Is there any way to check for differences with config in Drush 8?

I checked the list of drush 8 config commands and I couldn't find anything.

The reason I need this is that I have a site that runs behat tests via CircleCI, and sometimes I need to import the configuration more than once. So, I wanted to write a bash script that uses Drush to check whether there are any configuration differences, and if so, automatically re-imports the config in a loop until there are no more differences.

I'm stuck on Drush 8 because the behat extension only supports Drush 8.

  • 2
    You could probably pull in the config:status command from drush 9 into a module? Or use drush 8 globally, and drush 9 locally?
    – mradcliffe
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 13:16

3 Answers 3


drush cim --diff

Since drush 9 there is a diff option that gives a diff on the config in code vs config in database

drush cex --diff

reverses the order of diff


The Drush 8 commands config:export (cex) and config:import (cim) accept a --no to prevent the actual import or export.

This allows you to write an if statement in Bash. Here is an example:

if drush config:import --no | grep file.settings; then 
  # Do something
  echo "Found in diff"; 

In Drush 9 and 10, the return value $? will tell you if there are differences between the database and the directory containing YAML files:

  • 0 means no differences
  • 1 means differences

Drush 9 and 10 also accept a parameter --diff. If there are differences, Drush will print them.

  • Thanks to @Gogowitsch for --no. I'm using the next combination for a large diffs: drush cim --diff --no > config.diff and then grep whatever you need. Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 18:12

If you have Drupal console installed, you could try config:diff

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