As announced in the Drupal 6 extended support policy, 3 months after Drupal 8 comes out, Drupal 6 will be end-of-life (EOL).

On February 24th 2016, Drupal 6 will reach end of life and no longer be supported.

What this means for you:

  1. Drupal 6 will no longer be supported by the community at large. The community at large will no longer be creating new projects, fixing bugs in existing projects, writing documentation, etc. around Drupal 6.
  2. There will be no more core commits on Drupal 6.x to the official tree. (see What if I have a Drupal 6 site still)
  3. The security team will no longer provide support or Security Advisories for Drupal 6
  4. All Drupal 6 releases on project pages will be flagged as not supported.
  5. At some point in the future update status may stop working for Drupal 6 sites.

Should I update to Drupal 7 or Drupal 8?

The version of Drupal you choose for your upgrade will depend on how complex your site is, what contributed modules you need, and other factors. Many modules have been built in to Drupal 8. For example, Views and a WYSIWYG editor come as a part of Drupal 8, which means that some sites can move to Drupal 8 much sooner. Find out more about Drupal 8.

Drupal 8 core also provides a Migration path directly from Drupal 6 as an experimental feature, so sites can update directly to Drupal 8 using either a user interface or with Drush. See Executing a Drupal 6/7 to Drupal 8 upgrade for more details. The Migrate feature will be fully supported in a later minor release of Drupal 8.

Drupal 7 remains fully supported, so Drupal 6 sites can also update to Drupal 7 using the core update feature when that is a better fit. Drupal 7 is estimated to be supported until Drupal 9 is released, or later. For more information follow: [policy, no patch] Drupal 7 (and 8) EOL timing.

What if I have a Drupal 6 site still?

You should plan to upgrade your site as soon as possible. For sites not updated before February 24th 2016, the Security Team is working with a few vendors who are willing to provide paid support for Drupal 6 sites beyond February 24th, 2016. We recently announced the list of vendors.

If you are a vendor that would like to look into doing this too, please read D6 LTS Vendors policy.


greggles’s picture

By definition, a release on a project page is supported when two conditions exist:

  1. the project maintainer believes it to be supported
  2. the security team is accepting reports of security issues and making advisories about it

That's what "supported" status means and has meant since May of 2009 (and reiterated in May of 2010).

That is why item 4 is in this list:

All Drupal 6 releases on project pages will be flagged as not supported.

As of the Drupal 6 EOL, item #2 will no longer be true so it makes sense to mark them as unsupported.

This post about the EOL is the result of numerous conversations over the past 3 years about when the EOL should be. People who want Drupal 6 and/or contributed modules to be supported longer.

-- :)

btopro’s picture

would personally prefer a method much like the current "open a D8 issue about upgrading.." nudge. Something to suggest that D6 isn't the thing you should be getting especially on this project -- D6 shouldn't even be there any more. If you run D6 stuff, instantly having all update status pages show red on everything would be really unnerving.

If the definition of "supported" means that security team would accept requests then I understand marking all unsupported, it just seems a bit heavy handed when many don't realize this definition (I didn't till just now).

Code to empower, always.

greggles’s picture

Thanks for the thoughts.

If D6 were removed from /project/drupal then all of the d6 sites would show core as unsupported on every D6 site. I think that should only happen in February.

The D8 nudge is a community effort. Do you want to start opening issues that provide a nudge related to d6?

-- :)

basic’s picture

dsnopek’s picture

Beyond the 3 options mentioned in the blog post above, there's a 4th option... If you need more time to wait for modules to be ported and figure out your upgrade path, you can buy Drupal 6 Long-Term Support! just announced its LTS offering:

... but I expect more vendors will be announcing their offerings soon!

pilupilu’s picture

I chose Drupal 6 for certain Modules which were not available in other CMSes at that time in the wanted ways.
I believe there are thousands of users who are stuck like me. Stuck but cruising along nicely.
Not only we need Drupal 6 for eternity but also php versions supporting it for eternity. Eternity means our lifetime, our friends and members who populated our sites. We started as hobby users, enriched php, Drupal and other CMSes to the point that they are now successful commerce entities. We are growing old and will grow older but just like Old Age Homes that do not throw away elderly just because there are newborns and youths, we need Drupal 6 and php 5x for our lifetime. Some of these sites are great literary sites in regional languages.

Upgrading or paid processes to do so is simply not possible. Someone needs to think of us. I do not mean "provide us security patches". Nothing can make you eternally secure. We mean there should not be any EOL for us. We need both Drupal 6, Modules that made us adopt Drupal 6, php version hosts that will support Drupal 6 and the current "Responsive" themes so that these sites still work nicely in mobile. Probably no one will understand our voice, our needs and our SOUL in an era when internet is driven commercially, in an era of domination by FB when no longer projects like Drupal or Wordpress are born and will never be born.

Current web stats show near 25% dominance by WP, near 2 to 3% by Drupal. However this is based on number of sites. User time on web is sadly no longer on the inter<--->net but on FB and Apps. In countries like India and BD many new companies are just advertising ONLY their FB pages, no email address, no website address.
EOL for Drupal 6 will in the long run mean a huge loss to Drupal itself. Its like Titanic, the sinking will be so slow that "merry-making" will continue. Help survive Drupal 6 in its own glory, in its own forum and webspace and ensure webhosting companies support it eternally with needed php versions. It will be great service to humanity. To the souls who made Drupal and Php what they are without any monetary considerations. No, they cannot upgrade just like an old woman cannot "upgrade" to new bones or organs. Support them officially or unofficially and ensure that the true web and inter<--->net never dies. Thanks. It will be great if Dries himself LISTENs to this!

Aki Tendo’s picture

That's life. End of life means no one else is going to support the code for you - it doesn't mean you can't support it yourself. It doesn't mean the code isn't going to stop working on current PHP versions, but there's no guarantee it will run on future ones.

There's only a finite amount of developer time. Splitting that time over 3 versions of Drupal is untenable. Further, insisting that everyone stop what they are doing and support your antiquated code is selfish.

mlmoseley’s picture

>> End of life means no one else is going to support the code for you - it doesn't mean you can't support it yourself. >>

What you're saying sounds reasonable, but it's not -- not everyone is a senior level developer. The bottom line is, if you create a Drupal site, you *must* retire it in ten years or less. No choice. That's something most people who choose Drupal don't know.

I know ecommerce sites with tens of thousands of records, and many thousands of dollars investment in customization, who will be driven to a complete and costly architectural reboot when end of life comes. Not so with Magento, or OSCommerce, both of which provide transitional upgrade paths. With Drupal, it's 'Every version is new, not an upgrade, so tough. Be a developer and maintain it yourself.'

This is one of the reasons that, for all their flaws, Wordpress and Joomla are often chosen over Drupal -- they offer an upgrade path.


rooby’s picture

The bottom line is, if you create a Drupal site, you *must* retire it in ten years or less. No choice. That's something most people who choose Drupal don't know.

That's not true.
It's not a must, it's something you need to weigh up based on your specific sites.
Then you decide whether to upgrade the site, decommission it, leave it as is, migrate to a different platform, etc.

This is one of the reasons that, for all their flaws, Wordpress and Joomla are often chosen over Drupal -- they offer an upgrade path.

Drupal does offer an upgrade path for Drupal core and an upgrade framework for contrib to use.

Other software (like Wordpress & Joomla) are generally the same as Drupal in terms of their upgrade policies.

For example, Wordpress might offer an upgrade path for the core functionality but it definitely doesn't wait for 3rd party plugins to all be ready.
In my experience a lot of Wordpress plugins never get updated for new Wordpress versions.

Also, Wordpress don't continue to support their old versions, their support periods are pretty much in line with Drupal's.

I'm not as familiar with Joomla but if I was a betting man I would say they would have similar policies.

mlmoseley’s picture

Let me give you an example. Many hosting services are halting support for PHP 5.2 and 5.3. Drupal 6 is no longer being supported *in any way*, which at the least compels a site deployer to move to a, perhaps more costly, service that does.

>>Also, Wordpress don't continue to support their old versions, their support periods are pretty much in line with Drupal's.>>

No. There has never been, in the ten years I've been doing this, a case where a new version of Wordpress came out and you could not simply upgrade at the click of a button. Plugins would sometimes not work, but the core Wordpress was always *completely* upgradable.

There is no tap dancing around this. I'm a pretty experienced developer and technologist, and I know an abandonment policy when I see it. No one expects a given system to be supported forever, but to both not support it, and not provide away out of ask users to use and invest in a given Drupal version, with the knowledge they'll be spending *buckets* of money at some point to transfer to the next version of the same system...well, don't expect people to like it or treat it like it's standard operating procedure. It's not.


rooby’s picture

I have a couple of Drupal 6 sites (one of them very complex) that are running on PHP 5.6.

I would probably not bother attempting to run them on PHP 7 but there are hosting providers that will be supporting PHP 5.6 for a long time yet.

You can upgrade Drupal core to Drupal 8 though, just not necessarily contrib modules at this stage.
That is equivalent to how you describe the Wordpress upgrade process (and how I have also found the Wordpress upgrade experience to be).

David_Rothstein’s picture

No. There has never been, in the ten years I've been doing this, a case where a new version of Wordpress came out and you could not simply upgrade at the click of a button. Plugins would sometimes not work, but the core Wordpress was always *completely* upgradable.
No one expects a given system to be supported forever, but to both not support it, and not provide away out of it...

Please explain what you mean by this.

You seem to be implying that there's no way to upgrade Drupal 6 core to Drupal 7 core, but Drupal 7 has shipped with a Drupal 6 upgrade path since 2011, and more recently we made quite an effort to ensure there were no known critical bugs with that months in advance of the date at which Drupal 6 will lose security support (see #2030501: [meta] Ensure that Drupal 6 sites have a functional upgrade path to either Drupal 7 or 8 before Drupal 6 loses security support for more details).

