I am trying to decide if Backdrop is suitable for migrating my Drupal 7 site. After a couple of false starts I have successfully stepped through the upgrade process using my Drupal 7 site database. I have now hit a rather strange problem.

Several items were missing from the Admin bar, namely Dashboard and Install Modules. Dashboard is also missing from the Layouts page. If I go directly to admin/dashboard it displays a basic version of the admin menu with Tasks and Index tabs at the top.

Comparing my 'Drupal Backdrop' site to a basic install of Backdrop I can see that on my 'Drupal' copy the admin menu is called 'Management' (presumbly from Drupal) and is missing the Dashboard and Install Modules menu links.

I managed to enable 'install modules' by turning on the Project Installer module and it then appears in the Admin bar. I checked permissions and my admin user has access to every option.

Is this expected behaviour when upgrading from a Drupal 7 database and how do I go about fixing this? I tried adding the Dashboard menu link by hand but it still doesn't show in the Admin bar. I also exported the Dashboard Pages layout from the vanilla Backdrop site but after importing it, it reports a 'callback missing' error.

Both installations are on a local MAMP setup running Backdrop 1.25.1.


Hi @steved! When upgrading from Drupal 7, not all of the modules are enabled automatically (trying to keep the environment as close to what you had as possible). The issues you mention should likely be solved by enabling the "Dashboard" module (and as you discovered, the "Project Installer" module) -- can you test to be sure that is all it is?

Hi @laryn. Dashboard module is already enabled and all permissions set for myself (the only user). I tried disabling and re-enabling it but it makes no difference. Also tried flushing the cache.

I wonder if there is a database setting in my Drupal db that I used that is preventing the dashboard from appearing.

Are you able to test whether a complete uninstall and then reenabling the module works?

Sorted. I disabled the Dashboard then uninstalled it. It didn't actually get deleted so I just re-enabled it.

It now works, I can see the Dashboard option in the Admin menu bar and there is a new Layout for it.

Thanks for your help, it is much appreciated.

I believe the problem is that you probably kept Drupal 7's Dashboard enabled before upgrading to Backdrop CMS - and therefore Backdrop failed to run the install code when you upgraded.

This is a common error (I've been there myself!). See the documentation for Backdrop CMS upgrading, where it states that Drupal's Dashboard must be disabled before upgrading.

In part the problem is that, unfortunately, Backdrop kept the same module name (dashboard) for a completely different module that had different installation requirements, so it's easy to run into this problem. Ideally, there would be more careful handling of this in BAckdrop through better upgrade hooks.

Thanks @argiepiano, I missed that when reviewing the update docs. I'll make a note for next time!