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Install CiviCRM on Drupal 8

Scope of this guide and alternative installation methods

This guide covers standard installation of CiviCRM for production use. For installing a development environment, refer to the section on Buildkit in the Developer Documentation.

Before installing

  1. Ensure that your system meets the requirements.
  2. Install Drupal 8 by referring to the Drupal 8 Installation Guide if needed.

Composer install required!

This guide will assume that you have installed Drupal 8 using composer. At this time manual installation of Drupal 8 using zip or tarball install methods is not supported.

Downloading CiviCRM on Drupal 8 with Composer

To download CiviCRM on a Drupal 8 site we'll need to ask Composer to require the CiviCRM libraries. We do this by requiring the civicrm-core, civicrm-drupal-8, civicrm-packages and civicrm-asset-plugin libraries.

Versions!

It is strongly recommended that you provide a version when requiring these libraries, as such our example command below will include, as an example, the version 5.27.2. Note that installing ESR versions onto CiviCRM has not been tested at this time and as such no instructions for doing so are provided.

Failure to provide a version will most likely result in you installing the dev-master version which is bleeding-edge code and may result in an unstable site/setup!

Composer running out of memory?

You may need to increase composer's memory limit in order to avoid out of memory errors.

Best practice is to use composer require locally or in dev/test and then deploy your composer.lock to staging and use composer install which requires less memory and implements the changes you've tested and committed to your repo!

Expert Mode - Just the command

To require the CiviCRM libraries on a Drupal 8 site you can use the following one-line command:

  • composer require civicrm/civicrm-asset-plugin:'~1.0.0' civicrm/civicrm-{core,packages,drupal-8}:'~5.28'

Guided Mode - More context and information

Location, Location... Location

You should always run composer commands from the top-level folder above the web and vendor folders, where in the same place as your composer.json file.

You can also install CiviCRM by running these commands separately, this is what that looks like, along with a brief explanation of what each step is doing:

  1. Require the CiviCRM composer asset plugin which helps build a predictable structure for your CiviCRM codebase: composer require civicrm/civicrm-asset-plugin:'~1.0.0'
  2. Require the CiviCRM core code: composer require civicrm/civicrm-core:'~5.28'
  3. Require the CiviCRM third-party packages library: composer require civicrm/civicrm-packages:'~5.28'
  4. Require the CiviCRM Drupal 8 integration code: composer require civicrm/civicrm-drupal8:'~5.28'

pear/exception conflict

If you get an error message from composer when trying to install CiviCRM that there is a conflict in requirements for the package pear/exception. Then run the following command: composer require pear/exception 1.0.1 as 1.0.0 before trying to run the command in step 3 above.

Optionally you can also require the cv command-line helper/interface for CiviCRM with:

Composer installs of cv are currently broken for now use the manual install steps.

  • composer require civicrm/cv - This will place the cv binary in ./vendor/bin/cv relative to your composer.json file.

Install localization files (for sites needing languages other than US-English)

I18n & L10n on Drupal 8

If installing with the GUI it is currently only possible to install CiviCRM in English (US) on Drupal 8. Adding the language files involves breaking with Composer best practices by writing the contents of the civicrm-l10n tarball into vendor/civicrm/civicrm-core or configuring the civicrm.l10n directory path after you install and placing the contents of the civicrm-l10n tarball into the configured directory.

Here Be Dragons...

The following steps are provided as an example - they are not supported or widely tested and may leave your site in a broken state. You use them at your own risk. No. Seriously...

You will also have to repeat these steps every time you upgrade CiviCRM.

The warnings above notwithstanding to install CiviCRM on Drupal 8 requires the following additional steps to prepare:

  1. Add cv to your Drupal 8 Site with: composer require civicrm/cv (composer installs of cv are currently broken for now use the manual install steps.)
  2. Grab the localisation (l10n) files and unpack the l10n and sql subfolders into vendor/civicrm/civicrm-core/

    • You'll find the l10n files on the CiviCRM Download page or from https://download.civicrm.org/civicrm-VERSION-l10n.tar.gz where VERSION is a recent version of CiviCRM.

    Example:

    wget https://download.civicrm.org/civicrm-5.27.2-l10n.tar.gz
    tar -zxvf civicrm-5.27.2-l10n.tar.gz
    cd civicrm/
    cp -R l10n/ ../vendor/civicrm/civicrm-core/
    cp -R sql/ ../vendor/civicrm/civicrm-core/
    cd ..
    rm -rf civicrm/
    

  3. If you've done this correctly, you should end up with vendor/civicrm/civicrm-core/l10n and vendor/civicrm/civicrm-core/sql/

    • You can remove any languages you don't need by deleting them before copying the l10n and sql folders.

Now we move onto Installing CiviCRM - Command line install

Installing CiviCRM

GUI install

Write permissions

It is critical that your web-server user is able to write to the web/sites/default/ directory in order to create civicrm.settings.php and that you have an appropriate value for execution time(s) and memory limit(s) as any interruption to the installer can (and will) result in an unusable install and require remedial steps to correct or a full reinstall! By default on Drupal 8.8+ this directory path is not writable by default, before installing you should ensure you grant write access to your web server user. With, e.g: sudo chmod u+w web/sites/default.

For multisite installations you'll also need to ensure your web server user has write access to additional sites e.g: sudo chmod u+w web/sites/site2.example.org.

  • Login to your Drupal site with Administrator level permissions.
  • Proceed to Manage >> Extend or point your web browser to the following URL:

    https://example.org/admin/modules/

  • Currently there is no interactive installer for CiviCRM on Drupal 8 and enabling the module in Drupal 8 will install CiviCRM into your existing Drupal 8 database.

