How can I only import or simply migrate content (nodes), related terms and users/content-authors from a D7 project into a better structured D8 installation, which is similar to the old project, but meant as a project upgrade replacement, but with changes regarding how things work in D8 and which require to import the data only, apart from the code/modules of the old project?

The D8 installation is already prepared to reflect the old project with the same fields, menus, etc, but it uses different solutions for relationchips than its D7 predecessor. I would love to import content, comments, terms and users seperately (for example as CSV) and with key-ids helping to rebuild their relationchips. But ...

TBH, the migration docs I read over the last days made me even more confused than being helpful since many little in between parts and steps are not further explained so that I can not hook into and alternate the steps for my needs.

All I already know is, that Feeds and Feeds import isn't ready yet and that migrating is rather complex and is made for not only importing content but for whole project structures? But how if so many modules have no D8 version or working upgrade path?

What I read so far is: https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/modules/migrate-source-csv/using-the-migrate-source-csv-plugin

which maybe comes close to what I maybe need for my issue. But I have a hard time to understand parts of it. So I see a use example with

  - ACME import

in it but without explanation if this line is required and what it is about. Googling for migration groups confuse me even more.

Is migrate_plus with migrate-source-csv the right direction for my purpose and is somebody out there who can help about the terminology of the migration docs and what parts are important to understand?

  • but it uses different solutions for relationchips than its D7 predecessor If everything is not identical, then you will need a custom importer. In addition, the default importer is Core to Core. So if you are using Contrib fields or entities that is added via a Contrib module, you will also need to use a custom importer.
    – No Sssweat
    Aug 10, 2017 at 2:07
  • 2
    Checkout Drupal 8 Day: Custom Content Migrations to Drupal 8. It goes over a very simple example, but it will set you in the right direction.
    – No Sssweat
    Aug 10, 2017 at 2:11
  • @NoSssweat This is a good recommendation. Be aware that video is from 2016 and the D8 Migrate set of modules may have been tweaked to use slightly different YAML conventions than what appears in that video. I also think that while he moves content from D6 to D8 with alot of code -- now there exist alot of built-in D6 Source and Destination migration classes that would remove alot of his boilerplate code.
    – tenken
    Aug 10, 2017 at 15:05
  • @NoSssweat thx for chiming in, but a one hour youtube session with lots of fills and errms whooping over the basic howto is not very helpful. It is a waste of time because it only tries to paint the picture. But this is not my problem. I see the picture. It seems that no one is able to really explain the definitions of each step in detail behind to understand and to alternate it. Its all about that everybody wants to say something about it but nothing gets to the real points. It is always hard to explain and document community code.
    – nilsun
    Aug 10, 2017 at 16:31
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    @nilsun the answer is in the video :) Did you bother to watch it? Feel free to start at 39:00
    – No Sssweat
    Aug 10, 2017 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


I have successfully migrated D7 content into a D8 site with similar content types using this small drush extension for D8 along with the built-in D8 Upgrade option: https://www.drupal.org/project/migrate_upgrade

I believe the upgrade process from D7 or D6 is now apart of D8.3+ in the Admin UI and can simply be enabled after drupal 8 installation under the Module listing. Alternatively, you can use Drush via the module above.

Your D8 project just need localhost access to your old site files (such as images,pdfs, etc ... your old Files directory in Drupal 7/6) and database connection access.

It's a rather painless process for simple websites.

Please review the official documentation on performing a drupal 8 upgrade migration

  • Thanks for your input. Can you please reiify "simple" website? I speak about a magazine with 18 authors, 3000 registered commenters and 500 articles (with some custom fields) in stock, each referenced to 5-10 sources with previews of them in the system (other content type). While I don't think of it as something complex in comparision to some university site, but many have very different sketchy ideas of what a "simple" website is. Are you talking about a personal blog of 50 nodes? Would you mind to guide me through your progress on this successful migration? As I sad: I read the docs. thx
    – nilsun
    Aug 9, 2017 at 20:52
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    By simple I just mean a website that uses drupal 6/7 Core and not a ton of contributed modules the Migrate Upgrade tool will not understand properly. The details you've given in your site: 3k users, ~500 Nodes, and say entityreference makes it sound simple. I recommend installing D8 and trying the upgrade in a sandboxed instance of the site. See what breaks.
    – tenken
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:04
  • Thank you tenken for chiming in. TBH, your recommendation, that's what I tried with a messed up D8 result sadly. But this was not the reason for my question. I rather doubt that I will get far with just trying. I need to understand the underlying concept and this what I try to get close to by talking about it here with community members like you.
    – nilsun
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:48

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