This is a request for more information outside of what was given here: User roles and keeping their IDs when using features

Basically, it's the age-old problem of storing Roles in Features, and then migrating or importing them into a new site.

Based on some observations of mine when putting roles into a feature failed, it seems like Drupal takes the Role Feature and imports the stored roles in alphabetical order.

For example, I have some roles on my site that I stored into a feature. They had been originally created and added to my development site in this order:

  • administrator
  • moderator
  • subscriber
  • training
  • announcer
  • blogger
  • manager

However, when I migrated the Features code to a new version of the site on a fresh database install, Drupal took the roles Feature I created, and imported the roles it contained in the following order:

  • administrator RID -> 3
  • announcer RID -> 4
  • blogger RID -> 5
  • manager RID -> 6
  • moderator RID -> 7
  • subscriber RID -> 8
  • training RID -> 9

Is this normal behavior? And, if I just organize my roles into Features in alphabetical order, can I expect them to always be reimported in the same proper RID heirarchy?

1 Answer 1


Roles being imported in alphabetical order has been my experience, too.

But counting on autoincrement IDs to be consistent between multiple sites is never a good idea.

I recommend, instead of relying on the autoincrement IDs to be generated in a particular order, to avoid using autoincrement IDs.

  • For Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, the Role Export module turns Role IDs into hashes of machine names, so they're consistent from site to site, regardless of import order.
  • For Drupal 8, work is in progress to eliminate autoincrement Role IDs altogether.
  • Yeah, I feel like your warning is a good one. I was just hoping to not have to use yet another module to deal with site migration. Feb 29, 2012 at 23:03

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