It's not "click of a button" exactly (more like "move some files around and click a few buttons" - see for the details) but the upgrade path between Drupal 6 and 7 core is absolutely intended to be supported and working.

droplet’s picture

Drupal provided a broken upgrade path. As a developer who is using Drupal for years, I don't want to share anyone in public that I'm failed to upgrade my little blog from D6 to D8. (Most of views / fields modules are not upgradeable)

In Drupal, most of the cases we're not upgrading our platform. WE REBUILD OUR SITE AGAIN!

I'm also maintained a number of (complicated) WP sites. On each release, that's smooth upgrades without modifying your code or research on new modules.

It's a complicated problem:
- Slow releases on major version.
- Slow commit on patches.
- Missing commerce supports on modules
- A long history blocks / discouraged small modules that provided similar features. Therefore, modules being bigger and bigger over time. Anyone has passions unable bring great stuff to top modules immediately. (You must wait until the maintainers required it)

I'm expecting D8.x CORE will be better in future.

le dendrite’s picture

I was shocked to read this. it might seriously wreck me,
i really hope i'm misunderstanding this

will my sites just die?

when ?

i can't upgrade all the work i've done. no way
i'm an anti-capitalist, and have made, and host a lot of sites for free for good causes.
their is no way i could pay anyone. it's just not an option for me and much of my work still has no feasible upgrade path, it's not that i haven't tried on a few.
i've spent more than a year trying to rebuild two site in d7
still working, trying to figure out new ways of doing things.

i guess i had a terrible misconception of what i was doing.
not that i expect anyone to maintain antiquated anything, i just must have been seriously, naive of what i was doing.

someone please settle my stomach

greggles’s picture

There is nothing in the code that will cause it to stop working, but the official support from for the release will cease.

That just means that people should expect less and less support (e.g. module maintainers are less likely to fix bugs than they have been, core maintainers certainly will be less likely, and there will be no security updates).

If you are comfortable with that state then you can choose to keep running the code for as long as your hosting company allows it to work. And, thanks to the Open Source license used by Drupal you will always have the option to maintain the code yourself.

-- :)

le dendrite’s picture

thanks, that is more along the lines of what i had originally thought.
makes me feel a lot better.

how long would you expect a host to allow it to work?
what would cause them to kill it?

pilupilu’s picture

If php 5x version "dies" many things may cease to work - "many" is a relative term, it may mean some or few functions of some modules, it may mean more. The only way is to insist web-hosting companies:
please allow a box to run php 5x and supporting OS for eternity for sites/users like us.

I have already started this appeal to site5, siteground etc. (You can even appeal to if you are able to show them the goldmine of business in hosting such 100000 sites)
Another way is to purchase ( in future, in solo or in group) a ded server and install our own OS and php version and "harden" it as far as possible. For that we need to download versions of supporting OS and php lest those also disappear from archive.

In addition to appealing to hosting companies, we also need to appeal to CMSes like Drupal
1) enlist modules ONLY that promise to upgrade to Drupal versions instantly (it is true promises or pledges can be broken, still) and enlist other modules not promising this separately
2) Option of auto-upgrade of Drupal and Modules in background so that I can concentrate on users and content
3) Warn that Drupal version of today is going to end support some day ( a possible time range will be welcome) - so unless one is prepared to upgrade one should not download and use it (or if does so should be ready for the heartbreak). D6 and D8 are so different that .... leave it, its another issue.

Though people facing such problem similar to ours are becoming less and less as the world uses FB and Apps more and more, and eventually Drupal will "die" like Geeklog, Postnuke etc. No longer such scripts will be created like WP, Joomla, Drupal - so no longer there will be people or problem like us. That internet ( the one Tim Lee created) has died. For Good. Or for Bad.

I am happy that at least one person like you thinks in similar line and do not label us as "selfish". Thanks.

le dendrite’s picture

yeah, this is rough.

leaves me questioning
how long i could expect d7 to be around?
if it's even worth the effort of a re-build, or pursuing any new projects, since i'm not dealing with the reliability i thought i was.
i guess i was a fool to think i would always be on stable ground

i can't really deal, and now have to consider dropping all my personal works in progress.
kinda wrecks my world. don't know what i'm doing anymore.

maybe i should just go back to making pizza, rather than websites.
not excited.

good luck all, best wishes.
liveonelove, community. cooperate. unfucktheworld.
make sure you get outside. be in nature and connect to Gaia

neclimdul’s picture

neclimdul’s picture

Additionally from the post

Drupal 7 is estimated to be supported until Drupal 9 is released, or later. For more information follow: [policy, no patch] Drupal 7 (and 8) EOL timing.

rooby’s picture

PHP 5.6 will continue to live on for a long time.

As per it will be officially supported until 28 Aug 2017, however it won't instantly die then because it is still being used by operating system distributions that have their own support periods.

For example, Ubuntu is a popular web server operating system and the current long term support (LTS) version of that is Ubuntu 14.04, which ships with PHP 5.5. That version will be supported until 5 years so until 2019.

Other LTS and enterprise operating systems commonly used as web servers also have significant support periods.

These operating systems generally don't do major version updates so they will continue to support 5.x versions.

That combined with the fact that a significant portion of current websites will not run on PHP 7 means that I think that 5.6 web hosting will be around until at least the early 2020s, at which point redevelop or move off to whatever the SquareSpace equivalent is at that time so you don't have to worry about version in future.

Drupal 6 will happily run on PHP 5.6, although if you have a highly customised site you may have to do a little work for 5.6 compatibility.

AntiNSA’s picture

Absolutely. #Boycott Ending D6 support!

It is not an option for all to just simply upgrade to D8. D6 was always a community project I thought. This consume/upgrade or die mentality is absurd.

mikl’s picture

Sure everyone selling Drupal 6 will be saddened at the loss of your business. Oh, wait…

Maybe you got something for free, and now you're demanding that those people who gave it provide even more free work because that's more convenient for you…

beltofte’s picture

No one requires that you update to D7 or D8, but then is it fully up to you to ensure that your website is secure and that security vulnerabilities are discovered and fixed.

But hey, feel free to contribute to the Drupal community and help developing and maintaining Drupal. Nothing comes for free..... not even open source....

podarok’s picture

It is absolutely perfect time to catch a support as Team Lead for Drupal 6 on

Andrii Podanenko
web(uk, en)
personal blog(uk)

jvieille’s picture

I choosed Drupal because I found everything I needed to create a plateform that fit our needs, being able to easily adapt it to every requirement on the spot.
Though I knew that this platform would need to be modernized in the future, I did not realized that Drupal had such an extremely limited lifetime and that I would have to start all the work again from scratch just because the Drupal Leading Team found even more elegance and niceties to embed in Drupal. What is enjoying for the geeks is puzzling for normal users.
Drupal is not designed for migration. Updating the database according to new core concepts is a tiny part of the process. There is no way to migrate from D6 to D7, D8 simply because most modules do not survive the transition, either because the maintainers have changed their focus or because it is way easier for them to develop a brand new module that do not constraint them with upward compatibility. I miss many critical modules in D7 (we are using more than 200) and migration is simply impossible: it would need a full re-design to the point that getting rid of Drupal would not be more difficult.
People using Drupal are often end users who need an agile continuous, autonomous and efficient development process. True developers might not need such a thing as Drupal.
The lack of respect of Drupal for long time users is regrettable. I no longer recommend Drupal.
From my perspective and experience, I really wonder what is tangibly better in D7 and D8 that could not have been implemented in D6 (improved UI, responsive themes) with much less ressources that have been mainly absorbed by the next beautiful masterpiece.

Whatever happen, I'll stick on D6 and when the time for migrating will come for sound reasons, we will be free to chose anything else - or maybe Drupal XX proving its ability to understand the dynamics of real world transformation (not guided by IT).


junphine’s picture

agree! d8 will die。

rooby’s picture

Can you name other open source CMS systems that give a longer support period than Drupal 6? There probably aren't many if any. Most will stop supporting old versions as they progress onto new ones.

Drupal 6 has has had 7 years of support since it was released, which is actually quite a long time.

In addition to that, no one is saying you can't continue to use Drupal 6. See

jvieille’s picture

I am not a seasoned web site developer, I am mostly dealing with industrial IT where solutions have to stay for at least 20 years...
The problem with Drupal is that it is probably the less "migrable" CMS: it is almost the same work migrating than turning to another CMS (beside the learning curve for the new one). Drupal core offers not much, everything is in modules, which are generally not migrable as I explained. (of course, simple web sites are, but they don't need Drupal).

The problem with End of Life is that everything progressively disappears, it becomes soon impossible to download the code of "unsupported" modules - I do not understand why drops all modules releases that way.

The "Drupal 6 community" should keep existing in its original context. That should not hurt further Dx developments.


rooby’s picture

Work on old versions of contributed modules does grind to a halt after support for Drupal core ends but to be realistic it slows down a long time before that, that's just the nature of the beast when dealing with open source (and even proprietary) software.

You can still access the old code though.

It is up to the individual module maintainers as to when they remove the old releases from their project page, however even if they are not listed on the project page you can get to them via the "View all releases" link under the table of releases.

For example, here is the views one:

Then you can filter for specific major versions and download any version you need.

You can also get it via the git version control. See instructions in the "Version control" tab of the project page.
Using views as an example again:

You can then select the version you want to use (eg. 6.x-3.x) and click the "Show" button and it will update the instructions for that specific version.

TR’s picture

I am mostly dealing with industrial IT where solutions have to stay for at least 20 years...

Baloney. The web is only about 23 years old. I know because I have been developing web sites that entire time. There are NO companies that are still using the same site they did 20 years ago. None of the BROWSERS used today were even around 20 years ago. I personally have some web sites that I haven't updated in 20 years, but they still exist for historical/reference purposes only - no-one who is in business and needs their site for business purposes has kept their same site for 20 years. The whole notion is laughable. Heck, 99.9% of the websites today didn't even EXIST 20 years ago. Perhaps you don't realize how little was on the web back then. More stuff was available via Gopher than HTTP.

