Given that the answer to whether CiviCRM will work with Backdrop is Yes, and that the integration is "functionally complete" -- how do I install CiviCRM on an existing Backdrop site?

It is not included in the wiki instructions yet, and when I download the latest Civi 4.7.x Backdrop tarball from Sourceforge and try to follow the Drupal 7 instructions on /modules/civicrm/install/ I get an error:

This installer can only be used for the Drupal version of CiviCRM.

I have been successful in generating a localhost Backdrop version with buildkit but not installing on a site that is not on localhost.

  • At the risk of asking a more existential question: why? What does backdrop offer that Drupal7 doesn't? You may find yourself with a large support burden for a rarely used integration.
    – JohnFF
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 19:03
  • What does Backdrop offer over Drupal7? A future, and a particular focus on the small-medium nonprofit sector for starters!
    – Laryn
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


EDIT: Since this answer, @herb has expanded on this in the Wiki. See "Installing CiviCRM for Backdrop CMS"

There is now an official version of CiviCRM for Backdrop. Once CiviCRM code is placed in /modules, go to


to install. Note the flag to tell the installer that we're installing for Backdrop otherwise it'll not recognize it.

The code changes to get the installer working for Backdrop is almost done (it's waiting to be tested and merged in https://github.com/civicrm/civicrm-core/pull/8177). You've got three options:

  1. Install manually: run the civicrm.mysql queries on your database (in /modules/civicrm/sql/) and manually build the civicrm.settings.php file (from /modules/civicrm/templates/CRM/common/civicrm.settings.php.template) and put it in your webroot (same level as settings.php).
  2. Apply the patches above to tarball you downloaded (plus apply this patch https://github.com/backdrop/backdrop/commit/93ecec4c081002bfc46fec421b5642d496ca3dac to backdrop. Then navigate to example.com/modules/civicrm/install/index.php?civicrm_install_type=backdrop to run the Backdrop-specific installer.
  3. Or, wait until the next CiviCRM 4.7.x minor release and Backdrop 1.x minor release and it should be working well enough. (Use the same url: example.com/modules/civicrm/install/index.php?civicrm_install_type=backdrop)

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