Bee is a command line utility for Backdrop CMS. It includes commands that allow
developers to interact with Backdrop sites, performing actions like:

  • Running cron
  • Clearing caches
  • Downloading and installing Backdrop
  • Downloading, enabling and disabling projects
  • Viewing information about a site and/or available projects

Please note that Bee is under active development and, as such, breaking
changes may occur
. Please see the release notes for a list of any major
changes between versions. Also note that Bee will not run natively on
Microsoft Windows; it will run within WSL2 or other Linux based virtual


  • Download (or clone) Bee to your computer/server.
    This will create a folder called bee with lots of files inside. Your home
    directory is a good location for this folder. It is neither required nor
    recommended to place this folder within the Backdrop web root.

  • Make sure bee/bee.php is executable.
    It should be by default, but it doesn't hurt to double-check.

  • Make it easy to run bee commands.
    There are two ways to do this:

    1. Put a symlink to bee/bee.php in your $PATH (e.g.
      sudo ln -s /path/to/bee/bee.php /usr/local/bin/bee)

    2. Make a Bash alias for bee (e.g. add alias bee='/path/to/bee/bee.php' to
      your .bash_aliases file)

  • Test to make sure it works.
    Simply type bee in your terminal and you should see a list of available
    commands displayed.

More advanced/specialised installation instructions can be found in the


Bee can be extended (i.e. custom/additional commands added) by Backdrop contrib
modules or by individual users. See for


Bugs and feature requests should be reported in the issue queue:

Current Maintainers



This project is GPL v2 software.
See the LICENSE.txt file in this directory for complete text.