Drupal 6 can easily, almost trivially, be upgraded to Drupal 7 in most cases. That will give you many years of extra life for your D6 site. Migrating to D8 right now is a problem, and will continue to be a problem for a while, but if you move to D7 now (BTW you should have done this years ago) you will be able to operate for a good long time yet. And by the time that D7 become obsolete the upgrade to D8 will again be almost trivial.

People tend to place little value on things like Drupal that are available for "free". If you actually spent money on a CMS you would realize how valuable this product is. Stop complaining about Drupal 6 being unsupported and start showing your appreciation for all the volunteer effort that has made Drupal possible. If you would be willing to spend actual money to support and improve Drupal you would find that money was only a fraction of what you currently spend on things like internet access, web hosting, and IT support. Stop being selfish and "taking" all the time, and start thinking about paying for what you use or giving back to the community that has given you so much.

If your internet presence is important to you, you will devote the resources necessary to keep it current.

mlmoseley’s picture

Length of time it's been supported is not the issue -- the issue is elegant and seamless upgrading. There is none.


Watchkeeper’s picture

Absolutely right. I upgraded to Drupal 7 over a year ago, only to discover all our picture galleries were lost and there didn't appear to be a simple solution to restore them. So it was back to D6. My dilemma now is - do I just stick with the end-of-life D6 that works or switch to another CMS like Wordpress which upgrades at the click of a button?

JoAMoS’s picture


I was born and bred in D6 coming from PhpNuke and there is a caveat for this suggestion, you can take it or leave it.

I completely respect your parallel to old people. The solution that comes to my mind is create a group and add others, who for many reasons simply cannot migrate.

Pool knowledge and support each other, build an ecosystem within the Drupal ecosystem. Let there be camaraderie and pride, let there be new friendships. Realize, even people who have moved on can help, cause they too have loved.

Remain positive, to you helping or getting help to migrate D6 sites.

As with everything else accept that Drupal has to move on with the needs of times.

Love and respect.



AntiNSA’s picture

I absolutely agree. Forcing people out of Drupal 6 is a terrible notion. In fact it goes against the spirity of what I always thought frupal do be. Let individual module contributor decide on their own rather or not they support Drupal 6. This is over all terrible news. I have and am still working on learnign and developing D6 to the fullest extent as a small individual site owner. This corporate upgrade.conusume more or be left out idea is terrible.

rooby’s picture

No one is forcing anyone to do anything.

Drupal 6 will not be officially supported for security updates but there will be companies that will support it. See

You can still download and install Drupal 6 if you want and you can keep running your existing sites if you want.

Your sites will not just stop working.

The biggest issue you will have is when PHP 5.6 is phased out and you can't get cheap hosting for sites that run on it anymore, but that will not be an issue in the short term. See my post about that at

There is a good reason to stop supporting old versions of software and that is resources.

Drupal is open source and a lot of its support comes from people volunteering their personal time.
There isn't enough time in the day for these people to volunteer their time to help improve Drupal in its newer version and also keep supporting all the old versions for the rest of their lives.

The other main allocation of resources comes from people/businesses/enterprises paying to have their sites developed and then contributing that back to the community, but these people are not going to want to pay big dollars to develop their sites on old technology, so most of their resources go into the newer stuff too.

If individual module maintainers want to support their modules for D6 they are most welcome to and nothing will stop them, but Drupal core is not going to be one of those modules, unless a bunch of people want to step up to take over it (which was proposed and no one stepped up, unsurprisingly).

Generally though you find that module maintainers will all eventually drop support for their D6 versions because they don't have enough time to keep up with it.

In the end it really isn't as bad as it sounds. For the most part everything will continue to run along as it is now for quite some time.

mlmoseley’s picture

>>No one is forcing anyone to do anything.>>

By enforcing end-of-life, AND providing no workable upgrade path, of course Drupal 6 sites are being forced to shut down. Claiming otherwise is untrue.


rooby’s picture

That is not true. Definitely encouraged but not forced.
As I mentioned before, it is possible to continue to run Drupal 6.

If you have the resources to upgrade or migrate to a different system then that would be preferable but isn't required.

What I was getting at is that it is viable (and relatively easy) to continue to run a D6 site without the world imploding.

Watchkeeper’s picture

You're right, of course. I'm continuing to run D6 - because I have to. I tried upgrading to D7 and lost functionality. The question is "why?" Why do I have to continue using an EOL system? The answer is - because there is no smooth upgrade path to D7 and beyond. THAT'S the point.

mlmoseley’s picture

>>What I was getting at is that it is viable (and relatively easy) to continue to run a D6 site without the world imploding.>>

If you could explain how it's viable and easy to run D6 on a commercial site, when there are no security patches for core or contributed modules, I would love to hear it. Because I've been doing this a while, and I don't see how such a thing is possible.

>>That is not true.>>

I've explained why it's true -- withdrawal of all support means no security patches, means your client's data and money is at risk. So you can't run D6. There is no workable upgrade path for a non-programmer and non-database person. So upgrade = pain.

And 'start a club of like-minded people' is nonsense. If you take as a premise that everyone reading on this forum, that every technical person who uses Drupal, has the time or the inclination to invest 200 hours a year (5 hours a week, say), in non-economic work activity, you are mistaken.

Look, it is what it is. I'm sure D6 users will find a way to cope. It's not the end of the world. But when a criticism is valid, one just takes the criticism, and doesn't try to 'elite-tech-splain' to a working web developer how he/she is really just wrong and not looking at things correctly.


dmoore’s picture

I currently run a complex site on Drupal 6, and have been trying for the last few months to work out how to migrate it to Drupal 7. However, the migration tools available to me are extremely limited, and I have been going through the painful process of re-writing all my custom modules. However, with the impending release of Drupal 8, I have been wondering how soon I will have to go through this migration pain again.

It seems the tools available to migrate to Drupal 8 are much better, however I cannot possibly begin to migrate a large site directly to Drupal 8 until:

  1. The Drupal 8 migration tools are complete (currently these will not be supported until a later Drupal 8 release)
  2. Drupal 8 contributed modules have been released (along with their associated d6 migration templates)
  3. Drupal 8 migration documentation/examples is more complete

So it seems, my only option is to go through the painful process of migrating to Drupal 7, and then migrating again to Drupal 8 in the next year or so. I would much rather invest the time learning and migrating directly to Drupal 8.

I recognise that all the good people who work on Drupal are very focused on bleeding edge development, but we need to recognise the significant challenges to migrate a large Drupal site.

Would it not be much better to encourage Drupal 6 owners to go direct to Drupal 8, and set a realistic date for this to happen.

dsnopek’s picture

Yeah, upgrading to Drupal 8 would definitely be better than Drupal 7 because it'll be supported and developed longer! But you're point #2 is huge:

2. Drupal 8 contributed modules have been released (along with their associated d6 migration templates)

There are many, many contributed modules that won't be ready by February 24th, and you might depend on some of them.

So, if you need more time to wait for modules and figure out your upgrade path, you can buy Drupal 6 Long-Term Support! has announced it's LTS offering:

... but I expect more vendors will be announcing their offerings soon!

jimboh’s picture

But for most of us that is a simply crazy amount of money (probably because they are offering far more than most of us need or want).
I for one would be willing to pay for security fixes to core and maybe the most popular modules. Perhaps if all of us that need this service where to pledge to pay a more modest monthly amount, someone may be willing to take up the role. Does anyone know if anyone has pursued this line?

dsnopek’s picture

But for most of us that is a simply crazy amount of money (probably because they are offering far more than most of us need or want).
I for one would be willing to pay for security fixes to core and maybe the most popular modules.

So, what you're looking for is security updates without support... Which means that you'd be notified that an update is available (similar to how it works now) but it'd be up to you to evaluate the update, test it (to make sure it doesn't cause any problems) and perform the update yourself?

At myDropWizard we've considered this, however, we're not sure it makes sense for our customers. If we're going to release a security update, we want to be on the hook for making sure it doesn't break our customers sites, and be responsible for fixing any problems if it does. Plus, an offer to make security updates without also offering to remediate in the case the site was hacked, means we'd be off the hook if a vulnerability was discovered that we didn't make a security update for in advance.

All the other things that are part of the "Basic" offering together mean that you're protected security-wise, regardless of what happens! If we reduced what's offered as part of that plan any further (to try and reduce the cost), we wouldn't feel like we're really looking after our customers and only doing half the job. I hope that makes sense!

almaudoh’s picture

I agree that the focus should be more on making migration from D6 to D8 as painless and smooth as possible. I even suggest this should become something module maintainers would pledge to - providing a complete and tested migration path from D6/D7 to D8. This is a better and more future-proof solution because it assures that in future (when D9 comes around and D7 goes EOL) we will have (hopefully??) less concerns from older version site owners since there would be a simpler migration path.

Even custom modules can build migration paths.

Brett Jones’s picture

We have had more than enough time to migrate to Drupal 7 and anyone who hung on to Drupal 6 until the last minute knew this was coming. No one owes anyone anything and no industry can afford to maintain antiquated releases of software or hardware. Failure to plan on your part...

dmoore’s picture

I agree with your sentiment, but I'd like to emphasise that the tools to migrate from Drupal 6 to 7 were limited, and have a very steep learning curve. Also, what was the point of migrating to 7 when Drupal 8 was coming soon (which has been the case for several years now).

I will live with whatever happens, but I would like there to be some appreciation that the preferable Drupal 6 to 8 migration path as currently laid out - isn't a realistic option within the timescales, due to the issues I specified above.

stevetheboater’s picture

So what you're saying is, the failure of the Drupal community to give ordinary users the tools to upgrade their sites from 6 to 7 was a failure of planning on the users part...

Read the messages above. There are a lot of us out here who learned to build sites in Drupal 6 then discovered that they literally couldn't be upgraded to 7 for one reason or another. I have built sites in both 6 and 7 but the ones still in 6 use modules that weren't migrated and I don't have the skills to rewrite them from scratch and as a volunteer developing sites for charities I don't have the budget to buy those skills in. Is Drupal now only intended for full on PHP developers? What a shame if so.

