A sub theme relies on its parent. Does that mean I always have to activate both of them?

  • I recently created a child theme of Radix but got a WSOD. The dblog revealed that Radix wasn't enabled, so there must be some functionality that fails when it's disabled, although Drupal is able to detect the need for such functionality even though I hadn't made any code changes to the child theme at this point, so although the accepted answer is "No", I'm guessing it depends on the parent theme's behavior.
    – Jav
    Dec 7 '20 at 18:25
  • Are you on D7 as well?
    – leymannx
    Dec 7 '20 at 19:43

No it doesn't. As long as the base theme is present, that's OK.

As an example, if you test the Sky theme on Simplytest.me and go to the admin/appearance page, you'll see that Sky is enabled, but the base theme (AdaptiveTheme) is not.

  • 4
    Keeping in mind that if you don't have the base theme enabled you will not receive notification updates if there are any for it. Sep 19 '13 at 16:18
  • @NigelWaters This is a very good point! Thanks for that, I'd never even thought about that before hangs head in shame
    – Chapabu
    Sep 20 '13 at 7:57

In Drupal 8, the base theme is automatically enabled.


When a sub-theme is installed, then its base theme(s) are installed, too.

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