The fourth feature release of Drupal 9 brings a whole new frontend look with the Olivero theme by default and a refreshed backend interface with the Claro theme. There is also a new starterkit theme generator, better image loading performance and easier permission management.Drupal now uses the Olivero frontend theme by default
When you install Drupal 9.4.0, it will look quite different from previous releases because it uses the new modern Olivero frontend theme. While the theme looks beautiful, it also has superb accessibility and adapts well to various display sizes.
The theme is named after Rachel Olivero (1982-2019). She was the head of the organizational technology group at the National Federation of the Blind, a well-known accessibility expert, a Drupal community contributor, and a friend to many.Drupal now uses the Claro backend theme by default!
The Claro backend theme has been in the works for a while. It became stable and the default administration theme in Drupal 9.4.0. The new theme brings a modern look to the backend interface of Drupal. It has been available as a core experimental theme for some time, so it is well-tested with contributed projects and real-world sites.
A delicious addition to the Umami demo in core is a new Borscht recipe (pictured), with a dedication to the fantastic Ukrainian Drupal community.New experimental Starterkit theme and theme generator
Drupal 9.4.0 ships with a new experimental Starterkit theme and theme generator. The new Starterkit theme is used as a basis to generate new standalone themes, rather than being extended at runtime like the Classy core base theme. Currently, the markup provided by the Starterkit theme is the same as Classy's, but its markup can be improved in future minor releases (whereas Classy's can't), so once it becomes stable, Starterkit will replace Classy. For more information, read the blog post on how the new starterkit will change theme creation in Drupal 10!New lazy loading configuration option added to image fields
A new lazy loading configuration option is added to image fields in 9.4.0 and most image fields shipped in core are now configured to lazy load. This helps browsers to delay downloading and displaying them until they become visible, which speeds up general page display.Easier permission management for content types, vocabularies, etc.
When editing content types, vocabularies, and so on, site administrators previously had no way to control permissions in context for these entity bundles in the same interface. With Drupal 9.4.0 a new "Manage permissions" tab displays the permissions that depend on the given type, making them easier to configure correctly.Improvements to drupal/core-recommended for security update management
The drupal/core-recommended metapackage now allows patch-level updates for Composer dependencies. This means that site owners using drupal/core-recommended can now install most Composer dependency security updates themselves, without needing to wait for an upstream release of Drupal core that updates the affected package.What does this release mean for me? Drupal 8 site owners
Drupal 8 is end of life as of November 17, 2021. Upgrade from Drupal 8 to at least Drupal 9.3.x as soon as possible to continue receiving security coverage. Upgrading is supported directly from 8.8.x and 8.9.x.Drupal 7 site owners
Drupal 7 support was extended until November 1, 2023, and it will continue to receive bug and security fixes throughout this time. On the other hand, the migration path for Drupal 7 sites to Drupal 9 is stable. Read more about the migration to Drupal 9.Translation, module, and theme contributors
Minor releases like Drupal 9.4.0 include backwards-compatible API additions for developers as well as new features.
Since minor releases are backwards-compatible, modules, themes, and translations that supported Drupal 9.3.x and earlier will be compatible with 9.4.x as well. However, the new version does include some changes to strings, user interfaces, internal APIs, and API deprecations. This means that some small updates may be required for your translations, modules, and themes. Read the 9.4.0 release notes for a full list of changes that may affect your modules and themes.
This release has further advanced the Drupal project and represents the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and contributors from various organizations. Thank you to everyone who contributed to Drupal 9.4.0!