli: Generate a one-time login link.
  • drush upwd: Update the password for a selected user.
  • drush st : Check the status of a Backdrop site; bootstrap, database connection etc.
  • drush cron: Run the regular interval commands in hook_cron().
  • drush updb: Run database updates through the Backdrop update.php script.
  • drush pml: Show a list of available extensions (modules and themes).
  • drush dl: Download and unpack contrib modules, themes, and layouts.
  • drush en: Enable one or more extensions (modules or themes). Enable dependant extensions as well.
  • drush dis: Disable one or more extensions (modules or themes). Disable dependant extensions as well.
  • drush pmu: Uninstall one or more modules and their dependent modules.
  • drush bcex: Export a Backdrop site configuration.
  • drush bcim: Import Backdrop site configuration.
  • drush bp: Generate boilerplate code for developers; *.info and *.module files.
  • drush sql-*: MySQL connection commands, such as sql-cli or sql-conf.
  • drush scr: Execute scripts with the Backdrop API.
  • drush ctl: List the content types available on the site. (only for backdrush >= 1.1.0)

To see a full list of available drush commands (not all of which will necessarily work with Backdrop CMS):

  • drush help

To get additional information about a specific command

  • drush help <command>

There are many more commands that Drush may execute, but they need to be updated for use with Backdrop. Although some commands may have worked through Backdrop's compatibility layer, for now any untested (and possibly dangerous) commands are not allowed to be run within a Backdrop installation.

As an alternative to Drush, you may like to consider using Backdrop Console, which has been built from the ground-up specifically for Backdrop.


This project requires that you use the "8.x" branch of drush ( Neither older versions of drush nor the new 9.x or master branches will work with this extension.

There are a number of ways to install the Backdrop drush extension. All of them require the drush 8.x upstream. The main two ways are to install globally or site local installs.

The main advantage to the global install is you install the Backdrop Drush Extension once it operates on all your Backdrop sites. The disadvantage is that it can effect how drush operates on Drupal sites (sometimes breaking some commands). We try our best to prevent that, but it has been known to happen.

The main advantage to site local installs is that you will not break your Drupal sites or other Backdrop sites. The main disadvantage is you need to isntall drush proper and backdrop drush once per site.

Install with Lando

I primarily use Lando to do my development and Lando comes with the Backdrop Drush Extension installed 'out of the box'. I recommend Lando to do local development in general and as a great way to isolate dev dependencies and tooling for Backdrop site development.

By default Lando will install the latest stable release of the Backdrop Drush extension, but you can point it at any git tag or commit hash. If you wish to live on the bleeding edge and run the Backdrop Drush extension from source you can use this example .lando.yml file.

Install as Site Local

Download drush proper to your BACKDROP_ROOT (the place where your Backdrop code exists. The directory structure should loook something like this:

└─ $ ∴ ll
total 84
drwxrwxr-x 10 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 13:04 ./             <-- BACKDROP_ROOT
drwxrwxr-x  3 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 13:01 ../
drwxrwxr-x  9 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 13:03 core/
drwxr-xr-x 11 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 13:04 drush/         <-- Drush 8.x
-rw-rw-r--  1 gff gff   554 Jan 12 13:03 .editorconfig
drwxrwxr-x  4 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 14:16 files/
drwxrwxr-x  8 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 13:41 .git/
-rw-rw-r--  1 gff gff   257 Jan 12 13:03 .gitignore
-rw-rw-r--  1 gff gff  6017 Jan 12 13:03 .htaccess
-rwxrwxr-x  1 gff gff   578 Jan 12 13:03 index.php*
drwxrwxr-x  2 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 13:03 layouts/
drwxrwxr-x  3 gff gff  4096 Jan 12 14:21 modules/
-rw-rw-r--  1 gff gff  3978 Jan 12 13:03

Then add the Backdrop Drush Extension to the BACKDROP_ROOT/drush/commands directory. Should look something like this:

└─ $ ∴ ll
total 40
drwxr-xr-x  9 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 ./      <-- BACKDROP_ROOT/drush/commands
drwxr-xr-x 11 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 ../
drwxr-xr-x  6 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 17:36 backdrop/  <-- Backdrop Drush Extension
drwxr-xr-x  4 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:42 core/
drwxr-xr-x  2 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 make/
drwxr-xr-x  4 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 pm/
drwxr-xr-x  2 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 runserver/
drwxr-xr-x  2 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 sql/
drwxr-xr-x  2 gff gff 4096 Jan 12 13:04 user/
-rw-r--r--  1 gff gff 3049 Jan 12 13:04

Install Globally

If you are using composer to install drush, you can run the following command to require the 8.x version:

composer global require drush/drush:8.x

To install the Backdrop integration for Drush, clone or download this project into any location that supports Drush commands. The most common location for custom Drush commands such as this is in your user's home directory.

  • mkdir ~/.drush/commands (This may already exist, if so continue.)
  • cd ~/.drush/commands -- Get either the latest head or the latest stable: --- Latest HEAD: wget --- Latest Stable:
  • unzip -d backdrop
  • Clear the drush cache -- drush cc drush

Now switch to a Backdrop site's directory and try a command! drush cron works well.


Use Drush as you would normally with a Drupal website.


This project is GPL v2 software. See the LICENSE.txt file in this directory for complete text.



Thanks to all the Drush maintainers for their project, in particular:

for their help in making Drush for Backdrop possible.

Drush Logo

Releasing Versions

We are using release-it to manage releases. When you are ready for a release:

  • NOTE that you need to set your GITHUB_TOKEN in your environment in order to push and cut releases on GitHub.