Topic

Drupal core uses a regular release cycle to introduce new features and security updates. Contributed modules and contributed themes also have periodic updates to address security issues, add new features, and fix bugs. Updating is the process of moving from one version of a project to another, within the same major release.

Make sure you understand the difference between updating and upgrading. For upgrading a major version, see our Upgrade to Drupal 8 topic.

Example tasks

  • Perform security updates to Drupal core and contributed modules
  • Update Drupal core for a patch version, e.g. from Drupal 8.3.1 to 8.3.2
  • Update Drupal core for a minor version, e.g. from Drupal 8.3.5 to 8.4.0
  • Update a contributed module to a new version, e.g. Pathauto 8.x-3.0 to 8.x-3.1

Confidence

The best-practice for Drupal 8 right now is to use Composer. There is ongoing work to provide alternatives, but none of those have come to fruition yet. We have high confidence that the information on Drupal.org and in the Drupal 8 User Guide will be updated with current best practices as they evolve. Simply put, this process involves updating the code in your project with the latest code from Drupal.org, so any process that facilitates doing that will continue to work.

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External resources

  • From the Drupal 8 User Guide (drupal.org)
    • Step by step tutorials from the user guide on updating core, modules, and themes along with links to relevant content in the guide and elsewhere on Drupal.org.
    • Keeping Track of Updates
    • Learn how to keep track of updates to Drupal core and contributed modules and themes that you're using in order to know when you need to perform an update. Includes options for mailing lists, RSS, and Twitter
    • Update the Core Software
    • Covers all steps necessary to update Drupal core from one minor version to another. Includes information about doing it manually, using Drush, and using Composer.
    • Updating a Module
    • Update a contributed module to a new version. Includes information on doing it manually, using Drush, and using Composer.
    • Updating a Theme
    • Update a contributed theme to a new version. Includes information on doing it manually, using Drush, and using Composer.
  • Update Procedure in Drupal 8 (drupal.org)
    • Much of the same information as the above resources, though more condensed. Use this if you're already familiar with the process and just need a reminder of what commands to run.
  • Tips for Managing Drupal 8 projects with Composer (jeffgeerling.com)
    • This post contains a bunch of tips and tricks that go beyond the standard install/uninstall instructions you'll find in most other places. Learn about using version constraints, updating modules you've already installed, and more.