Installing Drush7 for Use with Drupal8

drush_logo-blackRecently I started playing with Drupal 8 which currently is at 8.0-Alpha9 as of February 19, 2014. In order to use Drush to interact with a Drupal8 website an installation of Drush version 7 must exist on the server. If you try to install Drupal 8 using a prior version of Drush you may see an error such as:

drush make d8.make
Beginning to build d8.make.                                       [ok]
Aborting.                                                         [cancel]
Source directory /tmp/make_tmp_138_e0b9/__build__ is not readable or does not exist.  [error]
Cannot move build into place

I prefer working with Drupal programmatically or via a Shell so we need a newer version of Drush installed. The rest of this article will install a local version of Drush7 and its dependencies.

Installing Drush7 manually and in a local directory:

Drush is on github now:

Drush depends on Composer now. I chose to install Composer globally on my system for project use by following these directions

note: be sure you mv composer.phar under a system-wide $PATH value and renamed it as composer. This was a huge hangup for me because Drush will scan for composer, and not a file named composer.phar for example.

Once composer is installed. I downloaded a copy of Drush7 from Github to a local folder using Git. Drush supplies documentation for manual installation in detail.

In my project directory in a drush7 folder I issued:
git clone .

On my system at least I don’t need to mess making the drush command executable, and I’m using this Drush install locally as a test for project so I didn’t symlink drush anywhere in my $PATH. But the step 5 of the Drush manual install process from the official Drush docs is critical.

If you’ve followed thusfar we’ve:

  1. Installed Composer globally on our system.

  2. Fetched Drush source to a local project folder.

We now have to finish installing Drush (it’s dependencies). From the Drush root directory you must issue:
composer install

This will install the Drush dependencies so Drush will fully work when you call it. Now Drush is installed.

We can check this with a simple command:

dgurba /var/www/2014/MyProject/drush7 master > ./drush --version
Drush Version   :  7.0-dev

We can now interact with or attempt to install Drupal8 using Drush at our whim.

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Author Spotlight

David Gurba

I am a web programmer currently employed at UCSB. I have been developing web applications professionally for 8+ years now. For the last 5 years I’ve been actively developing websites primarily in PHP using Drupal. I have experience using LAMP and developing data driven websites for clients in aviation, higher education and e-commerce. If you’d like to contact me I can be reached at

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