Backing up your Drupal site
Video: Backing up your Drupal siteOnce you have a Drupal site that you like, you'll want a quick and easy way to back it up for safekeeping or to save a copy to migrate to another server. Fortunately, the process is fairly painless, thanks to the MySQL utility, phpMyAdmin. But first, we're going to have to save the files that are in the Drupal directory. Drupal stores information in two ways, first as those files and second as the information in the MySQL database. First, we go up to where we have our Drupal directory, in our case it's in Users/tomgeller/Sites/drupal.
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Drupal is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) for a variety of platforms. It has a robust user community and easy-to-use administration features. Drupal Essential Training covers all the important aspects of installing, configuring, customizing, and maintaining a Drupal-powered website. Instructor Tom Geller explores blogs, discussion forums, member profiles, and other features while demonstrating the steps required to make Drupal perform. He also teaches fundamental concepts and skills along the way, including installation, backups, and updates; security and permissions; flexible page layouts and CSS; menu navigation; and performance monitoring and disaster recovery. He also discusses how to select and install the community-supported modules that further expand Drupal's capabilities, and gives experienced PHP programmers tips on customizing page templates. Example files accompany the course.
- Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
- Creating stories, pages, blogs, forums, and polls
- Managing users and comments
- Setting and customizing themes
- Exchanging content via RSS
- Stopping comment spam with a CAPTCHA
- Launching a site and joining the Drupal community
Backing up your Drupal site
Once you have a Drupal site that you like, you'll want a quick and easy way to back it up for safekeeping or to save a copy to migrate to another server. Fortunately, the process is fairly painless, thanks to the MySQL utility, phpMyAdmin. But first, we're going to have to save the files that are in the Drupal directory. Drupal stores information in two ways, first as those files and second as the information in the MySQL database. First, we go up to where we have our Drupal directory, in our case it's in Users/tomgeller/Sites/drupal.
Backing this up is amazingly easy, just Command+C or Ctrl+C. Go to wherever you want to back it up, Command+V or Ctrl+V on a PC. And there we are, we've made a copy of the entire directory. These files can also be backed up using a standard backup program such as Time Machine or Intego Personal Backup on the Mac, or as part of your regular computer backup discipline. If your files are on a server, you'll have to use an FTP program. In truth, you don't have to back up the entire Drupal directory, and if in fact you've built a Drupal site that has a lot of large movie files or large graphics. You might decide to only backup certain sub folders, inside there where things change frequently.
But the default Drupal installation is extremely small; it's about five megabytes. So unless you start adding large files, there is no reason not to back-up the entire folder. Once you have the folder, I would suggest renaming it with the date of the backup and possibly any other information that you want to add. For example, I am going to say 20080714 and this is Underwater Realty. And I am just going to call it underwater-drupal. Good. That will be the name of our backup. I am going to give a similar backup name, to the MySQL file, which we are going to back up now. To get there, go up to MAMP or to WAMP if you are running Windows and click on OPEN Start Page or the similar button that's on the WAMP Administration Interface.
Then go to phpMyAdmin and scroll down, until you get to Export. We are going to export the entire database. Once again, you don't really need to export the whole database if you are a very good MySQL administrator. You could just export individual tables, but why not do the whole thing. It will make a lot easier when it's time to restore. Click on Drupal, go down here. You have a choice of either just saying Go, which will bring up the SQL commands in a plain text file, which you can copy somewhere and put somewhere or more easy is to say, Save as File. We'll do that, say Go, once it's downloaded, you can go back to where it has downloaded, in this case to the desktop, and give it the name that you want.
Again, since I use this name for the files themselves, I'll give a similar name to the SQL file. One last step as a good idea, when you have all of these files in a folder I would suggest one more step. Instead of leaving all of these files in a folder, I would compress it using whatever compression utility is on your computer. On the Mac, you can do that by holding down the Control key, clicking on the folder, and saying Compress. On the PC, you would right click and issue a similar command, and there you have it. You now have two individual files that you can use to restore your Drupal installation back to the point where you backed it up.
We'll show you how to do that restore in another video in this series.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6 Essential Training .
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "" :
- Q: While following along to the installation instructions in the “Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows” chapter in the Drupal Essential Training title, an error occurs when attempting to open the local host page. Nothing appears except for an error reading “WAMPSERVER server offline.” What is causing this?
- A: There is a known problem with some versions of WAMP that include a version of PHP (5.3) that some versions of Drupal is not compatible with. See http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp#comment-831 for more information.
If that is not causing the issue, reference the tips at http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp.
If you don't see the solution at either of those links, try using another AMP stack, such as XAMPP or the Acquia stack installer. See http://tomgeller.com/content/what-hells-wrong-drupal-wamp for discussion about these.