I love Drupal and greatly appreciate the effort that community developers with skills way ahead or my own have put into it over many years but the tone of your message implies that ordinary users (those who almost exclusively use modules off the shelf) are not actually wanted :(

AntiNSA’s picture

Absolutely. #Boycott Ending D6 support!

It is not an option for all to just simply upgrade to D8. D6 was always a community project I thought. This consume/upgrade or die mentality is absurd.

nitin.k’s picture

I started with Drupal 6. As far as end of life is concerned of Drupal 6, I don`t think many of the sites will upgrade to D7 but I can surely say one thing that if any site is using Drupal 6 and one thinks to upgrade it then he/she will definitely upgrade it to Drupal 8 not to Drupal 7.

Migration from D6 to D8 is the revolution in which many people will participate.

Jaypan’s picture

I'm in the process of upgrading a D6 site to D7 right now for a client. Reasons for choosing D7 instead of D8:

1) D7 is much more stable. D8 will have a full release this month, but that does not mean that it will be stable like D7. It will take another number of months, if not a year or two, before it reaches that level of stability.

2) There are so many more contrib modules for D7 than for D8.

3) If any problems come up, someone else has probably solved it and dealt with it somewhere online for D7. With D8, everyone is still going to be figuring it all out.

4) I can build a quality site with little effort in D7. It's going to take me a good bit of time to properly learn D8.

5) With Backdrop also being a possibility for upgrade from D7, it may be a better option in the long run than D8. Moving first to D7 leaves open the possibility of upgrading to either platform after seeing how things pan out.

So the upgrade from D6 -> D8 is not a given, there are good reasons to go D6 -> D7.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
amedjones’s picture

im one of those d6 user that will jump to d8 . Reason I did not upgrade to d7 is just being lazy .

But im glad the support deadline is published, this will push me to plan my upgrade


tomsm’s picture

I prefer to upgrade from Drupal 6 to 8.
I think that Drupal 6 should be supported as long as popular contributed modules have no stable Drupal 8 version.

In my case I want to rebuild my site with Drupal 8 Commerce. My site is multilingual which is better supported in Drupal 8.

mr.ashishjain’s picture

That sounds like a logical approach to wait for a while and take action accordingly

drm’s picture

Many D6 contrib modules have not been actively supported for a long time. If those modules were upgraded to D7 and now D8, it would be completely beyond those maintainers to maintain three different version. If they were never upgraded past D6, the maintainer probably went on to something else newer and more interesting. So I don't see EOL as a sudden thing. It just means that core modules are also falling into this category. I would also bet that many D6 sites were not installing every security fix anyway. So if you've got a D6 site, the February date is probably not going to affect you in a major way. The real challenge is when the host for your site decides to upgrade php to a version that D6 cannot run on. Then you just might need to find a host who will keep that version of php. But the older that version of php gets, the less secure and available it will be. That will be your limiting factor and there is not anything the Drupal community could do for you on that even if they did keep supporting D6.

leadadvisors’s picture

I will try to use both of them first so I will know what is the best version for my site.

tomrog’s picture

Actually all of those bad reactions are funny. It's not a news that Drupal 8 is released. It was coming for quite a time now. Drupal is free for everyone and no one needs to update core or modules. As someone said:

Don't fix it if it's not broken

Instead of being happy that D8 is out, instead of feeling this motivation to finally update your projects, you all are angry, because someone decided to "kill" D6. It's not the end of the world actually. it's a step forward.

othermachines’s picture

There are a few souls who, like me, were persuaded that there would be a much smoother path from D6 to D8, and so had postponed all or part of the migration until D8's release (or close enough to it that they could be reasonably sure about what they were getting into). I am actually fortunate to have only two D6 sites remaining, one of which we were still evaluating against D8 up until a couple of months ago (we opted for D7).

So although I'm not too terribly concerned about our own ability to roll things out in time, I sympathize with those who won't be able to make it despite pursuing what seemed to them and others to be a reasonable and responsible path.

That said, and assuming that it would be better to get more sites directly into D8, I have to say I am perplexed by how brief this window is. I'll hazard a guess that a lot of people who had planned to migrate to D8 are now caving under the enormous pressure of this deadline, the result being that thousands of sites (totally making that number up) that may have been ported to D8 - if given just a few more months to do it - instead end up in the more familiar D7 for several years to come.

Of course I get why EOL needs to happen - and I recognize there may be some logic that I have overlooked - but 3 months post-release just seems sort of... punitive.

Anyway, still happy to be moving forward and D8 is looking pretty great to me so far. Belated congrats to all who worked so hard on it.

greggles’s picture

I understand it can feel punitive. The reality is that 3 months is longer than any prior Drupal release. Drupal 5 lost support on the day that 7 was released. Drupal 4.7 lost support on the day that 6.0 was released. Prior versions lost support on the day of release of X+2, but there was no post about that change.

The announcement of the lts support may give more explanation than this post does. What I hope you'll see is that 3 months is actually an additional level of volunteer support for the platform which has historically not been offered.

It appears that there will be commercial support providers for Drupal 6 and the Drupal Security team plan for that commercial support means that the community will get those patches in a timely manner.

-- :)

alexmighty1’s picture

Well i follow a simple funda if you get an update then switch over to that and learn the new technology otherwise you will lag behind.

adpo’s picture

Well, I can't upgrade my site as soon as possible, because Drupal 8 doesn't have the commerce solution. I was planning to switch from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 in about 2013. As we know we had to wait longer, so I was waiting until now. February 24th 2016 is very short, and I'm little disappointed that I can't upgrade whole website.
I would like to ask you guys to support security for Drupal 6 until the Drupal Commerce will be fully released or even until the end of March to test Drupal Commerce.

rituraj.gupta’s picture

As you know that due to EOL, you will not get the help of drupal 6 issue. You are right, drupal 8 doesn't have proper modules so you can't migrate drupal 6 to drupal 7. meanwhile you can migrate in drupal 7.


adpo’s picture

I do understand, but I believe some people will decide to move to Wordpress rather then Drupal 7.

rooby’s picture

That's perfectly OK.
If Wordpress fits their requirements best they should use Wordpress.
If Drupal fits best they should use Drupal.

Moving because of lack of support for old versions would be silly though since Wordpress is no better than Drupal in this regard.

Wordpress says this about 3.x support: "The only current officially supported version is WordPress 4.4. Previous major releases from 3.7 onwards may or may not get security updates as serious exploits are discovered. "

That is pretty much the same as Drupal supporting 8.x and 7.x.

In my experience, contributed Wordpress plugins I have used have a pretty high rate of abandonment, especially when trying to upgrade a Wordpress site from 2.x or 3.x to 4.x.

Maybe It's just me making bad plugin choices but backwards compatibility and plugin support is definitely not on my list of pros for Wordpress.

So Wordpress and Drupal are really very similar when it comes to legacy support.

You will also find these types of policies to be very common in other open source software.

adpo’s picture

I don't think that Wordpress is better, but having e-commerce solution ready fro Drupal 8 is essential. I don't see a point to upgrade the website to Drupal 7 and then to Drupal 8. I wish all the best to Drupal 8, but most websites are selling products online nowadays. Also wesbites are more complex and upgrading websites require more work then few years ago. I believe Drupal 8 is great solution, but as I said people are using wesbites to sell products.
Please consider both EOL from the commerce point of view. Thank you.

rooby’s picture

Drupal core can't really wait for contrib. That's just not the way it works. Where would you draw the line as to which contrib modules to wait for?

Commerce is an enormous, complex system that takes a long time to develop and waiting for that could be a long time.

Having said that, development on commerce for Drupal 8 has been going for a while so hopefully it isn't too far away.

In the end you have to weigh up your needs vs what's available.

If it were me with a complex commerce site on D6 I would stay on D6 until D8 was commerce ready and then upgrade to that. I probably wouldn't upgrade to D7 in the meantime.

I really don't see it as being a big deal to run D6 for a while after official support ends.

Media Crumb’s picture

Commerce isnt Drupal. Its just a module. I personally have never used it and have been developing with Drupal since 4. So why should an entire project come to a halt for Commerce? Progression can't happen if we don't move forward. So while commerce isn't ready yet, it shouldn't mean we all stop what we're doing for the sake of contrib. This makes no sense at all.

Chicago Dev and Designer. Owner of and GameStooge video game communities.

Jaypan’s picture

I don't think that's the point though. The point is that cutting off 6 so soon after 8 is released means that many modules required for various sites - like Commerce - won't be updated before the cut off point. This means that long-term Drupal users will be forced to either upgrade to 7 even though they'd rather get current, or stay on 6 until the modules they need are released, and hope they don't get hacked in the meantime.

If there was a longer buffer period, it would take away a lot of those problems for people.

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tomsm’s picture

I agree.
Popular contributed modules should be ready for Drupal 8 before 6 ends.

greggles’s picture

If there was a longer buffer period, it would take away a lot of those problems for people.

If there were people interested and able to maintain Drupal 6 then the buffer period could be longer. We had multiple calls to find those people and they did not materialize.

However, it seems likely that there will be some paid maintainers and those maintainers will release patches for at least some of D6, so there will be some extra support.

-- :)

Media Crumb’s picture

The point that adpo was making was that "having e-commerce solution ready fro Drupal 8 is essential" which its 100% not. Drupal is not an ecommerce platform. Sure it can be, but that's not really the same thing.

Also, we had the buffer period you speak of already. Heck this has been the longest we've ever gone between releases and for people to act surprised that D6 is going end of life only now is something I just cant get behind. If people chose not to stay current with platform news, or ignored the hundreds of posts, announcements, and red flags then why should the rest of the community that has prepared for this years ago move more resources into an area that for all intent and purpose is dead tech. Silly and pointless.

Chicago Dev and Designer. Owner of and GameStooge video game communities.

Vayira’s picture

I predict many D6 sites will just carry on for much longer. I cannot possibly do that much work in that time slot... too many complex sites to move.

Media Crumb’s picture

You had since January 5, 2011 to move. I think almost 6 years is a pretty good amount of time.

Chicago Dev and Designer. Owner of and GameStooge video game communities.

