How do I programmatically render a view with contextual filters in Drupal 8?

In Drupal 7, I generally use the following code.

$view = views_get_view('test_view'); //test_view is the view machine name
$view->set_display("block"); //block is the view display name
$view->set_arguments($tid); //$tid is the argument to pass
$content = $view->render();

Is there any alternative way to achieve this in Drupal 8?

  • What exactly do you want to pass as an argument? maybe you can achieve what you want through the View's UI. – No Sssweat Jun 30 '16 at 10:50
  • Yes i know i can achieve that using view UI but that is not possible in my case, i want to achieve it by some code only. – Sanjay Jun 30 '16 at 10:59

Basing on the code used by views_get_view_result(), I would use the following code, as code equivalent to the one you show in the question.

  $args = [$tid];
  $view = Views::getView('test_view');
  if (is_object($view)) {
    $content = $view->buildRenderable('block', $args);
  • 5
    That's not rendering, that's just getting the results. Not the same :) The preferred way to do this is to use $view->buildRenderable($display, $arguments), see drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/198920/… – Berdir Jun 30 '16 at 12:20
  • Yes, I was wondering the same, about result versus rendering. :D – kiamlaluno Jun 30 '16 at 12:23
  • 1
    @GiorgosK With Drupal 8, you never use drupal_render(). It's enough you return a renderable array, which even a controller class can do. – kiamlaluno Nov 5 '17 at 8:31
  • 1
    @kiamlaluno well for my use which is to modify/override the output from a views REST EXPORT (json output) passing the $content to the field formatter was just outputing "Array" on the json output ... so after I passed the drupal_render($content) it actually gave me the rendered output on the json output ... am I missing something ? is there any place to understand what you just explained ? – GiorgosK Nov 5 '17 at 18:20
  • 1
    @GiorgosK: if you use Drupal itself for display, you don't render these days, you leave it everything in a render array up to the last point and let the system do the rest. But if you need to lift the result from Drupal (maybe to put into a newsletter or similar), then you render, yes. But start not to use drupal_render(), it will be deprecated. – Gábor Jun 1 '18 at 22:01
 * Return the rendered view with contextual filter.
 * @param string $viewId - The view machine name.
 * @param string $displayId - The display machine name.
 * @param array $arguments - The arguments to pass.
 * @return object $result
function getView($viewId, $displayId, array $arguments)
    $result = false;
    $view = Views::getView($viewId);

    if (is_object($view)) {

        // Render the view
        $result = \Drupal::service('renderer')->render($view->render());

    return $result;

 * Get json output.
 * @return array $data
function jsonData() {
    $data = [];
    $viewId = 'rest_comments';
    $displayId = 'rest_export_1';
    $arguments = [$nid];

    // Get the view
    $result = getView($viewId, $displayId, $arguments);

    if(is_object($result)) {
        $json = $result->jsonSerialize();
        $data = json_decode($json);

    return $data;

 * Get the view object.
 * @return object $view
function view() {
    $viewId = 'rest_comments';
    $displayId = 'rest_export_1';
    $arguments = [$nid];

    // Get the view
    $view = getView($viewId, $displayId, $arguments);

    return $view;

To get the actual JSON output of the REST Export display you can do something like this:

$view = \Drupal\views\Views::getView($view_id); 
$render_array = $view->buildRenderable('rest_export_display_name', $args);
$rendered = \Drupal::service('renderer')->renderRoot($render_array);
$json_string = $rendered->jsonSerialize();
$json_object = json_decode($rendered);
  • Working like charm, thanks imclean. – Sathish Sundar Jul 27 '19 at 20:56
  • works perfectly, how to set the user requesting the view? e.g. the view requires a permission to show revisions. – SimoneB Dec 2 '19 at 8:44
  • Just noticed that you're version doesn't work with some revisions, Santo Boldižar's does – SimoneB Dec 2 '19 at 10:59
  • I was getting crazy trying to call a REST view from my module making the HTTP call, where I had difficulty passing the correct authentication, when it came to my mind that there had to be a way to call directly the view and I found this thread. (Comment added mainly to help search engines :) ) – Francesco Marchetti-Stasi Jul 24 '20 at 11:13

The easiest way to render a view in Drupal 8 is using the render element provided by core: https://api.drupal.org/api/drupal/core%21modules%21views%21src%21Element%21View.php/class/View/8.9.x

  $view = [
    '#type' => 'view',
    '#name' => 'test_view',
    '#display_id' => 'block',
    '#arguments' => [$tid],
    '#embed' => TRUE,

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