When is Drupal 9 Coming out?

Post by Mike C Picture of Mike C
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Many production websites out there are still happily running on Drupal 7, whilst newer ones have been started on Drupal 8, but the question keeps coming up - should we wait for Drupal 9, and if so, when is it due for release?

What is Drupal 9?

Drupal 9 will be, from a code perspective, a cleaned-up version of Drupal 8. It will be the same as the last Drupal 8.9 version with the deprecated code removed and third-party dependencies updated. Drupal 9 is mostly already built in Drupal 8.

Why does Drupal 9 exist?

Since version 8 of Drupal, the CMS has benefited from being built on top of a common PHP framework known as Symfony. As a CMS user, you don’t need to know or care about this as far as publishing content and changing settings goes.

However, the underlying framework is now reaching the end of life and as such will not receive support and security coverage - resulting in Drupal 8 also becoming vulnerable to any Symfony exploits in the future.

Drupal 8 uses Symfony 3 which goes end of life in November 2021. Therefore Drupal 8 will also need to go end of life.

With this impending date in mind Drupal 9 has been scheduled for release to move the codebase to the new Symfony 4 framework and at the same time remove some of the older no longer needed Drupal 7 code from the CMS.

The big deal about Drupal 9 is … that it should not be a big deal.

Dries Buytaert
Dries Buytaert

Upgrading and Planning

The window between Drupal 8 being unsupported and Drupal 9 being released is over a year - so plenty of time to plan and update your existing website if necessary. But it’s also worth noting that the move from version 8 to 9 is a much simpler and hassle-free journey for developers - resulting in a speedy process and much less time and cost for website owners.

It's worth planning and executing a move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 now - with an eye on the quick succession to Drupal 9 when ready. The removal of technical debt and analysis of your Drupal 7 site features is something you should be planning to execute soon.

Because Drupal 9 will be basically Drupal 8 streamlined, trying to skip the upgrade will not bring any benefits. It simply means you have less time to execute the upgrade and therefore more risk in your project.

Doing the upgrade to Drupal 8 with an eye to Drupal 9 is the best approach. You can already benefit from all the functionality in Drupal 8 with an easier upgrade path going forward.

Following the Alpha release of Drupal 9 in February the Beta release is aiming for release during the first week of March 2020.

The Summer is coming...

The release date for Drupal 9 has been set to June 3rd 2020, so not long at all. As with all new major releases, there’s always the case for incomplete or non-functioning features to creep in. What is different about Drupal 9 is that it’s mostly just a quick evolution of the Drupal 8 codebase and features - meaning a lot of the modules will instantly be compatible without major re-architecting of the codebase.

To track the Drupal 9 release and new features being introduced be sure to keep an eye on the dedicated Drupal 9 Drupal.org page and the up to the minute DropIsMoving Twitter news account.

Drupal 8 and 9 releases

Thanks to Gábor Hojtsy for putting together the "State of Drupal 9" slide deck where the above release diagram came from.

If you’d like to talk to us about your Drupal 7 or 8 site and the upgrade process call our team on 01925 320041 or email hello@ixis.co.uk.


Mike C

Managing Director

12 years of Drupal development wrangling and a background in digital project architecture.


There are multiple release date scenarios and June 3rd is only one of them. See https://www.drupal.org/core/release-cycle-overview#drupal9june, there is even a nice flowchart. More info on the current state at https://groups.drupal.org/node/535810

Gábor Hojtsy

Thanks for sharing. Great article with very good insight. Appreciate your efforts.

Kaspar Lavik

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