Jaypan’s picture

You had since January 5, 2011 to move. I think almost 6 years is a pretty good amount of time.

Upgrades take time and money - often a significant amount of both. For many people/businesses, upgrading every version is not viable. Expecting someone to upgrade through every version is more than can be expected for many people. You say they've had since 2011, but the fact is D6 was still supported until now, and therefore expecting someone to upgrade to D7 isn't reasonable as a blanket solution.

The real amount of time is 3 months, from October to February. And that is not much time at all, particularly when so many modules still don't have a D8 release.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
Media Crumb’s picture

Sorry, but I don't consider that the "real amount of time". You're using the time give at the announcement of EOL as if there were no signs of another Drupal release before this date. As if the 5 years of Drupal 8 development wasnt a clear indicator that we were moving on. And finally, as if previous releases in the past hadn't already dictated that there would be an EOL after a new release.

I concede these things take time and money. However out of these two issues, I don't for a minute think there wasn't enough time. In fact there has been more time given than any other Drupal release in its history, and now is the time to move on. The community of devs that support drupal have already spoken, they didn't materialize when asked to support D6 and frankly I don't blame them. If you didn't use the 6 years of Drupal 7 to save enough money for an upgrade then there isn't much more you can do.

Ironically because of not putting money aside for the better part of a decade, you're now going to have to illicit paid support anyway on a platform that is older then most people current computers.

Chicago Dev and Designer. Owner of and GameStooge video game communities.

Jaypan’s picture

You seem to think it's economically viable for everyone to upgrade every release of Drupal - ie D6 -> D7 -> D8. Considering upgrades can cost nearly as much as the original build, this just isn't viable for many. D6 -> D8 is more financially viable, which is what you are seeing with many people.

And if you think I'm am speaking personally, I'm not. I'm the one who gets paid to do Drupal upgrades, not the one paying to do them.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
Media Crumb’s picture

I never said it was economically viable for everyone to upgrade every release of Drupal . I'm only stating some facts about past life cycles, the time frame of possible upgrades, and the history of Drupal.

However, if we dig into your train of thought a bit more we can easily arrive at a similar conclusion. IE, if you didn't have a plan for upgrading when you started your Drupal 6 site or didn't think you would have the money 6 years down the road then you probably made a mistake by using Drupal in the first place. Any small amount of research would have shown you that this is exactly what happens with a new major release. In fact Drupal for a long time before D7even took pride on its lack of backwards compatibility.

It has always been a platform that move on from old tech for the sake of a better CMS. I'm empathetic to those stuck in this issue, but I can't feel any sympathy if people didn't do their research.

Chicago Dev and Designer. Owner of and GameStooge video game communities.

Jaypan’s picture

if you didn't have a plan for upgrading when you started your Drupal 6 site or didn't think you would have the money 6 years down the road then you probably made a mistake by using Drupal in the first place.

You say 'your', but for many (most?) site owners, they use Drupal because that's what the development agency they are using sets them up with. On top of this, if you look at any of the Drupal pages saying why to use Drupal, none of them discuss the lifespan. And finally, I think most people understand the necessity to upgrade, the problem is the short overlap between D8 being released, and D6 support being dropped. People seem to be willing to upgrade to D8, they just cannot yet do it as the D8 modules are not there.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
Media Crumb’s picture

Sorry you lost me when you said "the development agency they are using". So they can afford an agency but don't have the money to upgrade...

Also, once again no one said Drupal pages (whatever those are) said lifespan is an issue. However there are plenty of articles, developers, themers, and more who speak to upgrading and its difficulties in Drupal. Personal responsibility to do the research isn't a lot to ask.

I just did one google search with "disadvantages of drupal" and got the following instantly... Tough days work I know:

In the article it even states, "Drupal has a horrible reputation for painful upgrades" so it would seem this author isnt the only person that knows this.

As for your final comment, if people have already waited 6 years for drupal 8 I'm fairly certain a few more days/months/years wont hurt them. For some reason there is this belief that the world will instantly end and their Drupal 6 sites will explode once EOD hits, but thats fairly inaccurate.

Chicago Dev and Designer. Owner of and GameStooge video game communities.

Jaypan’s picture

Sorry you lost me when you said "the development agency they are using". So they can afford an agency but don't have the money to upgrade...

Have you never heard of fiscal responsibility? Do you not realize that some businesses have higher profitability margins than others? Do you realize that when making the decision to uprade a website or X, if the upgrade isn't necessary and X is, it will take priority every time?

You keep making blanket statements, as if you think that every business is in the exact same circumstances. Do you have any experience in running a business?

I just did one google search with "disadvantages of drupal" and got the following instantly... Tough days work I know:

And again, not all site owners are the ones who make the decision to use Drupal. It's often put on them by the agency they have hired, and often agencies don't tell them (or don't even realize themselves) about the upgrade issues they face.

if people have already waited 6 years for drupal 8 I'm fairly certain a few more days/months/years wont hurt them.

That's not necessarily true. If any new exploits are found, they will be unpatched, and any Drupal 6 site is then open to exploitation. This may happen the day after support is stopped, or it may not happen for months - no one knows if/when an exploit will be found. Imagine if a Drupal-geddon type exploit was found after D6 support was dropped - every D6 site out there is at risk. So any businesses waiting for modules that are a necessity for their site - like Commerce for example, all of a sudden have a site open to exploitation, with no means of upgrading to D8.

For some reason there is this belief that the world will instantly end and their Drupal 6 sites will explode once EOD hits, but thats fairly inaccurate.

No, but the longer they remain not upgraded, the more open to potential exploits their sites become. For many businesses that have user information on their site, this could potentially kill their business if they have a data leak.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
rayjames’s picture

Here is some very easy to follow advice for anyone running any version of Drupal.

There is only one thing that would screw your site up and that is if your hosting company that your site is on upgrades php/mysql which could break your site. The way to fix that would be to get a virtual server to run your site on which could be as cheap as $10 a month from sites like digitalocean or rackspace or even godaddy. Then, you have total control of which versions of php/mysql to run. This will buy you much more time with your current version of Drupal.

Even Linux(Ubuntu Server) gets updated and unsupported over time, only 5 yrs(LTS), so eventually having to update your site or rebuild it would have to happen no matter what cms you are using.

Even though D6 end of life is just a few months away doesn't mean you have to upgrade right now. You have plenty of time to plan out an upgrade strategy. The only thing you need to do is be aware that no matter what your site is built on it will always require updating eventually.

So, calm down, get organized, and start planning and eventually execute the upgrade. If you built it once, you can easily do it again, and much faster/easier with the newer versions. They really do keep getting better.

Good luck and rest easy. You got this!

p.s. I have personally re-written many sites from D6 to D7 and it really wasn't that bad. Can't speak to D8 but I'm sure they got you covered. This community rocks!!!

WorldFallz’s picture

You have plenty of time to plan out an upgrade strategy.

No, you actually don't. 3 months is nothing for a site of even moderate complexity.

Very few of my critical modules have been migrated to d8 and I very much doubt if they'll be upgraded by the time d6 is no longer supported. Also, since I'm the only developer, there simply aren't enough hours in the day to assist in upgrading them.

Moreover I'm in a very risk averse industry/company, and with the ginormous architectural changes of d8 I simply can't risk making a bleeding edge jump to d8 until things have really and truly settled down and been thoroughly vetted-- likely a year or 2 away (definitely not before 8.1 or even 8.2). I'm sure I'm not alone this regard.

Fortunately for me, I'm in an an environment where I make the decisions as well as develop and I have the flexibility and authority to decide to update my sites (which are more web enabled db apps than typical web sites) to d7 for now (and should be done or close to done by the time d6 is unsupported). Most sites won't have this advantage and will be stuck between a rock and hard place.

There's no denying that Drupal has now substantially shifted to set its sites squarely on the enterprise. The reasons and pros and cons of that can certainly be, and have been, debated. However that doesn't change the fact. One side effect of this shift is that there's very likely going to be a painful culling of the herd as those put in a difficult position due to this shift weigh their options and make difficult choices.

But to stick one's head in the sand, and say essentially, "You're wrong, move along, there's nothing to see here, its still BAU" is both disingenuous and insensitive. Instead we should be striving to assist community members, for whom Drupal is no longer a good fit, to find a better option.

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rayjames’s picture

Drupal 6 is what I learned to be a programmer with. It's what got me hooked on Drupal and I never looked back. Thank you to all you amazing contributors and community that have kept and grown Drupal. I know I push Drupal every chance I get. If it were not for Drupal, I would not have a job as a full-time programmer right now. I am so grateful.

So, thank you Drupal 6. We will miss you. Drupal 7 is my new specialty, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys did with Drupal 8. I'll still be around when Drupal 27 comes around I hope, haha.

Keep up the amazing work you all do.


dsnopek’s picture

As has already been discussed here at length, it won't be possible for many sites to upgrade to Drupal 7 or 8 in the remaining 40 or so days until Drupal 6 is unsupported.

However, the list of Drupal 6 Long-Term Support vendors was just announced:

So, if you need more time to upgrade or come up with other plans, getting support from one of those vendors could buy you more time!

bzbzh’s picture

You have to admit a lot of people just can't afford to update. If your site is a bit complex you have probably modules that don't exist in D8 yet (and may be never will), you probably have made custom modules. A lot of people just bought a website meaning it to keep working with no plan to pay about 20% it's price just to have it updated to a x version of Drupal every 4 years.

You can live with an interrupted support on features or bug fixes. But you can't accept security issues not being fixed (not if you have clients at least).

With this policy Drupal (and Wordpress too it appears, too bad for it) send this message: "Choose to build your site with Drupal implies you accept it will die in a few years. Unless, of course you accept to pay".

Security support should not stop IMO. No body would feel to be taken hostage, to be stuck, to be compelled to an huge effort to save itself from hell. Extend security support and Drupal would be a sustainable solution to make a website.

rooby’s picture

If you have a large complex website then you really should have enough budget to keep it up to date. If you don't you're not budgeting correctly and you are bound to run into problems anyway.

