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I want a folder structure similar to:

-web
--app
---themes
---modules
--core

In composer I can specify installer paths to put required modules in the /web/app/modules directory and install drupal core in the /web/core.

Can I get Drupal to look for themes and modules in the /web/app/themes and /web/apps/modules directories so I don't have to put anything custom inside the core directory (so Drupal core can be installed as a package and not stored in my git repo).

I've seen similar set ups with Wordpress allowing you to specify a 'CONTENT_DIR' constant that means Wordpress will look for wp-content in a different directory. Is there a similar way for Drupal?

I found this on git which achieves something but it requires a custom script https://github.com/davidbarratt/drupal-structure

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Drupals extensions discovery looks only in some specific folders (see http://cgit.drupalcode.org/drupal/tree/modules/README.txt for more information).

But, you don't have to put your own modules inside of the core folder. You should use /modules instead.

The Drupals default directory is not ideal for a development workflow with composer in mind. Take a look at https://github.com/drupal-composer/drupal-project if you have not already.

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