Installing Drupal 7 non-interactively

I'm currently chasing a wild goose of an idea in Drupal 7, and found myself in a situation where it would be really convenient to run the Drupal install script through a debugger. Normally, this won't work because the installer runs through many stages of redirect plus batch api. However, I knew I had read that there were changes in Drupal 7 to make this possible, and catch pointed out in IRC that Drush can install Drupal now. So I went over to see how Drush does it and half an hour later I had the following script. Drop it into a standalone PHP file and you're set to go.

The key to this is the function install_drupal() and the array of settings which mimcs the values of the forms you would normally submit by hand. When you pass that array to install_drupal(), then Drupal goes into non-interactive mode and installs in one page request.

So here's the code. Make a PHP file in your Drupal root directory (note it must be in a Drupal root directory or else you have to edit the DRUPAL_ROOT define), add this code, edit the details (all are pretty self-explanatory), hit it with something, and you're off to the races. Yes you can use Drush and 99% of the time that will be fine, but maybe someone will find this useful too.

EDIT: It was pointed out to me that the update_status_module settings are not particularly self-explanatory. It is a two-element array. If element 1 is TRUE, then update status is enabled. If 1 and 2 are both TRUE then update status is enabled and email notifications are turned on.

   * Global flag to indicate that site is in installation mode.
  define('MAINTENANCE_MODE', 'install');

   * Root directory of Drupal installation.
  define('DRUPAL_ROOT', getcwd());

  require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . '/includes/';

  $settings = array(
    'parameters' => array(
      'profile' => 'standard',
      'locale' => 'en',
    'forms' => array(
      'install_settings_form' => array(
        'driver' => 'mysql',
        'username' => 'myuser',
        'host' => 'myhost',
        'port' => '',
        'password' => 'mypass',
        'database' => 'mydbname',
      'install_configure_form' => array(
        'site_name' => 'my site',
        'site_mail' => '',
        'account' => array(
          'name' => 'admin',
          'mail' => '',
          'pass' => array(
            'pass1' => 'adminpass',
            'pass2' => 'adminpass',
        'update_status_module' => array(
          1 => TRUE,
          2 => TRUE,
        'clean_url' => TRUE,


Add new comment

I wrote two chapters of this book - Drupal 7 Module Development and I co-wrote it with Matt Butcher, Larry Garfield, Matt Farina, Ken Rickard, and John Wilkins. Go buy a copy!
I am the owner of the configuration management initiative for Drupal 8. You can follow this work at the dashboard on
I work at Lullabot!. If you don't know who Lullabot is then you haven't been around in the Drupal world long have you? Come check us out!