For example, most people would buy a car knowing that there will be ongoing costs over the next 10 years.

If you have a smaller, basic website and and can't afford to keep it up to date maybe you should not be using Drupal and instead be using Squarespace or similar.

Also, there are a lot of other comments on this page you should read in relation to the end of support not being the end of the world and the fact that there is going to be a long term support option out there for those that want it.

WorldFallz’s picture

If you have a large complex website then you really should have enough budget to keep it up to date.

yowza... pie in the sky, lol. Ever work in the non-profit or health care sectors? Website/dev budgets are the very last thing that get funded-- if at all.

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rooby’s picture

I have done a lot of work for non-profits. My statement still stands.

I understand that they don't have buckets of money to throw at websites but if their website is important to their business then they should see it as a relative priority and be able to allocate some money to it.

For example I've had non-profits that have had to do major Drupal version updates that have been fairly expensive and they have been able to go to their board and get the money approved.

I have had others that have not deemed the update worth the money (or they flat out didn't have any money) and have chosen (while having all the relevant information of the consequences) that it is not worth the spend.

Some of those have then continued on with an older version of Drupal until the money was available and some have spent less than the Drupal upgrade cost to migrate to a different hosted solution that will require less money going forward (because their requirements didn't really require something as complex as Drupal).

What I'm saying is that these people still have options and it's up to them to decide what is best for their situation.

In these cases these clients never expected that this day would never come and that they could keep running their same website for eternity.

The companies I have worked for have historically also done deals on price when working with non-profits to make it easier for them.
I expect a lot of Drupal shops would do similar.

JedMeister’s picture

TBH I am disappointed to read all the whining & whinging on this thread...

Yeah sure having to upgrade sucks, but show me any other software product (free or paid) that you could expect FREE support for longer than D6 has enjoyed (~8 years!) The only ones that come to mind are both Operating Systems; Windows XP - 13 years (assuming you don't count the requirement to install Service Packs to keep getting support) and Red Hat - 10 years.

I would suggest that for most software 5 years free support (without you performing major version upgrades) is pretty generous; especially when it is something that you get for FREE in the first place! TBH I find some people's attitude of entitlement so frigging annoying!

If you failed to do your research properly and are surprised by this announcement (which for the record is an extension of the original support policy) then who's fault is that? To anyone who made a conscious decision to use Drupal 6 in the first place this should come as no surprise at all. The information that would have informed you to expect this announcement (months ago) has been available online for at least as long as Drupal 6 has been available...

Even if you don't have a ton of money; a freelancer from a developing country will happily upgrade a (relatively simple) Drupal 6 site for a few hundred US$. Considering that's all you'll need to spend for quite a few more years it seems like a pretty good plan to me.

Also IMO Drupal 8 will be a huge improvement over previous versions of Drupal. The core includes much more basic functionality (so less nee3d for 3rd party modules); and now that it's built on an existing PHP framework (Symfony) it should make future development and upgrades easier...

Finally, apologies for anybody I've offended. I don't hate you, I just struggle with the idea that you can whinge so much about a gift that someone has given you and I had to get it off my chest... :)

jimboh’s picture

Extract from the D6 Vendors Policy page linked in this post.

They agree not to keep a private branch of any code, and release all issues from the private tracker back to the community. All patches/updates must be released to the community at the same time as they are released to customers.

Am I right in assuming from this that patches to security issues for D6 will be available to everyone, not just those paying for LTS? How will we learn about these patches and where will they be posted?

Before you shout at me that I should be contributing to LTS or these fixes may never be available, I would if I could. The current offerings are completely out of reach for my clients (very small businesses and NFPs). Even the cheapest option of transferring hosting of each of them to one of the providers would increase their monthly website costs by an average of 400%. Not going to happen.

I will migrate them all to D8 eventually - at my cost because I never informed them that they would have to pay out for a redesign every x years. My fault for not reading the small print regarding eol, or for not understanding that there would be such a need for continued security patching, and my fault for using so many contributed modules, which makes it extremely difficult to migrate the most complex now.

rooby’s picture

From Drupal 6 Long Term Support (D6 LTS) vendors announcement:

Patches will be in the issue queue at

I would expect it would be up to you to keep track of that issue queue unless you are paying for LTS support for someone to do that for you.

jimboh’s picture

Excellent, Thanks for the update.

strawberrybrick’s picture

The web is a different place than it was when 6 was released. Things like "versions" are becoming quite archaic, as is dropping support for things that are currently working. Ah well, five years later, time to do something else.

charos’s picture

I can't complain for the D6 EOL. It's been 8 years. But connecting the D8 release with D6 EOL is a bit silly. Popular D6/7 modules don't have ready D8 modules,so lots of sites have to make a choice: stick with vulnerable D6 until D8 extends or go through the tedious D6->D7 upgrade and when the time is right jump from D7-->D8.
Unless you can master the second option , I suspect D6 sites will stick around for some time!

jromine’s picture

All Drupal 6 releases on project pages will be flagged as not supported.

So now my D6 sites show "Not Supported!" for all my modules (on admin/reports/updates). And now I can't tell which modules are behind on updates (including SECURITY updates). I guess this happened when you removed all the D6 releases of all contrib modules. I don't remember this behavior when D5 was EOL.

There's a difference between unsupported, and unsupportable. Not being able to easily see which D6 contrib modules need security updates has made things worse for me. I get that you want folks off D6 (as do I), but making D6 sites harder to maintain (for us folks who are stuck with D6 for a bit longer) is a mistake.

John Romine

strawberrybrick’s picture

Yeah, I get that Drupal wants us to know that they modules are Not Supported, but there certainly is a more elegant way of dealing with it in the module panel.

Jon Pugh’s picture

Today turned something off preventing drush from being able to download packages for Drupal version 6. This also prevents Makefiles for Drupal 6 from being able to be turned into a working Drupal site.

This is tragic. The purpose of package management is to let us create a stack from an exact snapshot of the packages that make up your app. To remove the ability to build software from source for Drupal 6 just because the core version is "no longer supported" is erasing history.

I am not arguing to continue "support" for Drupal 6. I am arguing that we are losing our history by preventing us from being able to build these packages as they existed in the past.

I want to be able to build OpenAtrium 6.x from a makefile 30 years from now.

I don't see how "vendors" can provide "LTS" without the build system working.

Jon Pugh
OpenDevShop Inc

jimboh’s picture

You can still update drupal to 6.38 by using the command drush up drupal-6.38

Jon Pugh’s picture

That's exactly the problem.

They allow Drupal core to be updated, but have cut the legs off of contrib.

What about all the people who are in the process of upgrading? It's often required to update a modules to the latest major version before you can update the site.

Now every D6 site on the planet is blocked from knowing if there are updates available, making their creators work much more difficult, and potentially putting their sites at risk of security breaches, even if "official" releases exist.

I don't understand why we can't keep an automated system online to support the last release of D6 core & contrib.

I can't picture why keeping this online is to much work, but perhaps I am missing something.

Jon Pugh
OpenDevShop Inc

jimboh’s picture

Yes I totally agree.
And its fundamentally wrong.
Drupal 6 Core is no longer officially supported (except by drupal 6lts) so only Core should be marked as unsupported.
Contrib modules should only be shown as unsupported if the module administrators have deemed it as unsupported.

David_Rothstein’s picture

I doubt it was anything insidious - it seems to me like just a bug in the way the Drupal 6 releases were marked unsupported? There's a infrastructure issue about it here: #2675892: Drupal 6.38 isn't correct in Update Status, it is unsupported and will be insecure in the long run

Drupal 6 Core is no longer officially supported (except by drupal 6lts) so only Core should be marked as unsupported.
Contrib modules should only be shown as unsupported if the module administrators have deemed it as unsupported.

@jimboh, that's actually incorrect. The security team has stopped providing security support for all Drupal 6 projects, not just Drupal 6 core. So it's correct to show the contrib modules as unsupported also.

Jon Pugh’s picture

Hi David,
I didn't think it was insidious, I just assumed it was on purpose!

It's very good to know that this was an accident, I was hoping that was the case.

Your quote from is spot on

I would think that "I know I'm using an unsupported project but I still want to update to the latest release of that unsupported project" is a reasonable feature request for Drush or elsewhere -- not just for Drupal 6 but also more generally.


Jon Pugh
OpenDevShop Inc

jimboh’s picture


jimboh’s picture

I just run available updates on my D6 site and now core shows:
Drupal core 6.38 Security update required

Which is strange because 6.38 is the latest security update I believe.

And all modules, when i refreshed, went from Not Supported to No available releases found....

Is work in progress do you think?

memcinto’s picture

No, you can't use that drush command any more.

jwillard’s picture

Drupal 6 had an amazing run. Drupal 7 and 8 are great and I'll be happy to move any of our old stuff to the newer software.

memcinto’s picture

It's disappointing that they jumped the gun and set everything to unsupported immediately following the security release of 6.38. Now you can't use drush to install that security update. You have to do it the old-timey way of swapping folders / copying-overwriting files.

drush up drupal-6.28
Update information last refreshed: Fri, 02/26/2016 - 10:14am

Update status information on all installed and enabled Drupal projects:

Name Installed version Proposed version Status

Drupal 6.37 6.37 Specified version not found

No code updates available.

memcinto’s picture

And, to add insult to injury, trying to download 6.38 errors out unless you add --no-check-certificate

$ wget
--2016-02-26 10:38:49--
Connecting to||:443... connected.
ERROR: certificate common name `' doesn't match requested host name `'.
To connect to insecurely, use `--no-check-certificate'.
memcinto’s picture

Here's how you can use drush to update to 6.38:

drush pm-update --no-backup drupal-6.38

tannis00’s picture

I don't have a problem with the concept of end of life for supporting an older version of software. The problem is lack of backward compatibility. Do you think Word would still be in use as a word processor if you had to go through a painful migration of all your documents with every release? No. That's why I can open files created in Word 2003 using Word 2016.

