Error using Drush with new Drupal installation of Drupal 8

Posted December 30, 2016 9.8k views

I created a new server with Drupal 8 preinstalled. It already had Drush installed but whenever I run drush with a command in the working drupal directory I get the following error:

Command needs a higher bootstrap level to run– you will need ot invoke drush from a more functional Drupal enviroment ot run this command.

I haven’t been able to get drush to work at all with this Drupal 8 install. I have used Drush regularly on Drupal 7 install with no problems.

Full message below:
Command pm-update needs a higher bootstrap level to run - you will [error]
need to invoke drush from a more functional Drupal environment to run
this command.
The drush command ‘pm-update’ could not be executed. [error]
Drush was not able to start (bootstrap) the Drupal database. [error]
Hint: This may occur when Drush is trying to:

  • bootstrap a site that has not been installed or does not have a configured database. In this case you can select another site with a working database setup by specifying the URI to use with the –uri parameter on the command line. See drush topic docs-aliases for details.
  • connect the database through a socket. The socket file may be wrong or the php-cli may have no access to it in a jailed shell. See for details.

Drush was attempting to connect to:
Drupal version : 8.2.4
Site URI : http://default
Database driver : mysql
Database hostname :
Database port :
Database username : drupal
Database name : drupal
PHP configuration : /etc/php5/cli/php.ini
PHP OS : Linux
Drush script : /usr/local/bin/drush
Drush version : 8.1.2
Drush temp directory : /tmp
Drush configuration :
Drush alias files :
Drupal root : /var/www/html/drupal
Drupal Settings File : sites/default/settings.php
Site path : sites/default
Sync config path : sites/default/files/configzHcDrPgGJYeXy

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3 answers

I ran into the same issue. I updated the password in my .my.cnf file to the password found in the settings.php file for the database.

Hi, I think that u run drush outside drupal installation / root folder. Drush needs either to run in drupal installed folder or aliases to be configured to point that folder.

Please cd to drupal folder and run drush

cd /your/drupalrootfolder/

Digital ocean support found this solution and I can now update with Drush.

Basically, to resolve this log in as root, and make sure you’re in the root user’s home directory:

cd ~

After doing this, move the .my.cnf file to rename it:

mv .my.cnf