Installing the Drupal Content Management System

Ubuntu has a handy metapackage called drupal6 that conveniently downloads all the packages required to run this CMS. However, I believe it's still a good idea to run through the previous steps of installing and testing Apache, configuring a root password for MySQL, and installing PHP before you attempt to install Drupal. Otherwise, it's easy to skip through these vital steps without being able to remember them later.

Other GNU/Linux distributions are likely to have Drupal packages; but for those that don't, and for Windows or the Mac, you can also install Drupal manually on a web server. To do this, download the tarball (compressed archive) from, unpack the tarball in the directory of your web server where the HTML files go, and follow the instructions in the supplied text file.

On Ubuntu, Synaptic asks if you wish to configure the database for Drupal automatically. Unless you know otherwise, leave the check box selected, and click the Forward button (see Figure 12-7).

Synaptic presents a graphical front end to debconf, the system that Ubuntu uses to manage package configuration. Like the .deb suffix on the end of Ubuntu package file names, debconf is named after the Debian GNU/Linux distribution on which Ubuntu is based.

Figure 12-7. Let debconf run the database configuration tool for Drupal automatically, unless you know that you shouldn't.

Next, the installer asks which database management system you intend to use with Drupal. Again, accept the default of mysql unless you have a better idea (see Figure 12-8).

Figure 12-8. Debconf defaults to MySQL for database type when installing Drupal, which is a likely choice.

After that, the installer needs to know the database administrator password you set when you installed MySQL (see Figure 12-9).

Figure 12-9. Enter the MySQL root password. Now, where did I put that Post-It note?

The installer also needs to know which password you want Drupal to use when it connects to the database. This should be different from the MySQL root administrator password, for security reasons. If you like, you can leave this field blank, and the installer generates a random password for you. Random passwords are likely to be more secure than those you make up yourself, although they can be harder to remember.

After the Drupal installation completes and you close Synaptic's pop-up window, you need to restart Apache so it can read in the new configuration for Drupal. On Ubuntu, you can do this by opening a terminal, and typing sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

This means to run the script that controls Apache (/etc/init.d/apache2) to make the server restart, and to do it with system administrator powers (sudo). You need to enter your password to use sudo again. Don't worry if Apache complains about not being able to reliably determine the server's domain name (see Figure 12-10); this is because the PC or laptop is set up for a local network rather than the open Internet. It won't stop you from experimenting with Drupal on this machine.


File Edit View Terminal Help [email protected]:-$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Restarting web server apache2 apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using far ServerNaroe

... waiting apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified! domain name, using for ServerName

daniel(adaniel-laptop:-S |

Figure 12-10. Restart Apache on the command line so settings for Drupal are loaded.

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