If D8 could run a D6 site no one would be on D6. If you want Drupal to grow in popularity then you MUST support backward compatibility. This architectural concept must be part of your evolution plan. Failure to do this WILL result in disenfranchised users dropping the product. The only ones left will be the developers, and who wants to develop a product that no one wants to use? Probably a few hard-core people, but the product will (sadly) die.

jimboh’s picture

The problem for me is it is not only not backward compatible, it is also extremely difficult to migrate when one has built a complex site based on the use of many modules, some of which were not ported to 7 let alone 8.
I built many of my sites in 6 some time after 7 was introduced, because at that time there were not many modules available for 7. So the suggestion heard regularly that a site developed in 6 has had a long lifespan ie from 6 release to 8 release is not necessarily accurate.
Unless you are an early adopter or are developing sites based mainly on core then the life can be somewhat less than the time between two releases eg. 7 and 8.

mygumbo’s picture

I agree with jimboh. For example, four years ago, we migrated a nonprofit's site from Drupal 5 to 6. Although Drupal 7 had been released a year earlier, the modules required were not yet available. Now, after a year of planning and fundraising, the nonprofit's site will be redesigned and migrated this summer - to D7, since (once again), modules required are not available for D8 (and they are by no means an early adopter). With drush not working with D6 anymore, our migration will be that much harder, not exactly an incentive for other orgs trying to do the right thing and upgrade.

jimboh’s picture

Not sure what you mean by Drush not working with D6. I used Drush to update D6 to 6.38, just had to be version specific, ie drush up drupal-6.38. Is there other element not working that I have not tried yet?

greggles’s picture

You may be interested in the mydropwizard feature which provides some improvements to the update system to make it work for D6 sites. If you are going to be on D6 for a while, I encourage you to contact and hire the services of one of the LTS vendors.

-- :)

tannis00’s picture

Not only is Drupal not backwards compatible, but there have been changes that (while nice) are not required, and cause extra effort in the upgrade process. My site, even the relatively simple parts, is seriously broken after upgrading to Drupal 7. Blocks deactivated because region names have changed. Views marked as "broken" without any indication about what is broken.

Drupal 7 would be great if I was starting from scratch, but my site has hundreds of hours of effort in it that I don't have time to re-do from scratch. The migration process has seriously let down the Drupal community.

I can't even update to Drupal 8 because it's not ready. I'm having difficulty with Drupal 7 because many of the modules I need are still in Alpha and Beta states. Major parts of Drupal 7 aren't stable yet, but by starting on Drupal 8, you are already working on phasing it out.

I paid for my theme, but not for anything else, so I don't have a right to complain. However, you have to see that the difficulty to the upgrade process that is introduced by your design decisions do not make sense if you want Drupal to continue as anything more than an academic pursuit.

mikovirgoez’s picture

Thanks you.

mlmoseley’s picture

It's become pretty clear to me that in the D8 development process, enterprise-level developers took over and co-opted the grass roots elements in the Drupal community. What's bad about D8 for general purpose developers and themers, benefits the enterprise: an esoteric, OOP, data-abstracted programming paradigm, and a bullet-proof templating system that above all else provides security, and gives not one thought to the retraining and retooling web contractors will have to do.

So the comp-sci graduates working at mid-level companies and the Fortune 500 won their battle -- and lost us the war. Watch now, as Wordpress and Joomla continue to rise in usage and popularity, and Drupal becomes a technical backwater that Harvey who runs IT loves, but no one else on the planet uses.



Aki Tendo’s picture

Also, you're welcome to fork any earlier version of Drupal you want.

mlmoseley’s picture

That comment shows the elitist mindset of the people making these decisions.

I'm a web developer. I build web sites. I meet with clients and graphic designers, I set up a schedule, and then I crank out a web site and get paid, and move on. What on earth makes you think I have the time to manage a forked -- which is to say, a new and now unsupported by anyone -- code base? You say that casually, as if it's obvious and easy to do. It's like an automotive engineer saying to a mechanic, 'Sure we've changed everything, but you can always forge your own tools.'

Of course they have their own problems, but not like this.


Aki Tendo’s picture

You have a lot of nerve to throw around insults at the people who built the product you have profited on and likely not paid one dime for because they are no longer interested in supporting the product 7 years or so after it was released.

Call me elitist if you want, I'd rather be that than an entitled parasite.

AntiNSA’s picture

You are not the reason open source exixsts. Upon the shoulders of giants..... Our greatests acheivments o humanity come upon the shoulders of others.

Id venture to say you are the capitalist parasite which holds humanity back.

jimboh’s picture

Call me elitist if you want, I'd rather be that than an entitled parasite.

What a strange attitude.

I dare to suggest that if the 100,000's of ordinary web developers hadn't given their support to Drupal by simply spreading its use, then perhaps Drupal would not be what it is today.

If drupal had been solely used by the 'elitists' then it would have probably gone the way of the dodo.

And if ordinary web developers had been made to feel like parasites by the core team and module makers from the start then again.. dodo.

Howevere I don't agree its quite as bad as @mimoseley suggests, after all we do have the LTS team and we just have to watch the issue queue and do our own patching. But If I had known that in 5 years time I would have to rewrite the sites that I originally did in 6 because no real upgrade path exists (without me taking some essential modules from 6 to 8 myself which is never going to work) then I am not so sure I would have chosen Drupal.

Neither would I agree with the Elitist mindset comment. But I would suggest it is the 'Programmer/Developer mindset' - Improve because you can and don't worry too much about backward compatibility.

My only bitch is that 6 is unsupported long before 8 is a really viable option (inc key contrib modules).

Watchkeeper’s picture

We're not complaining that D6 has reached end-of-life and is no longer supported. No-one expects indefinite support. Our problem is that, having built Websites using D6 and associated modules it's not possible to easily upgrade to newer Drupal versions. For example, I moved from D6 to D7 and lost all my image galleries. Being a bear of small brain, I couldn't fix it and reverted to D6. I complained at the time that the Drupal I started out with and could handle had morphed into a geeks' paradise. See:

and following.

Jaypan’s picture

While it's understandable that the organization wants to keep the number of versions they support at a manageable level, this whole shift off of six was done without considering the situation many D6 users are in. Setting all D6 modules as unsupported wasn't right - I'm still willing to support some of my D6 modules. And dropping D6 support before D8 has matured since there are still a significant number of modules that have not been ported, and there is still limited documentation/forum topics on D8 out there, shows that the organization considered their own needs without considering the needs of D6 users.

Hopefully the move from D8 to D9 will be better supported than this - this whole situation has been disappointing. Two of my clients are porting from Drupal to other systems as a result of this change, rather than upgrading to a newer version of Drupal. Had this been handled the same way the change from D6 to D7 was, I have little doubt I could have convinced them to upgrade their Drupal version rather than abandoning the platform altogether. And you know that they will be bad-mouthing Drupal until the end of all time now.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
AntiNSA’s picture

There is simply no need to kill a functioning self supported platform. Many modules of D6 were quite active and had no need to be forcefully shut down. The platform was quite functional.

Aki Tendo’s picture

You're free to gather other like minded individuals and create your own support network. The majority of the developers here do not wish to do so. Is this a case of programmers being in love with the latest shiny? Perhaps, but supporting old software is the sort of dredge work very few programmers like and it's almost impossible to get volunteers to do it. That's just how it is.

Also let me be clear - I speak only for myself, and I am known to be quite gruff to the point of being rude, especially when I read something that comes across that way.

mlmoseley’s picture

>>You're free to gather other like minded individuals and create your own support network.>>

I'm trying to communicate this without snark, or sarcasm, or the anger that I feel when I read something like this. You don't seem to understand that FAR AND AWAY, the people who made Drupal successful, who promoted it, who installed it and worked on it in *millions* of locations, are web developers. The reason Constant Contact and Google and Mailchimp and any of a dozen other commercial companies simply created integration modules for Drupal is that web developers gave them a market of web sites in the millions. Web developers.

People who are blue-collar programmers, and also CSS gurus and HTML experts and sometimes, admins. Who do it all in order to make a web site for a client and *get paid*. We are working people whose days are are counted in hours -- hours that are billable. Very few of us have the time to invest evenings and weekends in 'building a support network'. The idea that we can fork our own branch, or create a support network, or do any of a dozen things that don't directly relate to working and getting paid, is one you should let go of -- because it is not feasible for us.

We are also not suggesting a form of servitude in which D6 is maintained for years, for free. Retiring D6, giving it an end of life is fine.

What is NOT FINE is providing no upgrade path that is in any way workable. Every other CMS allows for an elegant, seamless, you-dont-have-to-be-a-programmer upgrade path. Can you go from Wordpress 2.5 to version 4? No. Can you go form 3.9 to 4? Hell yes, with the click of a button.

It has to be one or the other. Either continued support, or a good upgrade path. But providing neither is just screwing over the people who chose to use D6 and who helped make it successful, and pretending otherwise is sophistry.


Aki Tendo’s picture

First off, you continue to imply that the people contributing code into the Drupal project are not gainfully employed web developers themselves and just ivory tower academics. This is insulting. We don't have time to maintain 8 different versions of Drupal in addition to work for our paying clients.

Second, each iteration of Drupal is designed to try to reduce the amount of code that we have to write to get that work done.

Wordpress and Joomla each are, when compared to Drupal, very limited in the amount of customization that can be done with them. While Drupal 8 tries to narrow the gap, both of them are far more complete out of the box solutions for most websites. Their upgrade paths rely on an unchanged core. Plugins may stop working but they can be turned off and the core program will still work. Most Drupal sites are built around the modules attached to them, so if those modules don't port there's no movement.

The situation is not idea, but it's not like you didn't have what, 3 years notice? And Drupal 6 isn't going to magically stop working. It will work just fine until there are no hosts that support the version of PHP it is compatible with (up to 5.6 I believe). That's still years away. You can continue to use it.

You can still download 6x modules. And work is continuing on getting an upgrade path in place. If anything, spending time and resources on maintaining 6.x will decrease the time available to develop a stable upgrade path. But it is in the pipeline and as I understand the situation it is a priority. Again, not the idea situation.

