Site Building

3.3. Concept: Methods for Downloading and Installing the Core Software for Drupal 8, 9, and 10

What methods are available for downloading the core software?

Before you can build a site, you will need to first download the core software. Depending on your plans, there are several ways that you can download the core software:

Try a free online demo
If you are evaluating whether or not to use Drupal to build a site, you can use an online provider to get a demo installation of the core software in 20 minutes or less. See the page "Try Drupal".
Use a one-click installer from your hosting provider
If you choose to install the core software at your hosting provider, your hosting provider may have specific documentation and/or a one-click install that you can use. See’s list of hosting providers that support Drupal.
Use a pre-configured environment
Use a pre-configured environment or virtual machine that contains Drupal and all the required supporting software to install Drupal locally. See the section for your operating system under community documentation page "Local server setup guide" for possible options.
Download manually from the web site
If you plan to build a site without add-on modules that have complicated dependencies, you can download the core software, or a distribution that contains the core software and additional modules or themes, from the web site. See Section 3.6, “Downloading the Core Software Manually” for instructions.
Use Composer
If you plan to use the Drush tool (see Section 3.2, “Concept: Additional Tools”), or if you are building a site that might use modules with complicated dependencies, you should use Composer to download the core software, because Composer will manage the dependencies properly. If you start your site by downloading manually, however, you can convert to using Composer to manage dependencies later. See Section 3.5, “Using Composer to Download and Update Files” for downloading and conversion instructions.

What happens when I install the core software?

Installing the core software means setting up some database tables, configuration, and an administrative user account, so that you can build and use your site.

What methods are available for installing the core software?

There are several ways to install the core software:

Behind-the-scenes installer
If you choose to use an online demo or one-click installer from a hosting provider, the core software may be installed for you automatically.
Interactive installer
The core software has an interactive installer that presents you with several on-line forms, and then completes the installation using the information you provide in the forms. See Section 3.4, “Preparing to Install” and Section 3.7, “Running the Interactive Installer”.
Demo site installer
If you download the core software to your local computer, you can quickly create a temporary demo site that uses the built-in web server and SQLite database that are part of PHP. The command to set up a demo site is given at the end of Section 3.6, “Downloading the Core Software Manually”. In this case, you will not run the interactive installer.
Command-line tool
Command-line tools (see Section 3.2, “Concept: Additional Tools”) can also be used to perform the installation steps.


Written and edited by Drew Gorton, Michael Lenahan at erdfisch, Jennifer Hodgdon, and Jojy Alphonso at Red Crackle.

Drupal User Guide