I have a Civi 4.4.4 install on a Drupal 7.37 and I want to upgrade both: the Drupal to 7.59 (which I think is the latest in D7?) and Civi to the latest 5.6.0 if possible. I am totally new to both of these products, but I've upgraded Wordpress before, if that experience will help me at all :P

I just saw a very recently updated post in this forum in which some people describe the process of making long-distance upgrades, going back and forth between upgrading Civi and upgrading Drupal to intermediate versions, alternating, and it sounds like it would be pure hell.

My question here is: should I do Drupal first, or Civi first? I realized that I'd better ask because whatever my intuition is might be wrong. I'm really hoping there will only be one upgrade each, since the "distance" is not that far off. Help is much appreciated.

  • Btw, I know where to find the instructions for both, so. – Kotodharma Oct 11 '18 at 3:26


Welcome to stack exchange. Its a huge pain to upgrade CiviCRM from 4.4 to 5.6. If your site has lots of customization then the upgrade might tend to break at some point if you're not lucky enough. Upgrading Drupal or CiviCRM first doesn't matter. But yes while upgrading CiviCRM I would suggest you to perform incremental upgrade so that if anything breaks you don't need to start it all over again. Here is what i would suggest

  1. Upgrade to last version of 4.5
  2. Upgrade to last version of 4.6
  3. Upgrade to last version of 4.7
  4. Upgrade to 5.6.0

Note: Take backup at every stage so that you can revert it back if upgrade fails.




While Pradeep is correct that a customized site is difficult to upgrade from 4.6 without work - a non-upgraded site should upgrade fairly smoothly.

I don't think it's of much concern which system you upgrade first, but keep in mind PHP versions. CiviCRM requirements state that only PHP 5.5 and 5.6 are compatible with both 4.6 and 5.6. Be sure not to upgrade past a version that your PHP supports.

  • Thanks... from everything I can tell, our site is not customized at all. – Kotodharma Oct 12 '18 at 22:22
  • Don't forget to take backups and (ideally) update a test version of the site first! :) – Jon G - Megaphone Tech Oct 13 '18 at 18:24

If you are still running Drupal 7.37 be aware that it is completely insecure.

I don't know much about older version of Civicrm but if you have any personal data accessible via that Drupal site you should either take that offline or upgrade it immediately.

Across our drupal sites we see people attempting to exploit the documented vulnerabilities on a daily basis.

I would update Drupal first, see if that functions correctly then look at the process of getting Civicrm up to date. Get up to latest 4.7 ASAP.

If your Drupal site uses media then you need to update that ASAP also.

  • I was aware of the insecurity of 7.37, but it has been a below-the-radar thing for a while around here, sadly. I now have the fire under me to at least get Drupal into a safe place quickly. – Kotodharma Oct 12 '18 at 4:11
  • Yeah I mean, I think for the most part you should be fine moving Drupal up first but obviously bear in mind you will need to update modules along the way. Look at the notes for each module especially if your using media module and follow the media update process. – EagleUK Oct 12 '18 at 8:41
  • On the Modules screen, under the CiviCRM section, the only ones checked are "CiviCRM" and "CiviCRM Theme", but the look of our site is extremely "default out of the box"-y, so I'm guessing we're not making use of this module. So maybe things are as easy as they can get. – Kotodharma Oct 12 '18 at 22:20

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