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Installing the AMP stack

From: Drupal 7 New Features

Video: Installing the AMP stack

Quite a bit has changed in the installer for Drupal 7 in two ways. First Drupal's own installation process looks different. Most of it works pretty much the same, but there are some important improvements and we'll go over those. Second and in a way more important is that the range of choices for the supporting system that Drupal relies on, that is the AMP Stack, has gotten much better. To understand what that means, let's review how Drupal works. Drupal is written in the PHP programming language.

Installing the AMP stack

Quite a bit has changed in the installer for Drupal 7 in two ways. First Drupal's own installation process looks different. Most of it works pretty much the same, but there are some important improvements and we'll go over those. Second and in a way more important is that the range of choices for the supporting system that Drupal relies on, that is the AMP Stack, has gotten much better. To understand what that means, let's review how Drupal works. Drupal is written in the PHP programming language.

It stores its data into a MySQL database, then those two work together to deliver HTML pages to a web server which is usually Apache. Those three things together, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, are commonly referred to as AMP or the AMP Stack. In Drupal Essential Training, which I recorded two years ago, the two best AMP Stacks were MAMP for Mac OS X and WAMP for Windows. But they both have substantial problems. WAMP in particular has been a massive headache for me.

Most of the support emails I get for the Drupal Essential Training course are about getting Drupal to work with WAMP, and you still had to download Drupal after grabbing either WAMP or MAMP. Fortunately there is now a much better solution. The Acquia Drupal Stack installer, which is available for both Windows andMac. It's known as DAMP. That's the Drupal AMP Stack. It's a full AMP Stack plus a special version of Drupal called Acquia Drupal. You can get DAMP at acquia.com/downloads.

We'll install it on Windows, but the procedure is almost exactly the same on a Mac. Then there'll be two additional steps we'll actually have to take before we have Drupal running. The first step is to replace the Acquia version of Drupal that comes with DAMP with the basic version of Drupal, which is commonly called Core Drupal. That's the official one so to speak that you get from drupal.org. You'll see how to replace Acquia Drupal with Core Drupal in the video "Importing Core Drupal into the AMP Stack." Then after we've done that, the last step is to run Drupal's own installer, which you'll learn in the video "Installing Drupal." So, let's get started.

First we'll grab Acquia DAMP, and once again that's from acquia.com/downloads. In order to get it you grab the Stack installer either from Mac, Windows, or the Deb package for Ubunto or Debian. The Acquia site is smart enough to go to the version that you want, so if you go to this site on Mac OS X, it'll actually select the Stack installer for Mac OS X. Whichever one it does just click Download Now and save it to whatever your download location is. Once it's downloaded, you go to your download location, which in my case is the Downloads folder right here. Double-click and then double-click on it to extract it.

Of course you should go through whatever steps you would usually use in order to install a program on your computer, and there we are. This is the Drupal Stack installer. We'll walk through the installation process. First you click Next and then it asks you what you'd like to install. In this case we'll install everything that it suggests which is the core components, that's Acquia Drupal and the AMP Stack, along with this mail server. You click Next and we're told exactly what's going to be installed. Click Next again. You come to the license agreement. Read it of course and then accept it by clicking Next.

Then we can decide where exactly we're going to install the program. We have two options here. One is where the program goes and the other is where your sites will be. I'm going to leave these in their defaults. If you want to change them just click on this little folder icon and then you can select whatever location you like, but I'll just click Next. The next choices you have are about what ports Apache and the MySQL database program should use. I recommend leaving these as they are. Particularly on the Mac side I've noticed there have been some problems with changing the Apache port. Now Acquia may change that in the future, so if you have a need to use the default port of 80 or 8088, that may be possible by the time you see this video.

Just check the documentation on the acquia.com website. But for us we'll just click Next. Finally we name our site and enter our password and email. I'm going to call this Drupal 7 New Features. The Username I'm going to make admin. For the Password I'm going to use my own last name Geller, and confirm it of course, and E-mail I'm just going to put in admin@example.com. Of course you should add your own information. Now this site name is what's going to show up on this site itself.

You will be able to change it later, but as you'll see it'll show up as the title of your site. We then click Next and get a confirmation screen. If everything looks okay here, click Next and Next again to start the installation process. This process takes a few minutes so we will jump to the end. And that's it. We've now installed both the AMP Stack and Acquia Drupal and we click Finish and that launches the Acquia Drupal Control Panel. As you can see it starts up both the web server and the database server.

Now if you want to see the site itself, just click on this Go to my site. That will open the site in your default web browser, and as you see there is the title that we entered earlier. To administer this site, we would enter the username and password that we put in during installation phase. You might remember that's admin and Gellar, and log in. If you're using Firefox or another browser that stores passwords, it may ask you if you want to store the password. I'm just going to say Not Now. But there we are. We now have Acquia Drupal installed on our computer along with the AMP Stack.

The next step is we're going to replace Acquia Drupal with Core Drupal. Now this course is about the differences between Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. So let's talk about some of those differences, particularly between DAMP, which didn't exist when Drupal 6 came out, and those AMP stacks that were used with Drupal 6. That is WAMP and MAMP. First of all DAMP is a lot smaller than MAMP, at 32 megabytes instead of 160 megabytes. That really only makes a difference during the download phase of course, but it is a significant difference.

WAMP was always fairly small at 16 or 32 megabytes. The second difference is that DAMP can host multiple sites. It's what's called a multi-site installation, and if we take a look at it, you see this little pop down here. When it first installs a site it just calls that localhost, but you could in fact import other ones or add new ones and so forth, and that's actually what we're going to do in order to get Core Drupal into there. The third thing about DAMP is that it's easier to access configuration and log files. Once again I can go back to the Control Panel and in the Settings you see this Config tab and Logs tab. If you click on this View or the Edit links, then you can actually go back and change these very technical files which controlled how Apache, MySQL, and PHP work in your computer.

The final point is it that there is really good online documentation for DAMP. Acquia has done a good job just writing everything out as they produced this stack. The stuff from MAMP and WAMP was okay, but it was a little bit scattershot. A lot of times you found yourself trying to find answers in the forums rather than in the documentation. Well there you are. You now have Acquia Drupal set up and ready to use. But we're not going to leave it there, because in this course we're concerned with the basic version of Drupal, as I said, called Core Drupal. I'll show you how to import Core Drupal into the Acquia DAMP Stack in the next video.

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Drupal 7 New Features

29 video lessons · 7928 viewers

Tom Geller
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