Last updated February 27, 2014. Created by dreftymac on February 25, 2008.
Edited by Christopher Jam..., JohnAlbin, ronald_istos. Log in to edit this page.

You will first want to install Zen as a base-theme, and then you will want to create a Zen subtheme for any modifications you want to make to Zen.

Install Drupal-7 Zen-7.x Automatically.

  1. Go to the Zen project Home page, and 'copy' the URL link location for the Drupal-7 Zen-7.x version that you want to install.
  2. Visit your site page:
  3. 'Paste' the download location URL into the field-box "Install from a URL".
  4. Click the button "Install".

Install Zen-6.x, or Zen-7.x, Manually

  1. Download Zen from
  2. Unpack the downloaded file, take the entire zen folder (which includes the README.txt file, a STARTERKIT folder, etc.) and place it in your Drupal installation under sites/all/themes. (Additional installation folders can be used; see “Installing themes” for more information on installing contributed themes like Zen.)
  3. Log in as an administrator on your Drupal site. For Drupal 7, go to the Appearance page at admin/appearance. For Drupal 6, go to the Themes page at admin/build/themes. If you installed the theme properly, you will see the Zen theme listed at the page-bottom under the heading "Disabled theme".

You do not need to 'enable' the Zen theme for it to function as a base-theme for the Zen subtheme you will create next.

But if you want to preview the Zen theme, and its markup, before you proceed to creating a subtheme, you can 'enable' Zen now from your D7 'Appearance' page, or your D6 'Theme' page. Make Zen your 'default' theme, and check it out.

You will next create a Zen subtheme for any modifications you want to make to Zen. See Create a Zen subtheme.

Note for "SiteZen site builder" users:

There seems to be a conflict between some host installations of the SiteZen site builder and the Zen directory name which causes broken tabs, css files to be "not found", and other issues. To learn more about this problem and to learn its solution, see SiteZen builder causes "Page not found" errors for images, css, etc..

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.