Last updated December 12, 2015. Created on September 16, 2007.
Edited by miniwebs2, ashish_nirmohi, Kartagis, jhodgdon. Log in to edit this page.

Now that you've installed Drupal, you will want to customize it to your tastes by adding modules and themes. The basics of managing modules and themes are fairly similar. If you browse to the sites/all folder you will find a README.txt file.

This directory should be used to place downloaded and custom modules and themes which are common to all sites. This will allow you to more easily update Drupal core files. These modules and themes should be placed in subdirectories called modules and themes as follows:

  • sites/all/modules
  • sites/all/themes

(In Drupal 8, use the root folders of "modules" and "themes" to place your downloaded and custom modules and themes.)

You can also find a synopsis of any contributed module or theme by visiting its project page, but many modules and themes also include README.txt file with more detailed information.

To view a module's README.txt file without having to download anything, visit a URL like Be sure to first replace the word modulename with the short name of the particular module project.

For themes, visit, again replacing themename with the short name of your theme project.

For more information about module development and theming in Drupal, visit:

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.


JacobSingh’s picture

We should update these docs to show the GUI options for adding modules, shouldn't we?

glacialheart’s picture

Yes, in fact, that is the very reason I am visiting this page. I got an error using the module installer built into D7. Came here to find info about debugging it.

aaantos’s picture

I have the error also i dont know why

jan.ptacek’s picture

you probably have a secure installation where the web server is not an owner of the sites/default directory so drupal can't just download the module there.
if you are on your localhost or you understand the security implications -- just change the owner of the sites/default folder to match your webserver process username (is _www on my osx) and modules will be installed just on one click
best Jan

tpanagos’s picture

On my OSX Mavericks install, I did this by:
TimAir:apache2 Tim$ sudo chown -R _www:_www ~/Sites/drupal
TimAir:apache2 Tim$ sudo apachectl restart

MediaFormat’s picture

This should do the trick when the user is www-data:
chown www-data sites/default

keb’s picture

Look for the UPGRADE.txt file in the tarball.

enkrypt3d’s picture

oops wrong thread

LobiJani’s picture

I'm new to drupal and I'd like to know in which directory should I place the "sites" folder?

Thank you for your answers

shamio’s picture

You don't need to place sites folder because it will be made automatically when you install Drupal CMS.You can access sites directory using file manager of your server control panel. For example the address of it is usually something like it in Linux based serves: public_html/Your_Drupal_Folder/sites. And you can access installed themes and modules in .../sites/all folder.

gwhiz’s picture

Can we install the themes without FTP? I heard that we can use SSH/SFTP instead? How do we configure the drupal admin UI on the website to use SFTP instead of FTP? With the nice feature in the D7 UM UI, of pasting a URL from the theme zip file into the APpearance tab->"Add new theme" box, it seems we need FTP to be running the web server for that? Can't we use something secure like SSH/SFTP/SCP on port 22 instead?

I usually don't run the browser for the admin on the webserver itself, but on a remote machine, and don't like to have FTPD running on the web server due to security.


thesean19’s picture

Enable Update Manager in the core modules section and you will be able to install themes and modules using your web browser.

MarkGoldfain’s picture

A couple of links are evidently missing on this page, where it says "To view ... visit ." and "For themes, visit ." .

Android Tips’s picture

Well thanks this helped me heap with installing my new Drupal based website.

Android Tips’s picture

Well thanks this helped me heap with installing my new Drupal based website.