Add a composer.json file

Last updated on
13 January 2017

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A composer.json file can be added to your module to define the project itself. You may also define external dependencies for your module in composer.json.

Define your module as a PHP package

The wider PHP community uses Composer to manage packages; this is also done in Drupal. For example, the Drupal project has a dependency on the "drupal/core" package. The "drupal/core" package has a type defined as "drupal-core" so Composer knows what to do with it. The composer/installers library defines a number of Drupal types. These are

  • drupal-module
  • drupal-theme
  • drupal-library
  • drupal-profile
  • drupal-drush

As part of your module, you should include a composer.json, which at a minimum defines the name, description and type of your module.

    "name": "drupal/example",
    "description": "This is an example composer.json for example module.",
    "type": "drupal-module",
    "license": "GPL-2.0+"

Here is a complex example of how the mobile_detect project handles the composer.json:

    "name": "drupal/mobile_detect",
    "description": "Mobile_Detect is a lightweight PHP class for detecting mobile devices.",
    "type": "drupal-module",
    "homepage": "",
    "authors": [
            "name": "Matthew Donadio (mpdonadio)",
            "homepage": "",
            "role": "Maintainer"
            "name": "Darryl Norris (darol100)",
            "email": "",
            "homepage": "",
            "role": "Co-maintainer"
    "support": {
        "issues": "",
        "irc": "irc://",
        "source": ""
    "license": "GPL-2.0+",
    "minimum-stability": "dev",
    "require": {
        "mobiledetect/mobiledetectlib": "~2.8"

For naming your package, you must follow Drupal's Composer package naming conventions.

Defining dependencies in composer.json

You may optionally define external dependencies for your module in composer.json. Drupal core will not automatically discover or manage these dependencies. To utilize dependencies defined in a project's composer.json file, you must use one of the following maintenance strategies:

For more information on composer as a dependency manager for Drupal, review a comparison of Composer and Drush Make as dependency managers.