I've implemented hook_post_update_NAME to bulk import some files into Drupal (creating file and media entities for them). This hook runs correctly when I use update.php. But it seems to silently fail via drush updb.

My update hooks looks like this

 * Creates SVG icons as media entities.
function my_module_default_content_post_update_create_icons() {

  $module_handler = \Drupal::service('module_handler');
  $module_path = $module_handler->getModule('my_module_default_content')->getPath();

  \Drupal::logger('my_module_default_content')->notice('Importing icons from @path', ['@path' => $module_path]);

  $dir = new DirectoryIterator("$module_path/icons");

  \Drupal::logger('my_module_default_content')->notice('Directory contains @count items', ['@count', count($dir)]);

  foreach ($dir as $fileinfo) {
    if (!$fileinfo->isDot()) {

      \Drupal::logger('my_module_default_content')->notice('Importing file @file', ['@file' => $fileinfo->getFilename()]);


This works fine via update.php. All the files are copied, relevant entities created, and messages logged to watchdog. When running drush updb I only get

[ok] Update completed: my_module_default_content_post_update_create_icons

[success] Finished performing updates.

None of my log messages are output (while using --debug option) to the screen or to watchdog.

My initial thought was a permissions issue, but if it's not outputting any of my log messages. I'm not positive the function is even being run. Adding in a die() on the first line of the function gave the exact same output/outcome.

Any ideas on what could cause this to silently fail when running via Drush?

  • I haven't done much development for D8, but I wonder: Where does \Drupal::logger('my_module_default_content')->notice() output the notice? I expected it to go to the normal Drupal log / recent log messages. Drush doesn't display those (and --debug isn't connected to \Drupal::logger logging). Have you checked recent log messages after running drush updb? – hansfn Mar 18 '19 at 9:06
  • The messages do output to watchdog. Was able to confirm that when running it via update.php. No messages when running it via drush updb. – Dracs Mar 18 '19 at 11:30
  • Another obvious comment: You are resetting the Drupal environment completely? I wonder because - from the docs: "Drupal also ensures to not execute the same hook_post_update_NAME() function twice." That could explain the lack of messages. – hansfn Mar 18 '19 at 12:25
  • I was doing full DB drop and re-import between attempts. I've since re-worked the update hook to use the batch API to prevent timeout issues and run it via update.php. I suppose the question is academic at this point. – Dracs Mar 19 '19 at 4:57

For anyone else who runs into this, make sure that the post-update hooks are defined in a MODULE_NAME.post_update.php file. It seems as though update.php will happily invoke post-update hooks defined in the MODULE_NAME.install file, while Drush will not.

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