Last updated June 17, 2014. Created on February 14, 2012.
Edited by drupalshrek, siliconmeadow, Erich Schulz, tstoeckler. Log in to edit this page.

If you want to install a contributed module, which depends on an external library, and also depends on the Libraries API module, you are on the right page.

Note that installing the Libraries API module and installing an external library are two separate steps, that are independent of each other.

In detail, the steps you need to follow are the following:

Install Libraries API

Install Libraries API just like you would any other contributed module. See this page for Drupal 7 and this page for Drupal 6.

Please note that, as is described on those pages, the Libraries API module directory should be inside the sites/all/modules directory (or sites/ if you have a multi-site installation).

Install the external library

  1. Download the library
    The module that requires the external library should provide a link to the homepage of that library or, even better, directly to that library's download page. Sometimes the module will specify a version for you to download, otherwise just download the latest version.
  2. Extract the files
    If the file you downloaded is an archive, i.e. its file extension is .zip or .tar.gz, you will need to extract it first. On Windows, use a program like 7-zip to extract it. On the Mac, you can use Stuffit Expander. For *nix systems, use the command line: tar -zxvf modulename-drupalversionnumber.tar.gz. After extracting the file, you should see multiple files or a single folder with the library's name.
  3. Upload the library
    First you need to check if there is a libraries directory in one of three suitable spots. These are:
    • sites/all/libraries directory or
    • profiles/[yourprofilename]/libraries or
    • sites/ if you have a multi-site installation

    If not, create one. Then inside that directory create a new directory with the Drupal machine name of the library. The machine name should be provided by the module that requires it, sometimes implicitly as in "Install the foo library!" (in that case the machine name would be foo). Upload the library files into the directory you have just created. If the library consists of a directory, which you have just extracted, upload the entire directory into the sites/all/libraries/machine_name directory.

IMPORTANT: Do not put the external library in the sites/all/modules/libraries directory, which is the directory of Libraries API module (see above).

Install the other module

Now you should be able to install the module that requires the external library just like you installed Libraries API above, or as you would install any other contributed module.

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


liz.oh’s picture

I just spent three hours figuring out that sites/all/libraries isn't the same as sites/all/modules/libraries.

webdeli’s picture

If not already - then ensure that /profiles/foo/libraries is supported too... not just /sites/foo/libraries as there are make Drush(make) based workflows that see sites as profiles (stepping outside the the whole multi-site /sites/x/.. structure) (see: here)

tstoeckler’s picture

I think that is what you meant by striking-through part of your comment, but just to make sure that there is no confusion: Yes, profiles/profile-name/libraries is supported, too.

Also a top-level libraries/ (next to the top-level modules/ and themes/) is supported as well, for distributions that want to ship with their own libraries. For 99% of users that should be irrelevant, though.

webdeli’s picture

Strike-through is because after I posted this I saw it is supported.. so I update comment accordingly.

munroe_richard’s picture

Does anybody have a more or less complete example of a .info file that would be included with an external library? From the documentation, it's not exactly clear what gets included from the external library.

Thanks in advance.

Dick Munroe

ibnkhaldun’s picture


Perhaps the best idea is to try a module wich requieres libraries. I sugest you to try mathjax


pj4ever’s picture

I can't create libraries directory in site/all- Permission Denied. How I can create this? - Libraries is already installed. But this is installed in site/all/modules/

Need URGENT HELP please!

Jonathan Kojo’s picture

I have tried everything i have read and learnt to make the nivo slider work, instead of sliding, it just displays the images in a linear form.
Now i created a folder in my sites/all directory and called it libraries, downloaded the plugin and extracted it there, but it still won't work.
I need help please

aatelfer’s picture

Follow the instructions in the or you'll be stuck trying to figure this thing out.