    Where Should I Store CiviCRM Data?

    GUI installs of CiviCRM on Drupal 8 can only install into your existing Drupal 8 database. However using a separate database is generally preferred - as it makes backups and upgrades easier. If you want to install via the GUI and use a separate CiviCRM database you'd need to create the CiviCRM database manually and move the civicrm_ tables into the new CiviCRM database, then update civicrm.settings.php with the new database details. If you want to install directly into a separate database see the command line install instructions.

Command line install

Prerequisites

The steps below assume that you have the prerequisites for a command line install, namely cv or some other tested command-line installer for Drupal 8 (Hint: There's only one of those at the moment and it's cv)

Write permissions

It is critical that your web-server user is able to write to the web/sites/default/ directory in order to create civicrm.settings.php and that you have an appropriate value for execution time(s) and memory limit(s) as any interruption to the installer can (and will) result in an unusable install and require remedial steps to correct or a full reinstall! By default on Drupal 8.8+ this directory path is not writable by default, before installing you should ensure you grant write access to your web server user. With, e.g: sudo chmod u+w web/sites/default.

For multisite installations you'll also need to ensure your web server user has write access to additional sites e.g: sudo chmod u+w web/sites/site2.example.org.

Make sure you're in the root directory for your Drupal 8 / CiviCRM site (the same folder/directory that holds composer.json).

The essence of a cv install command looks like this cv core:install -vv --cms-base-url="https://urltocms.example.org" --db="mysql://database:details@go/here:3306" --lang="en_GB" there are many parameters available.

For our CiviCRM install on Drupal 8 we want a command that looks like this:

cv core:install -vv --db="DATABASE" --cms-base-url="URL" --lang="LANG"

Replace cv with the path to the cv phar on your system if applicable. The parts in CAPS above will need to be replaced with your site-specific information as follows:

  • DATABASE (required) is the DSN for the database where you want CiviCRM installed.
  • URL (required) is the canonical URL to the root of your CMS site.
  • LANG (optional) is one of the supported languages for CiviCRM - it must exist in your l10n folder.

Review Permissions

Drupal will create the /files/ directory (and make it writeable), but only when saving admin/settings. Same holds for /temp directory, and a /uploads/ directory in the CiviCRM module root. On a brand-new Drupal install, this directory may be missing. Even on an existing installation, if file permissions are not set properly, the directory may be missing. If enabling the CiviCRM module generates errors regarding the files directory, you must create it (writeable) manually.

  • Go to the CiviCRM dashboard to see the CiviCRM menus: https://example.org/civicrm (or https://example.org/index.php?q=civicrm if you don't have Clean URLs enabled)

  • Go to Administer » User management » Permissions

  • Verify that the Roles that you want to have access to CiviCRM have the appropriate permissions checked. CiviCRM is installed with a number of fixed permissions (such as "edit contacts" and "administer CiviCRM").

Permissions for the Anonymous Role

Many sites want anonymous visitors to have access to certain CiviCRM functionality. These permissions are enabled during installation for the Anonymous role. You should review them and modify if needed based on your requirements:

  • access all custom data : If you plan on collecting "custom" data from visitors in standalone forms or as they make a contribution - enable this permission.
  • access CiviMail subscribe/unsubscribe pages : If you are planning on using CiviMail, enable this permission to allow anonymous users to subscribe and unsubscribe from mailing lists via the web.
  • access uploaded files : If you plan on allowing visitors to upload or view photos or other files - enable this permission.
  • make online contributions : If you plan on soliciting online contributions from visitors, enable this permission for the "anonymous" role.
  • profile listings and forms : If you plan on collecting name and address or other information from visitors, enable this permission for the "anonymous" role.
  • view event info and register for events : If you plan to use CiviEvent and want to allow un-authenticated visitors to view event information and register for events online - enable these permissions for the "anonymous" role.
  • view event participants : Enable this permission to allow anonymous users to access participant listing pages for events.

Create CiviCRM Contacts for Existing Drupal Users

Once installed, CiviCRM keeps your Drupal Users synchronized with corresponding CiviCRM contact records. The 'rule' is that there will be a matched contact record for each Drupal user record. Conversely, only contacts who are authenticated users of your site will have corresponding Drupal user records.

When CiviCRM is installed on top of an existing Drupal site, a special CiviCRM Administrative feature allows you to automatically create CiviCRM contacts for all existing Drupal users:

  • Login to your Drupal site with an administrator-level login
  • Click the CiviCRM link in the main navigation block
  • If your Drupal site makes use of the db_prefix setting (in settings.php), in the top bar click Administer » System Settings » CMS Database Integration , and update the box for the Drupal Users Table Name so that it includes the prefix.
  • Click Administer in the menu bar
  • Click Users and Permissions from the drop-down menu, then select Synchronize Users to Contacts

Review the Configuration Checklist

The Configuration Checklist provides a convenient way to work through the settings that need to be reviewed and configured for a new site. You can link to this checklist from the installation success page and you can visit it at any time from Administer » Administration Console » Configuration Checklist.

Test-drive CiviCRM

There should now be a CiviCRM link in your Drupal menu. Click that link and the CiviCRM Menu, Shortcuts, Search and New Individual Blocks should appear. You can now explore CiviCRM end-user features and begin configuring CiviCRM for your site/organization needs.

D8 <-> CiviCRM Integration modules

Webform CiviCRM module

CiviCRM Entity module

Troubleshooting Resources

  • Review the Troubleshooting page for help with problems you may encounter during the installation.