I'm getting the "needs a higher bootstrap level to run - you will need to invoke drush from a more functional Drupal environment to run this command." error.

I know this means that Drush is not able to find the settings.php file because it is not in the Drupal root directory. I'm working with one site that is part of a multi-site install on a university server. Am I getting this error because I'm in my site's specific root as opposed to the Drupal core root?

Any help would be much appreciated, Drush seems extremely useful!

Thanks, Kai

1 Answer 1


There are several ways to specify which Drupal site Drush will target. The most basic option is fairly verbose; run:

$ drush --root=/path/to/drupal --uri=http://mysite.com status

You can do the same thing with a slightly different syntax:

$ drush /path/to/drupal#mysite.com status

You can also specify the Drupal site implicitly, by setting the cwd to the folder that contains the settings.php file for your site:

cd /path/to/drupal/sites/default # or /path/to/drupal/sites/mysite.com, as appropriate

$ drush status

In all of the cases above, if settings.php is in a folder called "default", then you do not need to specify the --uri component; you may, for example, cd /path/to/drupal followed by drush status, and the correct Drupal site will be found. If settings.php is not in a folder named 'default', then you will need to either specify --uri, or cd to the folder that contains the settings.php file.

You might also want to investigate Drush site aliases, which are another way to conveniently specify which site you'd like Drush to target.

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