Basic configuration

The next few pages will introduce you to some common administrative tasks in your Drupal site. It is not meant to be a comprehensive configuration guide but an introduction to help familiarize you with where things are located and configured.

Click that Administrator link. This takes you to the administrative section. We will explore more deeply later, for now just an overview on some basic tasks. Note the scary red notice about problems. This is normal at this point and if you follow along we'll show you how to finish configuring your site.


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Status Report

The Status Report contains basic information about your site. Drupal version

Configuration file status. This refers to your sites settings.php file being set to read only

Database schema status. On a new installation this will be 'up to date' but when you install new or updated modules, you should check here. If the database schema is out of date you will need to run /update.php with UID1

File system. The files directory is where all uploaded content in your site is stored. On a new installation this will be an error condition as the files directory will not yet exist

GD Library. If you have the GD library installed on your server

MySQL database (or PostgreSQL) version

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At the status report page, you will generally have two errors. One regarding Cron is not configured and the other regarding the file system. Configuring cron will be done later, for now click the run cron manually link to clear the error.

File System

The file system is where all uploaded content is stored. If you use CSS aggregation, then it stores those files there as well. You can do one of two things...

Create it yourself at the root of your site OR Click the link in the 'site system settings page' and Drupal will attempt to create the files directory automatically.


In most configurations automatic creation will be fine, in some LAMP configurations this will grant the web server service account rights to the folder and exclude your account direct access. To correct this you will generally need to contact your web host.

If you are still on the Status Report page, you can click the file system settings page link or browse to administer > site configuration > file system manually.


Download method refers to how you control access to your files.

Public - Files can be linked directly and Drupal does not control access.

Private - Drupal controls access to the files. This only works if the /files directory is not in your webroot. The color picker in Garland does not work with if your files are set to Private.


There is a practice that is to put the files directory in your sites directory. This helps centralize the files unique to your site that need to be backed up. For the first site this would be "/sites/default/files". This can be very useful if you plan on using multi-site configurations.

Site Information

Let's change some basic information now. Currently your site name is Drupal and you have the smiling face of Druplicon. While a nice starting point, let's personalize a bit.

In your menu under Administer > Site configuration we will go through some of the available options. Select Site information;

1. Set the name of your site.

2. Set the email address for your site. (for out going only [email protected] works)

3. Set a slogan for your site

4. The mission statement is options. The mission statement is available to some themes and only displays o the front page when enabled

5. A footer message if you need one

6. Default name for anonymous users if you allow anonymous user posting

7. Default front page. By default it is set to node. With it set to 'node', it displays, in order, all posts with 'Promote to front page' checked. You can set it to a specific node for a static front page (i.e. node/4)

8. Date and time. Set the default time zone for your site. Review the other options while you are here

Theme Settings

Now that you have your site information a little personalized, let's work a little on the theme. In them menu go to Administer > Site building and select Themes.

In a new install, Garland is enabled and the default theme. Click the Configure tab next to List and you will see the Global settings for themes. For now, un-check Logo and check Site Slogan and Save configuration. Take a look at other options available here as well, this is where you can upload your own custom 'favicon' to replace the smiling Druplicon. We like Druplicon but your site should display your identity.

Next to the Global settings sub tab is a list of enabled themes. On a new install only Garland will be listed. Select Garland now. Assuming you have chosen to use public files earlier, you will see the color selector. You can choose from some existing color sets or choose your own colors using the color picker or HTML color code's. Feel free to experiment.

User Management

Under the Administer menu go to user management. Go to User Settings and set user registration as appropriate to your site.

In the User Management menu, select Roles. You will see that there are two default roles.

Anonymous users: These are the rights users not authenticated. (Anonymous users are UID0 in the database) Authenticated user: this role is automatically granted to all logged in users.

Let's add a role called 'administrator'. Next Edit permissions of the new role and check all the boxes except Use PHP for block visibility and administer filters. Save permissions.


Any rights that allow for PHP or administering filters should be given with extreme care.

Go to Users and select the Add user tab. Choose a user name and fill in the information. Do not assign a role at this time. Log out and log back in with your new account. See what the menu looks like. When you are done, log back with your first user account, add the administer role to your test account and repeat. See what's different.

Don't get hung up on the user id. number with two exceptions, it's just a sequential number that the account was created on. The only important ones are;

UID0 - anonymous users.

UID1 - first account and super user. In general, don't tie this account to a specific individual.


When testing access to your site or it's features user a different account then UID1. UID1 has access to every part of your site at all times and testing with it can disguise various role/permissions issues.

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