I have an odd error coming from Drush when I perform module updates and other commands (it's most consistently comes from module updates). Near the end of the command execution this message pops up:

xmlrpc() error: (-1001) unable to parse URL

Some cursory Googling produces that its likely an error popping up in drupal_http_request. I'm not sure where however since I'm not too familiar with the Drush code base.

I ran drush with the --debug switch for more information but that didn't tell me much other than this message typically pops up after the drush_cache_command_clear() being executed.

What is causing this error?

2 Answers 2


Turns out the issue was the APC module. After some testing I was able to isolate the issue during cache clear.

[shawnconn@host www]$ drush cc all
'all' cache was cleared.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 [success]
xmlrpc() error: (-1001) unable to parse URL                                                                                                                                                                                                              [error]
[shawnconn@host www]$ drush dis apc
The following extensions will be disabled: apc
Do you really want to continue? (y/n): y
apc was disabled successfully.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           [ok]
You need to enable the APC module for remote cache clearing to work. Run drush pm-enable apc.                                                                                                                                                            [error]
[shawnconn@host www]$ drush cc all
'all' cache was cleared.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 [success]
[shawnconn@host www]$

It seems likely that you have not correctly specified the URI for your site. You can do this in one of several ways:

  1. --uri=http://example.com on the commandline.
  2. 'uri' => 'http://example.com' in a site alias.
  3. $options['uri'] = 'http://example.com' in a drushrc.php file.

For the purpose of most Drush commands, it is sufficient to use the name of the folder that contains the settings.php file as your uri -- or you do not need to specify the uri at all if the sites folder is 'default'. However, some modules will need the full URI, including the http:// protocol, or you will experience problems similar to what you describe above.

  • Thanks for reply Greg (and all for all the awesome work with Drush!). I tried all those options and I still wasn't able to get rid of the problem. Turns out the cause was the APC module.
    – Shawn Conn
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 6:09

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