We’ve written extensively (we’re into this stuff) about how Drupal 8 has not just modernized digital experiences for the user but also eased out development work for Drupal developers. In this article we’re going to discuss two such Drupal 8/9 utility tools that have massively simplified and improved the way you work with Drupal code, modules and installations - Drupal Console and Drush.

Drupal Console

What is Drupal Console

Since the advancement of Drupal 8, it has become necessary to add a lot of boilerplate code to build a new module. Of course, you can simply copy and paste the code, but doing so repeatedly might open doors to a lot of errors. It’s ok. We’re human. Luckily, we have Drupal console - a suite of tools that you run on a CLI (Command Line Interface) that lets you automatically generate boilerplate code. It leverages Symfony Console and other third party components to generate most of the code needed to build a Drupal 8/9 module.

What is Drush

Drush (Drupal + Shell) is the original CLI tool for Drupal. It lets you spin up new Drupal websites easily and helps you streamline development and administrative tasks. Drush comes shipped with many easy-to-implement commands that lets you interact with your Drupal installations, themes, modules and more. Some of the other tasks that you can perform with Drush are exporting/importing configurations, caching, updating contrib modules, updating the database and much more. 

Drush works well with Drupal 6/7/8/9 and offers advantages of modern development practices. It helps save development time, both during migration of existing Drupal modules and while creating new ones thereby increasing productivity. Learn how to create your own custom Drush commands in this article.

Installing Drupal Console

Drupal console can be installed through various methods like composer, curl, phar etc. Here is an example of installing it using composer:

Install globally via composer

composer global require drupal/console

Site specific installation

    1. Navigate to Drupal site in CLI: 

cd /path/to/drupal_site

    2. Execute composer require command:

composer require drupal/console:~1.0 --prefer-dist --optimize-autoloader

Installing Drush

Drush can be installed through various methods as well like composer, curl or phar. Here is an example of installing it using composer:

Install globally via composer

composer global require drush/drush

Site specific installation

    1. Navigate to Drupal site in CLI:

cd /path/to/drupal_site

    2. Execute composer require command:

composer require drush/drush

Drupal Console Commands and Usage

Check out some of the most popular and helpful Drupal Console commands and when they can be used.

  • Drupal Debug Command

  • To identify the breakpoints while working on themes:
drupal debug:breakpoints {theme_name}

          Example: drupal debug:breakpoints bartik

  • To easily find the class and name of the service when working with services:
drupal debug:config:settings
  • To identify the fail point when you have painful broken blocks:
drupal debug:plugin block broken
  • Generate Custom Modules

Create custom modules within a minute using this command:

drupal generate:module  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --machine-name="modulename"  \
  --module-path="/modules/custom"  \
  --description="My Awesome Module"  \
  --core="8.x"  \
  --package="Custom"  \
  --module-file  \
  --composer  \
  --test  \
  • Generate Custom Form

Custom forms requirements are very common across projects. Creating custom form easily with this command:

drupal generate:form  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --class="DefaultForm"  \
  --form-id="default_form"  \
  --config-file  \
  • Generate Config Form

As like custom forms, we require administrator configured forms as well. With this command you can create them easily:

drupal generate:form:config  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --class="DefaultForm"  \
  --form-id="default_form"  \
  --config-file  \
  • Generate Controller

With custom forms you will need controllers. You can easily create custom controllers with this command:

drupal generate:controller  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --class="DefaultController"  \
"method":"hello", "path":"/modulename/hello/{name}"'  \
  • Generate Custom Entity

Creating a custom entity does not have to be time consuming, With this command you can create it quickly and easily:

drupal generate:entity:content  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --entity-class="DefaultEntity"  \
  --entity-name="default_entity"  \
  --base-path="/admin/structure"  \
  --label="Default entity"  \
  --is-translatable  \
  • Generate Custom Service

This command helps you to create custom services:

drupal generate:service  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --name="modulename.default"  \
  --class="DefaultService"  \
  --interface  \
  --interface-name="InterfaceName"  \
  • Create Content like user:create

To create a user from the back-end you don’t need to open the browser and login with admin and then create an account. Simply use this command to create a user in a jiffy:

drupal user:create  username password  \
  --roles='authenticated'  \
  --email="[email protected]"  \
  • Generate Plugin like block

Drupal Console is also capable of generating many plugins like blocks. Here is an example of creating a custom block:

drupal generate:plugin:block  \
  --module="modulename"  \
  --class="DefaultBlock"  \
  --label="Default block"  \
  --plugin-id="default_block"  \
  --theme-region="header"  \
  --inputs='"name":"inputtext", "type":"text_format", "label":"InputText", "options":"", 
"description":"Just an input text", "maxlength":"", "size":"", "default_value":"", 
"weight":"0", "fieldset":""'

For more Drupal console commands and usage check these Available commands.

Most Popular Drush Commands

 drush cr  To rebuild Drupal cache
 drush cim  To import all the configuration files
 drush cex  To export configuration files
 drush uli  To login using one-time login url
 drush en  {module_name}  Enables any module either custom or contrib or core
 drush pmu  {module_name}  Disables and uninstalls any module
 drush pm:list  Lists all modules with the package, module name, version and status
 drush updb  To update the database after upgrade
 drush watchdog:list(ws)  Lists all the watchdog messages
 drush watchdog:tail(wt)  Continuous tail watchdog messages
 drush watchdog:tail --type=php  Continuous tail watchdog messages with particular severity type

A Few More Cool Drush Commands

 drush status  Provides an overview of the current Drupal installation
 drush generate  As like Drupal Console, the drush generate command helps to   generate entities, plugins and more
 drush pm:security  To check Drupal composer package for security updates
 drush migrate:status  Lists all migrations with current status
 drush user:password {username}   {password}  Sets user password
 drush user:block  Helps block the user
 drush user:role:add  Helps add user roles
 drush sql-dump  Exports the Drupal database as SQL using mysqldump or equivalent.
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