I have decided I want to learn Drupal. To that end, I fired up an AWS Lightsail server with a Drupal site, to play around with. Having taken AWS's default Drupal 9 install and logged in, it is displaying this message in the config screens:

There is a security update available for your version of Drupal. To ensure the security of your server, you should update immediately! See the available updates page for more information and to install your missing updates.

This default site is running Drupal 9.3.2, but apparently the latest security update is 9.3.3.

I can download the tarball, but how do I now apply this update without destroying my site?

I've been googling away, but there doesn't appear to be clear instructions that I can locate.

  • When I type "update drupal" into Google, it takes me right to drupal.org/docs/updating-drupal . Although it is still possible to update Drupal manually, I'd really recommend to a composer-based install and workflow
    – Hudri
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 8:08
  • 1
    In general, for testing out Drupal, I would use Lando or some other local dev environment that lets you easily set up git and so on. Updating drupal is a lot easier if you are using a git-based workflow. docs.lando.dev/config/drupal9.html Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


I can download the tarball, but how do I now apply this update without destroying my site?

You delete (very important not to overwrite!) and replace certain directories and files. See https://www.drupal.org/docs/updating-drupal/updating-drupal-core-manually

cd /path/to/your/drupal/directory
rm -rf core vendor
rm -f *.* .[a-z]*
wget https://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-x.y.z.tar.gz
tar zxf drupal-x.y.z.tar.gz
cd drupal-x.y.z
cp -R core vendor /path/to/your/drupal/directory
cp *.* .[a-z]* /path/to/your/drupal/directory

Using your browser, run update.php by visiting http://www.example.com/update.php

  • thanks heaps! that's got it. :-) Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 13:03

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