Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
Video: Ensuring automated updates with poormanscronDrupal requires the server to do certain things periodically, for example send out mail, poll other sites for RSS feeds and so forth. Part of the installation process solves this problem with the program cron on Drupal's host server, but what if you do not have access to the server? Fortunately there is a solution in the form of a module called Poormanscron. As with all modules you will need right access to the modules folder on the server. Here we are at the Poormanscron webpage, which is Drupal.org/project/poormanscron. We have already downloaded and install this module so we will go straight to our administrative page to turn it On. And just check the check box here and save configuration, from here we can go to the Administer page and if we do a search for Poor we will see there it is. We will click on that to configure it.
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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
Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
Drupal requires the server to do certain things periodically, for example send out mail, poll other sites for RSS feeds and so forth. Part of the installation process solves this problem with the program cron on Drupal's host server, but what if you do not have access to the server? Fortunately there is a solution in the form of a module called Poormanscron. As with all modules you will need right access to the modules folder on the server. Here we are at the Poormanscron webpage, which is Drupal.org/project/poormanscron. We have already downloaded and install this module so we will go straight to our administrative page to turn it On. And just check the check box here and save configuration, from here we can go to the Administer page and if we do a search for Poor we will see there it is. We will click on that to configure it.
As with the cron program you can choose how frequently the cron program runs, however you do not get the opportunity to choose at which minute it runs as do with cron tabs. We will just say we wanted to run every half hour. To Retry interval is in case the cron program is not able to run. It will keep trying after 10 minutes has passed if you leave it in the Default. You have a choice of whether to log successful cron runs and to log Poormanscron progress. I recommend that you leave these in their default settings, log in successful cron runs means a little show up on the reports page, where as log in the progress really adds a lot of information that you do not need to that page. We will click on Save Configuration and we are done, the configuration options have been saved.
There is one other thing that you should do though which is to turn off the cron tab that you turned On earlier if you have done so. On the Mac what you would do is go back to the finder hide everything, you will find a program in the applications folder. Down at the bottom in utilities called Terminal that lets you enter the command line interface. If you are running on a Windows machine you simply say run and then cmd, which will bring up your command line interface.
For Windows users, the task scheduler function is a good replacement for cron. A good explanation of how to use this function can be found at the Drupal.org website. Follow the URL below for more information. We are going to edit this cron tab again. To do so you type crontab and then -e for edit. And there is the line that we entered earlier. If you are using a Macintosh in its default configuration you will be using an editor called VI. The command in VI to delete that line is Shift+D, and then the command to get out of there is :WQ for write and quit. When you do this it tells you that it installed a new crontab and you are all set.
Poormanscron is one of the simplest modules out there but it also essential for anyone who does not have access to a cron application and who does not wants to use an outside cron service such as webcron.org. In fact I use it on all my sites, even though I do have access to a cron application, because it is so much easier to manage then running crontabs.
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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