After 8 months of development we are ready to release Drupal 5.0 to the world. Today is also Drupal's 6th birthday, so the timing could not be more perfect. Drupal 4.0 was released in 2002 and finally we feel confident to increase the major version number from 4 to 5.

Drupal powers sites across the web, ranging from the personal weblog of Tim Berners-Lee, podcast sites like, community driven sites like, artist communities like Terminus 1525 to large media sites like, MTV and even sites for NASA.

There have been over 492 contributors to the Drupal 5.0 release submitting 1173 patches, which is 150 more people than our previous record with Drupal 4.7. These new contributions are seen in the major usability improvements, a new Drupal core theme, a web-based installer, and expansion of the Drupal development framework that will afford themers and contributing developers even greater flexibility and power.


What's new

The Drupal 5.0 release contains many improvements, both visible and under the hood. To jump right in, check the videocasts about Drupal 5.0, including "What's new", "Installing" and "Upgrading".

The huge list of changes includes:

Usability improvements

  • Administration pages: completely retooled the administration page. It now has a default task view with an option to hide descriptions (think advanced view) and a 'by module' view with links to configuration options.
  • Settings pages: settings are now split up into smaller pages, making it easier to find the options you need.
  • Tables: the content, user and comment lists now include a smart 'check all' checkbox and allow range selecting by holding 'shift'.
  • Capitalization and typography: attention has been paid to properly and consistently format labels and text across Drupal.

New features added

  • Status page and requirement checking: added a status report page with detailed PHP/MySQL/Drupal information and requirement checking.
  • Web-based installer: added web-based installer that checks run-time requirements and that supports pre-made install profiles or distributions with better support for database table prefixes. It is also localizable.
  • Core theme: introduced a new default core theme, called Garland (and a fixed width version Minnelli). Garland uses the new color module to change the theme's entire color scheme on the fly.
  • Custom content types: core now includes part of the Content Construction Kit and allows you to set up arbitrary types out of the box. For more fields, install the full CCK package from the contributions repository.
  • URL filter: integrated the URL filter module into the filter module. This will cause web and e-mail addressed to be automatically hyperlinked.
  • Blocks per role: extended the block visibility settings with a role specific setting and retained the option to control blocks by PHP snippets..
  • Edit block titles: Drupal 5 makes it possible to customize or overwrite all block titles, even set block titles to empty.
  • User management improvements: Added support for auto-complete forms to user profiles. The ability to filter users by role, permission and status to help better manage users. Made email verification of user accounts optional.
  • Improved module administration: Modules are listed by category and origin, their versions are displayed, and their dependencies are listed in the module descriptions as required or optional.
  • More logging reports: Drupal now provides detailed reports on search terms, 'page not found' and 'access denied' errors to help improve your site.
  • CSS preprocessor: All (cacheable) stylesheets are now aggregated into one compressed file, which makes your site faster, especially for first time visitors.
  • Performance tuning: Key parts such as Drupal's session and access mechanism have been optimized for faster page loading across the board.

For developers

  • JavaScript library: the jQuery JavaScript library has been included in Drupal 5. All existing JavaScript in Drupal core has been converted to use it.
  • Reorganized directory structure: All modules now have their own directory and effort has been made to split up resources such as CSS by module. There is also a sites/all directory where you can place your custom modules and themes.
  • Uninstalling modules: when uninstalled, modules will be notified so they can clean up database tables.
  • Pluggable cache backends: with Drupal 5 you can plugin alternative cache backends. This allows you to use file caching, memcached or other cache strategies instead of the default database caching.
  • Pluggable session handling: with Drupal 5 you can plugin alternative session handlers. This allows you to use memcached based session handling instead of the default database caching.
  • PHPTemplate improvements: add the ability to look for a series of suggested templates. Drupal 5 will auto-discover a wide range of template files that allow you to override the default look of various pages.
  • Node access arbiter: made it easier for node access modules to work well with each other.
  • Node rendering: changed node rendering to work with structured arrays.
  • Form API: made it possible to programmatically submit forms and improved the API for multistep forms.

Maintenance releases

The Drupal 5 branch will be maintained by Neil Drumm with the help of Dries and Steven. The first maintenance release will be 5.1. Please note that as of now, the Drupal 4.6 branch is no longer maintained, so switching to Drupal 4.7 or 5 is strongly advised.

Installation and upgrading

For instructions on installing or upgrading Drupal, please consult the installation documentation and the instructions carried out by the update.php script.

For support, please consult the support page or read up on other people's experiences in either the installation problems forum or the upgrade problems forum.

Upgrading from Drupal 4.7

  • For the most trouble free transition, it is recommended that you first upgrade existing installations to Drupal 4.7.
  • For the same reason, it is recommended to disable contributed themes and modules before starting the upgrade process. Upgrade them afterwards. Also note that not all contributed themes and modules have been updated to work with Drupal 5.0.
  • Because the directory structure in Drupal changed, it is recommended not to extract Drupal 5.0 on top of your existing installation. Start with a fresh copy instead, and copy over your custom modules, themes and configuration file.

For instructions on upgrading, please consult the file "upgrade.txt" which you'll find in the root directory of Drupal 5.0. For a detailed guide, check the videocast about upgrading to Drupal 5.0.

Upgrading from the Drupal 5.0 release candidates

  • Copy the new sources over your existing installation and run the upgrade script.