I've been keeping one eye on the Backdrop CMS since the fork from Drupal was announced, especially because part of the core audience is "small to medium sized ... non-profits" and the philosophy suggests that there is a goal of making future updates less of a major overhaul, which is appealing to some of the lower budget groups we work with.

I was curious if there is an official statement about CiviCRM/Backdrop and future support (or lack thereof)? How hard would it be to modify CiviCRM's Drupal 7 support to include a Backdrop option? I know that CiviCRM isn't "most modules", but the site claims:

"Upgrading most modules to Backdrop can be done in days or even hours. With a familiar architecture, it's easy to upgrade."

  • Recent comment here by coleman re backdrop - civicrm.stackexchange.com/questions/10969/…
    – petednz - fuzion
    Apr 27, 2016 at 21:52
  • We've made enough progress it pretty much works. Just need to get the web installer updates merged in. Some minor sub-modules haven't been ported but figure they're not a priority.
    – herb
    May 9, 2016 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


CiviCRM is very flexible. The current (4.6) core integrates simultaneously with Drupal 6 & 7, Wordpress 4.x, and Joomla 2.5x & 3.x. With a few tweaks it can even work as a standalone app without any CMS.

Could it work with Backdrop? Undoubtedly yes, and it might even be as easy as you suggest. Will it be released with a Backdrop version? I think that's up to everyone. If this is a priority for the community, then it will be a priority for the community.

UPDATE: Take note of CRM17711 on Jira for this topic ("Add Support for Backdrop")

UPDATE2: Backdrop support is officially in place, with a stable download and its own installation page on the Wiki.

The Backdrop team has been working together with Tim Otten to provide support for Backdrop CMS within CiviCRM.

As you may know, Backdrop is a fork of Drupal that maintains most of the APIs of Drupal 7 while providing new functionality like configuration management, more powerful layouts, and built-in Views in core. Backdrop is trying to bring down the cost of ownership by shifting Drupal's backwards-compatibility approach. Drupal basically commits itself to drastic changes every few years, while Backdrop is committing to a more WordPress-like approach of minimized API changes while providing new functionality.

Backdrop's primary audience is budget-restrained sites; putting us in the SMB, education, and non-profit space. Basically, the same we hope as CiviCRM. Supporting Backdrop would be a great way to bolster both projects.

As Backdrop is so similar to Drupal 7, we expect the porting to go fairly quickly, though it may result in a lot of similar code to the existing Drupal integration. Considering Backdrop (or Drupal) may diverge further in the future, it's likely that adding Backdrop as a new top-level CMS (e.g. the same as WordPress or Joomla) would be a better long-term approach for maintenance.

  • I guess what I was going for is a gauge of the interest level in Backdrop, but that's hard to get in a single answer.
    – Laryn
    Apr 2, 2015 at 20:03
  • Yes, Laryn, gauging community support for an initiative is not well-matched to StackExchange's format or purpose. Do you want to repost in the Forum instead? Or better yet, use the forum to get someone to estimate effort to a) do the integeation (wild guess: 50-70 hours including automated tests and setting up infrastructure to create the tarballs automatically and b) maintain the integration for each release. Then it would be time to blog about it to raise funds, IMO.
    – Joe Murray
    Apr 2, 2015 at 23:06
  • 1
    Backdrop support is mostly there. The one major piece that needs to be finished is the installer and even that is working but not yet merged into the main project. You can follow the steps Tim outlines in CRM-17711 to manually install using civicrm.mysql if you can't wait.
    – herb
    May 9, 2016 at 17:22

Update: its February 2023 and latest "backdrop" CiviCRM can completely install and almost completely work, But its littered with PHP8 warnings, and some PHP8 errors too. PHP 8.0.20

  • I haven't seen this to be the case in terms of all the errors. Are these warnings and errors in Backdrop, CiviCRM, or modules/extensions?
    – Laryn
    Feb 12, 2023 at 6:04
  • They are exclusively in Civi and I am not running extensions, only what comes in the base Civi install. BackDrop itself is not throwing any errors...
    – rceditor
    Feb 13, 2023 at 6:31
  • Are you on the latest Civi? That surprises me.
    – Laryn
    Feb 17, 2023 at 15:52

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