- Q: After installing XAMPP and running Drupal for the first time, the Administration menu does not appear. What is the reason for this?
- A: There are several possible problems. Here are some likely solutions. (These may also solve problems encountered with other AMP stacks.)
- Increase XAMPP's PHP allocation.
- Check to make sure all XAMPP's paths are correct and that permissions are correct. If the database information appears, but not Drupal's supporting files, and an included theme is being used, the supporting files will be in the /modules folder.
- Another solution is to not use WAMP or XAMPP. One option is to use Acquia's Drupal Stack Installer ("DAMP"), which can be found at http://www.acquia.com/downloads. However, that installs Acquia Drupal, which is a version of "normal" Drupal extended with additional modules. If only core Drupal is desired, see the instructions at http://acquia.com/blog/kieran/try-drupal-7-alpha-your-laptop-or-desktop. (The instructions are for Drupal 7, but will work for Drupal 6 as well.)
- Q: In the "Using the example files" movie, the method of importing information to the database is shown, using the backup in Chapter 10. When attempting to do this, the following error is shown: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." The system is running the latest versions of Apache, PhP and MySQL, on Windows Vista. What could be causing the problem?
- A: This is probably caused because your AMP stack allocates too little memory to PHP.
That's especially true if you're using WAMP, which only gives PHP 2MB of memory, when it really needs at least 16MB.You'll see the issue if you go to the MySQL-controlling phpMyAdmin screen (probably at http://localhost/phpMyAdmin) and click "Import": The maximum file size allowed is 2,048K. That's only 2MB, and the databases for most Drupal sites are much larger than that. (The example site for Drupal Essential Training gets as big as 5MB.) The video "Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows" shows (at around 3:30) where the php.ini file is, but here are some more-complete instructions to increase that memory limit.
- Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
- Select "PHP". In the side menu, select "php.ini" to open a file containing PHP's configuration options.
- Search for the line, "upload_max_filesize = 2M".
- Change it to "upload_max_filesize = 32M" (or whatever you like).
- Save the file and restart WAMP. (Better yet, restart your computer entirely to be sure. I'm frankly not sure whether it makes a difference.)
- Now go back to that "Import" screen in phpMyAdmin: You should notice that the limit has changed.
- Q: I don't remember the default username and password used demonstrate Drupal.
- A: The default username used in the course is "admin"; the default password is "booth".
- Q: How can I change Drupal's administrative username and password?
- A: If for some reason the default exercise file username (admin) and password (booth) don't work, you can change them in the database itself using phpMyAdmin. (This technique is demonstrated in a video from Chapter 8, "Recovering from disasters".)
- Open your Drupal database with phpMyAdmin.
- Go to the "users" table. Click the Browse icon.
- For the row where uid = 1, click the Edit icon. (Note the value under the "Name" column: That's the administrator's username.)
- In the "pass" row, select "MD5" under the "Function" column
- In the same row, enter your new password under the "Value" column.
- At the bottom of the screen, click the "Go" button. You should now be able to log in with that username and new password.
- Q: In Windows Vista, the WAMP icon disappears from the system tray after a certain amount of time. How do I get it to reappear?
- A: To make the WAMP icon reappear (so that you can access localhost, phpmyadmin, php.ini, etc.), you have to activate the "start WAMP server" icon (from start menu, desktop or wherever). The system tray icon will reappear.
- Q: My .htaccess file disappeared. What caused this?
- A: A few times during the Drupal Essential Training video series, the instructor says to copy a Drupal installation by selecting all the files in the folder and then "dragging and dropping" them, either to a server or another location on your local computer. This is not the best way to do so, as the hidden file ".htaccess" will not be copied.
There are two ways to get around that problem:
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- When installing Drupal for the first time: Instead of copying files from the Drupal folder, move the entire folder to its target location and rename it. This is the easiest solution for those without experience with Unix.
- Use the command-line interface to copy the .htaccess file.
- Q: In the video, the instructor says the current version of Drupal is 6.3, but on the drupal.org site, the latest version is 6.17. Which is the newer version of Drupal?
- A: Drupal 6.17 is newer than version 6.3. For some reason, the the version numbers go 6.3, 6.4... 6.9, 6.10... 6.17. It’s counter-intuitive, but that’s the order.
- Q: My WAMP phpMyadmin will not allow me to upload the exercise files. It returns this message: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." There was no previous database to drop, so what do I need to do to make this work?
- A: This is a common problem, caused not by Drupal, but by WAMP. WAMP only allows you to upload files of 2MB or smaller, which is much too small. The solution is detailed at http://tomgeller.com/cant-import-a-drupal-site-in-windows.
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