Download Different Versions of Drupal with Drush

Posted on 31st December 2013

If you use Drush, it's likely that you've used the drush pm-download (or drush dl for short) command to start a new project. This command downloads projects from, but if you don't specify a project or type "drush dl drupal", the command will download the current stable version of Drupal core. Currently, this will be Drupal 7 with that being the current stable version of core at the time of writing this post.

But what if you don't want Drupal 7?

I still maintain a number of Drupal 6 sites and occassionally need to download Drupal 6 core as opposed to Drupal 7. I'm also experimenting with Drupal 8 so I need to download that as well.

By declarding the core version of Drupal, such as "drupal-6", Drush will download that instead.

$ drush dl drupal-6

This downloads the most recent stable version of Drupal 6. If you don't want that, you can add the --select and additionally the --all options to be presented with an entire list to chose from.

$ drush dl drupal-6 --select
$ drush dl drupal-6 --select --all

If you want the most recent development version, just type:

$ drush dl drupal-6.x

The same can be done for other core versions of Drupal, from Drupal 5 upwards.

# This will download Drupal 5
$ drush dl drupal-5
# This will download Drupal 8
$ drush dl drupal-8

For a full list of the available options, type "drush help pm-download" into a Terminal window or take a look at the entry on

About Me

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Oliver Davies is a Full Stack Web Developer and System Administrator based in the UK. He is a Senior Software Engineer and Technical Team Lead at Inviqa and a part-time freelancer specialising in Drupal and Symfony development and Linux systems administration.