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What's the purpose of the directories used from Drupal?

1
25

I haven't seen one, so let's start a list right here. In Drupal 5, 6 and 7 the structure looks like this:

  • includes - include files with php functions and classes that make up the Drupal API
  • misc - miscellaneous assets like javascript files and images
  • modules - Drupal core modules (not meant for contrib and custom modules)
  • profiles - installation profiles
  • scripts - shell scripts for developers and administrators
  • sites - all files that are added by a developer to create a site

    • sites/all/libraries - 3rd party libraries, eg. a wysiwyg editor
    • sites/all/modules - contributed and custom modules
    • sites/all/themes - contributed and custom (sub)themes
    • sites/default - contains the default settings.php
    • sites/default/files - the default directory for user-uploaded files
    • sites/example.com/modules - the site-specific modules directory in a multisite structure
    • sites/example.com/themes - the site-specific themes directory in a multisite structure
    • sites/example.com/files - the site-specific directory for user-uploaded files in a multisite structure
  • themes - Drupal core themes
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The accepted answer is good. This is just my two cents to expand other answers, as a site developer on Drupal 7. It is easier to navigate when upgrading many custom modules, few features, and parent/custom sub-themes.

  • sites/all
    • /modules
      • /contrib
      • /custom
      • /features
    • /libraries
    • /themes
  • sites/example.com
    • same as sites/all/* with site-instance specific needs when appropriate
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  • I want exactly the same thing on Drupal 7 that you have mentioned in your answer but i am wondering how can i install new module in sites/all/modules/custom directory. Please help on this. Nov 21 '13 at 7:11
  • I really havent tried placing modules to custom directory with drupal ui (ftp). I just ftp/ssh them there directly or assign it in makefile. As a sidenote installation and making module available are different thing as latter implies system modifications.
    – user20301
    Nov 24 '13 at 18:53

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