Feb 18 2016
Feb 18

Drupal 8 logo

The recommended approach to getting started with Drupal 8 is now via Composer. An official project template has been created for this. We will create our project directly using the template, which is also available on Packagist.

To create a new project based on this template we can run the following Composer command:

composer create-project drupal-composer/drupal-project:8.x-dev my_project --stability dev --no-interaction

This Composer command will pull in the template from Packagist and run a few Drupal specific scripts to prepare our project for installation. The only thing left to do is point our browser to the web/ directory (since that is where the index.php file is) and run the installer as usual.

This template comes with a /web folder that contains, among other things, the main folders of a Drupal installation that are no longer considered part of Drupal core (such as the index.php file or the modules and themes folders). Additionally, it comes with an autoload.php file used by Drupal that simply points to the Composer vendor/ directory, one folder up. So all PHP libraries are now handled from one single place.

The template’s composer.json file requires the latest stable Drupal core + some additional helper tools such as Drush and the Drupal Console. Additionally, it adds the Drupal specific Packagist repository from where we can install Drupal contributed modules, themes and profiles (that get automatically installed in the right place).

If we want to add a Drupal contributed module, we need to find it on the Drupal Packagist and require it in our project via Composer:

composer require drupal/ctools

This will add the Ctools module directly to our web/modules/ directory and update our composer.json file.

The project template also comes with a .gitignore file that keeps Drupal core and all the contributed packages outside of Git, similar to the regular vendor/ packages. So based on an updated composer.json file, we can maintain a smaller Git repository and recreate our project any time. A lot of the benefits of Drush Make have now been incorporated into a Composer flow.


Drupal 8 has come a long way in catching up with other major PHP software. The possibility of fully managing it via Composer, either as a main project or even just as part of a bigger set of applications, is a testament to the community effort that went in.

Daniel Sipos

Meet the author

Daniel Sipos is a Drupal developer who lives in Brussels, Belgium. He works professionally with Drupal but likes to use other PHP frameworks and technologies as well. He runs webomelette.com, a Drupal blog where he writes articles and tutorials about Drupal development, theming and site building.
Oct 14 2014
Oct 14

In this quick tip, we’ll be installing a local instance of Drupal 8, beta 1. By the end, you’ll have a copy of Drupal that’s not only ready to be extended with Symfony bundles and other packages, but also ready to accept content and display it to end users.

Step 1: Prepare Environment

In order for everyone to have the same starting point, we’ll be using our trusty old Homestead Improved vagrant box. It’s important to note that even if this tip will be installing Drupal 8 into the Vagrant box, the procedure is absolutely identical for any Ubuntu based environment.

So, somewhat optional, please clone a new Homestead Improved instance as per instructions in this tip. Then, add a new site and make sure you add the entry to your host machine’s hosts file. In my case, it’s test.app and Homestead.yaml looks like this:

ip: ""
memory: 2048
cpus: 1

    - map: .
      to: /home/vagrant/Code

    - map: homestead.app
      to: /home/vagrant/Code/Laravel/public
    - map: test.app
      to: /home/vagrant/Code/drupal

    - key: APP_ENV
      value: local

Step 2: Download and extract Drupal 8 b1

If you’re using a VM, log into it and enter the folder where you keep your projects. In the case of the Homestead Improved installation above, that’ll be /home/vagrant/Code. If you’re using your own LAMP stack or whatever, just go into your projects folder.

wget http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-8.0.0-beta1.tar.gz

When downloading finishes, extract the archive and rename the resulting folder to drupal.

tar -xvzf drupal-8.0.0-beta1.tar.gz
mv drupal-8.0.0-beta1 drupal

Step 3: Create the DB

In this case we’ll be using MySQL. We’ll also be using Homestead-specific user/pass defaults. If you’ve got your own environment, adapt as needed. For PostgreSQL see here.

mysqladmin -u homestead -psecret create drupaltest
mysql -u homestead -psecret

Once in the MySQL console, execute the following:



Step 4: Settings

In this step, we create a settings and services file from the provided templates, and let the Drupal installer edit them by altering permissions.

cd drupal
cp sites/default/default.settings.php sites/default/settings.php
cp sites/default/default.services.yml sites/default/services.yml
chmod a+w sites/default/settings.php
chmod a+w sites/default/services.yml
chmod a+w sites/default

Step 5: Install

In your host’s browser, enter the URL test.app:8000/install.php and follow the instructions of the wizard.

Choose a standard installation profile for the quickest setup. You can find out more about these profiles here, if interested.

Optional Cleanup and Tweaks

Optional but recommended:

  1. Remove the original downloaded archive to free up disk space
  2. Activate the cron
  3. Change the permissions back:

    chmod 644 sites/default/settings.php
    chmod 644 sites/default/services.yml
    chmod 755 sites/default


As you can see, adding a new Drupal installation onto your server can be done in minutes from total zero to fully functional CMS. For more information on other aspects and edge cases of Drupal installation, see their installation guide.

Bruno is a coder from Croatia with Master’s Degrees in Computer Science and English Language and Literature. He’s the editor of SitePoint’s PHP channel and a developer evangelist for Diffbot.com. He avoids legacy code like the plague and when picking projects makes sure they’re as cutting edge as possible. He’s a treadmill desk enthusiast and active (board)gamer who sometimes blogs.

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web