Extend with Modules

Modules can change the way your site works, or add to the set of available features on your site.

Backdrop may be a great tool on its own but it's an even better tool with additional contributed modules. You can add third-party modules to extend or alter Backdrop's behavior. You can find modules for Backdrop CMS on our website, on GitHub and occasionally on Drupal.org.

Add a module

There are two basic ways to upload module files to a Backdrop site:

  1. Manually place the files onto the server (always available)
  2. Automatically through the user interface (may not work on many types of servers)

Option 1: Manual upload

  • Download the module from its source. First, locate the module you would like to install. Download a packaged version of the module that corresponds to your version of Backdrop.
  • Extract the files. The downloaded module package will be in a compressed file format such as 'tar.gz' and needs to be extracted to /modules or a subdirectory of /modules in the root directory. On Windows, use a program like 7-zip to extract the files. On modern Mac systems, double-click the .tar.gz file. For *nix systems, use the command line:tar -zxvf modulename.tar.gz
    You should see a list of files extracted into a folder.
  • Upload the module to your site. Move the extracted folder into the "modules" directory in your site root. You can do this using FTP, but we highly recommend using Git.

Option 2: User interface

Note that this approach requires that the "Update manager" module be enabled on the site.

  • Navigate to the modules page. Navigate to the modules page. Click Extend in the administrative menu, or use the path http://example.com/admin/modules.
  • Navigate to the install page. Use the action link, the one at the top of the page that reads + Install new module.. (Note:You must have the Update manager module enabled to see this link.)
  • Follow the prompts. You will be prompted to provide either the URL to the download or to upload the .tar.gz or .zip file from your local computer. Click 'Install', and the Update manager will copy the files into your /modules folder. The next screen gives you two links. Click 'Enable newly added modules' and skip down to the 'Enable and configure' section.

Note: If FTP is not enabled for your server, you may receive an error message. Backdrop will not be able to diagnose the problem, only tell you that there is one. It's up to you to determine whether your server is properly configured for FTP.

Enable and configure your new module

  • Read the directions. If the module has an installation file (README.md), read it for specific instructions. There are modules that require special treatment, and even modules that depend on other downloaded files to function properly.
  • Enable the module. Navigate to Administer > Functionality or http://example.com/admin/modules. Check the 'Enabled' box next to the module and then click the 'Save Configuration' button at the bottom. Note: If you are updating an existing module, you'll need to run the update script. Visit http://www.example.com/update.php, then click 'Continue' (after making a backup of your database.
  • Set up permissions. Some modules will require that you set permissions. Navigate to Administer > Extend and click on the 'Permissions' button for the desired module. You can go directly to the Permissions page (Administer > People > Permissions) and scroll down to see if the module appears in the list. If it does, give the appropriate permissions to desired roles.
  • Adjust settings. If the module has a settings page it can usually be located by navigating to the modules page (Administer > Extend) and clicking on the 'Configure' link for that module.

Note: You can only have one copy of a module with the same name in each Backdrop site. The module's name is determined by the name of the .module file, not by the name of the directory.