Drush, short for Drupal shell, is a command-line shell and scripting interface for Drupal. Using Drush, developers can manage and maintain their Drupal websites from the server command line.
Drush makes website development easier by bypassing all of web services, allowing you to make direct updates to the code and database. It can even directly download and install software and modules for you, so that you don't have to do it yourself.
Drush has developed alongside Drupal, and there are several different available versions of Drush, just as there are versions of Drupal. The most current version is Drush 8, which can be used with any supported version of Drupal.
Seeing the power of Drush
As an example of the power of Drush, let's say that you want to use Views with your Drupal 7 website. If you were doing this manually, you'd download the Views module from drupal.org (be sure to also download the Chaos tool suite module, as it's required by Views) making sure that you extract the files in the correct directory, sign in to the website, and then go to the Modules page to enable the modules.
With Drush, you simply have to execute the following command from a command-line prompt to make Views available on your website:
drush dl en views
As it enables the Views module, Drush determines that Views requires the Chaos Tools Suite module, so it downloads and enables that module as well.
If your website's hosting environment already includes Drush, it's ready for your use.
For those environments that do not yet have Drush, you'll need to download it from its project page. For information about installing Drush on several different available platforms, including Windows and OS X, see the installation reference page on drupal.org. If you're a Windows user, you can also use the Drush and rsync on Windows Help Center article.
Additional Drush resources
Drush resources in the Acquia Help Center
The Acquia Help Center contains several documentation pages and articles that use Drush for website maintenance, including the following pages:
- Using Drush aliases Acquia Cloud documentation page
- Using Drush to apply security updates article
- Drush Cloud reference Acquia Cloud documentation page
- How to use Drush in a multisite installation article
External Drush resources
- Drush drupal.org page
- The Definitive Guide to Drupal 7, Chapter 26 - Drush
- A Beginner's Guide To Drush: The Drupal Shell from DigitalOcean
- Drush Commands - Drush command reference page