I regularly use drush site-install to install single Drupal 8 sites from the command line. It works great.

I'm now working on building a Drupal 8 multisite. It'll have separate databases per site.

Can drush si be used to install a multisite from the command line? Does it use Drupal8's sites.php?

I saw Need Steps to Install multisite configuration using only drush. i.e multi-site install having different database, but I'm not clear on what's actually done there.

I figured it should be able to, but I can't find any HowTo docs for multisite.

  • Did you check drushcommands.com/drush-8x/core/site-install?
    – Jimmy Ko
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 23:15
  • Where on that page does is say anything about multisite installation? - Gil
    – gilmarks
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 23:27
  • You can specify the --sites-subdir which will create a separate folder for multi site
    – Jimmy Ko
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 23:29
  • Which is mentioned in the link I already provided, said I read, and questioned further. If you have a concrete example, great. Just saying "look over there somewhere" doesn't help.
    – gilmarks
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 23:31
  • 2
    I am not making fun, I just want to ensure how much you know and how further I can provide. No offence.
    – Jimmy Ko
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


In the link you provided, @greg_1_anderson mentioned using --sites-subdir. This option is used to create a site folder under <DRUPAL_ROOT>/sites/.

For example, if you run drush si --sites-subdir=example1.com, it will create a example1.com folder under <DRUPAL_ROOT>/sites/, settings.php will also be generated in this folder. It contains the database configuration.

Since it is a multi site structure, you may not want to share the same database. You have to specify the database information with --db-url.

For example:

  • DB: MySQL
  • root username: username
  • root password: password
  • host: localhost
  • table name: example

You can specify above information with --db-url=mysql://username:password@localhost/example.

A more complex example involving setting more sites for a multi-site configuration could be the following.

drush si --sites-subdir=example1.com --url=mysql://username:password@localhost/example1
drush si --sites-subdir=example2.com --url=mysql://username:password@localhost/example2

Moreover, if you want to have different database credentials for different sites, you can dynamically create the separate username and password at the same time.

drush si --sites-subdir=example1.com --url=mysql://user1:newpassword1@localhost/example1 --db-su=username --db-su-pw=password
drush si --sites-subdir=example2.com --url=mysql://user2@newpassword2@localhost/example2 --db-su=username --db-su-pw=password
  • 2
    Splitting hairs, since the OP wants to enter a single line, just put the commands in a single line, separating them with ; or &&.
    – apaderno
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 5:48

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