I converted a Drupal 7.xx site to Drupal 8.x manually. Updated it to 8.4.5 and tried to use composer to update it to 8.5.6 (Latest stable release). I have the original site as the public_html/drupal site and the 8.4.5 site is at public_html/drupal8/drupal-8.4.5. Composer, then drush seemed to work, but when I take the site out of maintenance mode, log in as admin, "Reports" still say it is at 8.4.5. Commands: composer update --with-dependencies and drush updatedb (I actually use vendor/drush/drush/drush updatedb) drush cr drush sset system.maintenance_mode 0 drush cr

I searched the docs, found a few suggestions elsewhere, but can't fix this. The bot on StackOverflow, where I have not gotten any response, suggested I post it here.

  • "drupal 8.x manually updated it to 8.4.5" -> this means you've downloaded Drupal as tar/zip to update? Then do the update to 8.5.6 the same way. If you want to update via composer create a composer based Drupal project, for example github.com/drupal-composer/drupal-project
    – 4uk4
    Aug 16, 2018 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


Unless you created your site using composer create-project drupal-composer/drupal-project, Drupal core is not actually a dependency of your project; instead your composer.json file likely contains the line "name": "drupal/drupal". Effectively, your root composer file is the Drupal core package.

In this case you can only upgrade by manually downloading the new release.

See also: Why does "composer update drupal/drupal" not work?


If you want to convert an existing D8 site to the composer-based workflow, the following steps should get you most of the way.

  • In a different location, use composer create-project drupal-composer/drupal-project:8.x-dev <my-new-site> to create the new project. (Confirm the removal of the existing git history, and if you are using version control, use git init; git add .; git commit to initialize the new repository.)
  • Look at the contrib modules installed in your current site's modules/ folder, go into the new project, and use composer require drupal/module1 drupal/module2 [...] to install them. (Any custom modules should be copied into the folder ./web/modules/custom/ in the new project.)
  • Copy the contents of your sites/ folder into the ./web/sites/ folder of the new project.
  • After backing up your database, go into your new project folder, and use vendor/bin/drush updatedb or vendor/bin/drupal upex to update your database with Drush or Drupal Console (both are installed by default).

At this point, your new project should be ready to serve the site; change your webserver configuration or symlinks to point at <my-new-site>/web (the web subdirectory, not the project folder itself).

  • So if I throw away the existing project, create a new project with composer, how do I migrate the 7.xx site to 8.5.6? (I used the migration tool to create the 8.4 site.)
    – Whitekn3
    Aug 17, 2018 at 1:31
  • @Whitekn3 If you have already migrated from D7 to D8.4, it would be easier to reuse that database instead of starting from scratch. I have added some steps for creating a new composer project, and transferring your modules/configuration from the existing D8.4 site over to it. Aug 17, 2018 at 6:11

I had the same issue, i found the answer in this discussion Update Core Using Composer Here is the 6 steps, works for me.

  1. Removed drupal/console package (if it already installed) composer remove drupal/console
  2. Removed drupal/console-* packages (if it already installed) composer remove drupal/console-core drupal/console-en drupal/console-extend-plugin.
  3. Removed vendor folder and composer.lock file.
  4. Edit composer.json : Add "drupal/core": "8.5.6" to require section, and remove replace section.
  5. Execute command composer update drupal/core --with-dependencies .
  6. Update database by Go to /update.php or drush updb -y.
  • I tried this, but step #1 doesn't work. If I run "composer remove drupal/console" I get "Your requirements could not be resolved to an installable set of packages". And problem 1 is the same as before: "drupal/core 8.2.x-dev requires symfony/psr-http-message-bridge ..."
    – arnoldbird
    Apr 9, 2019 at 17:53

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