The common denominator for all Drupal modules/profiles/themes that integrate with external libraries.

This module introduces a common repository for libraries in sites/all/libraries resp. sites/<domain>/libraries for contributed modules.

External libraries
Denotes libraries ("plugins") that are neither shipped nor packaged with a project on We do not want to host third-party libraries on for a multitude of reasons, starting with licensing, proceeding to different release cycles, and not necessarily ending with fatal errors due to conflicts of having the same library installed in multiple versions.

Drupal 7 only has built-in support for non-external libraries via hook_library(). But it is only suitable for projects that bundle their own library; i.e., the module author is the creator and vendor of the library. Libraries API should be used for externally developed and distributed libraries. A simple example would be a third-party jQuery plugin.


  • The same library can be shared by more than one module.
  • The same library can be shared by more than one site.
  • Ease the process of upgrading a module that requires an external library. Just replace the module folder with the new one. No need to move the contained library out and back in.
  • Prevent incompatibilities due to having the same library installed more than once in different versions.
  • Central installation instructions (widget) to help users figure out how to install.
  • Library classification.
  • Dependency handling.
  • Library version detection.
  • Runtime control of library availability.


The 1.x branch has very basic support for placing libraries in the sites/all/libraries folder, while more advanced features (including the above list) are currently being fleshed out in the 2.x branch (D7 only at the moment).
Further resources:

Background information:


As in Drupal 7 Libraries API remains an important API module for some parts of the Drupal 8 contrib ecosystem. Though Drupal 8 core has introduced improved library management tools (libraries.yml and unified library loading) it still does not offer a solution for handling external library dependencies that may be shared across multiple extensions. As a result this remains the primary problem space for the Libraries API module.

Additional information is available at #1704734: [master] Libraries API 8.x-3.x.

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