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Using Drush in a multisite installation

If you’re using a multisite installation, following best practices would have you ensure that you are in the correct website directory before running a Drush command. However, if you’re using Drush across multiple applications in succession, using Drush aliases can be more efficient.

When executing Drush commands inside the docroot directory, it is necessary to use aliases. However, if you’re not in the specific multisite directory against which you want to execute Drush commands, it is also necessary to specify the -l flag and provide a URI. If you use an alias by itself and you are not in the relevant multisite directory, Drush cannot determine which website it should execute commands against.

For example, if you want to run a pm-list (or its alias, pml) and grep for the sync module on, use one of the following commands based on your location:

  • In the specific multisite installation directory (such as /var/www/html/mysite.test/sites/* - No additional Drush parameters are needed. Use the following command:

    drush pml | grep sync
  • In the website’s docroot, but not the specific multisite directory (such as /var/www/html/mysite.test)

    You will need the URI for the specific multisite, similar to the following:

    drush -l pml | grep sync
  • In the server’s /var/www/html directory, but not in the Drupal installation docroot

    You will need both the URI and the Drush alias, similar to the following:

    drush @mysite.test -l pml | grep sync

    You need the alias to specify the Drupal website application since you’re not in /var/www/html/mysite.test, and you need the URI since you’re not in the related multisite directory for

  • If you want to run Drush against all of the multisites in an environment that uses Cloud Hooks

    You can use the following command as an example, where [site] is the application, and [target.env] is the environment you want to run the command in:

    drush --root=/var/www/html/[site].[target_env]/docroot @sites updatedb --yes