I'm curious though - do you clearly communicate to your clients how long you will maintain a product provided to them before a rebuild will be required? Nothing lasts forever and having a site go unchanged for decades at a time is unrealistic. If you've been feeding them that unrealistic expectation you only have yourself to blame. Sites last longer than they used to, but they aren't like physical buildings. And even those have to be replaced.

There comes a time when replacing something is cheaper than repairing it. That's reality.

jimboh’s picture

Herein lies the problem.
5 years ago I developed 2 very complex sites in Drupal 6 because drupal 7 was brand spanking new and there were few modules ready for production use.
When work was well underway on 8 I considered porting them to 7. But found loads of the modules that I was dependent on had not been ported. That plus the horror stories abounding about 6-7 updates, I decided to wait.
Besides... my clients really cannot afford a major upgrade every 3-4 years.

So 8 is here and 6 is unsupported. But in no way is 8 ready to migrate to. Even some of the most popular modules are still in alpha or beta.

With the time it takes for modules to catch up with core, 3 major versions need to be supported (the oldest just for security updates) so that there are at least 2 that are fully usable. My 2c.

charos’s picture

I guess everyone would have been happier if there was a D6->D7 upgrade procedure as easy as the D6-->D8 .
Nobody would complain that there are no modules available for the upgrade of their sites and nobody could argue that Drupal core cannot maintain 3 major releases simultaneously.

If we take out all the drama in the comments and the different perspectives, this lack of (easy) D6-->D7 upgrade is the root of all frustration and debate.

eloiv’s picture

8 years of long time support it's not so bad for this community project.

I have a client to use drupal 6 and he understand that the technology compiled inside drupal 6 (2008) isn't the actual technology. -> Drupal 8 base distribution. Focused on making a base distribution of drupal. The idea is compile the typical modules and configurations that is in vast majory sites using drupal.

mlmoseley’s picture

Again, no one expects infinite support. This has been said many times in this thread. What people do want is EITHER a workable upgrade path OR support. Providing neither is just a really bad decision.


droplet’s picture

2 mistakes Drupal made.

1. workable CORE to CORE upgrade path only. But in D7, Drupal introduced Fields, and then D8, adding Views. Many Fields are not upgradable to new API.

2. LTS supports. It's a way selling us to Commerce suddenly. (and promoted modules maintainers to drop their projects). Also, there's no public info about Security reports. We never know if they are doing the jobs or not. and we only see 3 vendors out there.....

Who made these decisions? It's the main problem:

Alice112’s picture

You can upgrade Drupal core to Drupal 8 though, just not necessarily contrib modules at this stage.
That is equivalent to how you describe the Wordpress upgrade process (and how I have also found the Wordpress upgrade experience to be).

TD44’s picture

Just do Drupal 8 the last release ever. Wtf with Drupal 9 Drupal 10 Drupal 11?

Drupal 9 will give the ability to build a website from a smartphone? Drupal 10 will make coffee?

AntiNSA’s picture

This. Only Drupal 6... why kill it? Most the mods I used to keep it smooth were not official Drupal workers anyways. Whats the problem? Seems like the community gave... Yet Drupal takes and leaves all behind : (

Jeremy’s picture

We put a lot of deliberate effort into bringing down the costs for providing Drupal 6 Long Term Support, and have finally launched some very affordable plans through our new Tag1 Quo service. More background on what it is here:

datarazor’s picture

The entire EOL of Drupal 6 has basically meant that half of my clients all left Drupal 6 for Wordpress and other CMSs, fortunately we offer multiple solutions - so we were able to adapt and retain business.

Drupal 6 doesn't have a very good migration path to 8. You can't expect small businesses and non-profits to fork thousands of dollars to rebuild their website every few years, it's a terrible business model and not how you get happy customers. Drupal 6 should never have been EOL before there was a clear way to cheaply and effectively upgrade to Drupal 8. Just releasing Drupal 8 core was not sufficient. A year later for example the ubiquitous module node_export was still not ported to D8... and the official migration path doesn't migrate the D6 database, it adds new tables to translate the D6 tables to D8 tables on-the-fly on each database table look up [horrid]

Finally D8 doesn't even run on the same hardware, so for many small businesses using D6 on low-end hardware [like a shared host] they can't even stay on the same platform and you really require a much more powerful system to not have a slower system in D8 than D7.

Anyways, for those interested, here is our article on the matter:

If anyone reads this and needs some help moving up to D7, D8, Drupal Backdrop or to another CMS - feel free to give me / us a shout.

Peace, Sebastian.

David_Rothstein’s picture

The primary supported path for Drupal 6 sites is to move to Drupal 7, not Drupal 8. Yet your comment assumes that a direct Drupal 6-to-8 upgrade path (including non-core modules) was a necessity for Drupal 8's release. Why?

Also, you can still get free security patches for much of Drupal 6 even now, at So it's not like the end of Drupal 6 was even a "real" end...

datarazor’s picture

Thanks for your reply.

First it makes no sense to release D8 if you can't upgrade from D6 to D8. Considering the extreme cost involved with rebuilding the site - why would you pay thousands to go from D6 to D7 and then go to D8 later? If D6 is EOL it would be logical that a D8 path would exist for everyone to move to.

Second, while I appreciate your links to D6 ETL, your link was to a list of vendors who provide D6 ETL support. I presume that support is no longer part of the open source community and is a paid service.

What I would expect is instead for there to be an active D6 community that would notify existing users of D6 security updates that were still relevant to apply. Individual developers could then share those backported patches. It's not like D6 websites vanished when D8 appeared.

I've been around Drupal now since D5. When D7 came out the adoption rate from D5 to D7 was healthy, I was part of that wave and migrated many sites. I've also migrated many sites from D6 to D7. The migration from D6 or D7 to D8 is just not the same - it's an entirely new CMS and with the lowest adoption rate we've ever seen and the lowest number of modules ported considering the time D8 has been on the market.

You can argue that "times move on" but the truth is in the pudding, and the pudding is that people are leaving Drupal. What is growing are the enterprise level businesses and customers. For enterprise/large clients, I have no doubt D8 is wonderful and worth every penny. Drupal made a decision when Drupal 8 was released to abandon small businesses / non profits [and most medium businesses] when it turned towards a more Enterprise focus. Whether that is a good thing or not depends to a degree on what type of clients and business you are concerned about. If it was a conscious choice or not is another discussion but that's pretty much what has happened. A new small business today would be ill advised to adopt Drupal considering it's costs when other CMSs have a more clear upgrade path that will not force them to rebuild their site and get dedicated hardware in three years time... cause D6 to D7 today but then when D9 comes out and D8 is still just as big a jump from D7 to D8 so... what then? The two are not compatible. Maybe that will improve in a few years, but customer trust has been heavily damaged. And the perception today is the problem only gets postponed.

For the record, I still love Drupal -and we have many Drupal clients. But the way the D6 EOL was handled was just terrible and has a ripple effect far and wide you can't ignore.

Kindly, Seb.

Drupal Web development

Jeremy’s picture

Take a look in the issue queue: That's all the patches that we vendors have back-ported to Drupal 6 for paying clients. They're all there, and freely available to everyone.

datarazor’s picture

Thanks Jeremy! That's an awesome resource. :*D

David_Rothstein’s picture

In addition, the issue queue Jeremy linked to is open, and anyone can post to it. So if you're looking for an "active D6 community" that backports patches (beyond the ones the LTS vendors backport) it could certainly happen there. It may already be happening a bit, but I think in practice the LTS vendors are backporting patches for a lot of popular modules, and they tend to post first since they have early access to issues reported to the security team. But nothing stops people from continuing to support other modules in the way that you described.

Considering the extreme cost involved with rebuilding the site - why would you pay thousands to go from D6 to D7 and then go to D8 later?

That might be years in the future though, and perhaps many years (at least if current usage patterns hold up, Drupal 7 sites look like they will be around for a very long time). So especially if the upgrade path from Drupal 6 to 7 is easier and cheaper than Drupal 6 to 8, it's a pretty reasonable thing to do.

When D7 came out the adoption rate from D5 to D7 was healthy, I was part of that wave and migrated many sites. I've also migrated many sites from D6 to D7. The migration from D6 or D7 to D8 is just not the same - it's an entirely new CMS and with the lowest adoption rate we've ever seen and the lowest number of modules ported considering the time D8 has been on the market.

You can argue that "times move on" but the truth is in the pudding, and the pudding is that people are leaving Drupal.

I mostly agree with that, although I think it has more to do with "entirely new CMS" than anything specific to the data upgrade path itself.

At this stage of the Drupal 7 release cycle (about 1 year out) the number of D5 or D6 sites that upgraded to D7 does not look it was particularly huge, compared to the overall number of D7 sites ( So what we're probably seeing now is that not a lot of new sites are being built in Drupal 8 either, compared to the past - in addition to the lack of sites being upgraded.

And there was no official support for a direct Drupal 5-to-7 upgrade (you could only officially do it via a Drupal 6 upgrade in the middle). So with direct Drupal 6 to 8 upgrades, the community is clearly trying to increase data upgrade support compared to the past.

But ultimately, I agree with you that the decision to make Drupal 8 a major rewrite definitely makes it harder and more expensive for contributed module code to be upgraded, as well as for site-specific custom code to be upgraded. And that is a problem. I just don't agree that extending the official Drupal 6 EOL (which would have also meant delaying the release of Drupal 8) would have done anything to fix that.

jimboh’s picture


jimboh’s picture


While I agree with a lot of what you said, I have 4 or 5 D6 Clients and 20 or so D7 and have no plans to migrate any of them to D8. Apart from the fact they are small business who won't want to pay for this service, its just too difficult. And I am afraid I have no inclination to develop new sites in D8. Still using D7.

But D6 LTS is a real community effort. Look at the post beneath yours with the link to There is even somewhere you can download the latest D6 core if you are not into patching (cant remember the location but it will be in this thread or a similar one)

dscoop’s picture

We would defininately recommend to upgrade from 6 to 8. Drupal will be the future.

// Cooper Webdesign