Unpacking and installing modules
Video: Unpacking and installing modulesWhile modules vary tremendously in function, dependencies and configuration options, they all get on to your server in the same way. You need to download them to a modules folder and your Drupal installation on your server, which means you will need right level access to that folder. If you do not have it already talk to your system administrative before proceeding. First let's go and take a look at some of the different stages of modules because we need to get those only that are secure and reliable. At the bottom of each module description you will notice a list of releases this one has only one, but you will also notice it has a suffix. That suffix will either be alpha, beta, def or RC.
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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
Unpacking and installing modules
While modules vary tremendously in function, dependencies and configuration options, they all get on to your server in the same way. You need to download them to a modules folder and your Drupal installation on your server, which means you will need right level access to that folder. If you do not have it already talk to your system administrative before proceeding. First let's go and take a look at some of the different stages of modules because we need to get those only that are secure and reliable. At the bottom of each module description you will notice a list of releases this one has only one, but you will also notice it has a suffix. That suffix will either be alpha, beta, def or RC.
This one, for, example is alpha. Alpha is the stage before beta, and an alpha release means that it might be okay but we are really not sure about enough about it to release it to the general public even for testing. So, be careful with alpha releases. The second kind is beta, beta stage means that it is not quit ready for release, but the developers believe that it is secure enough to be tested by the general public. The third stage is known as dev. In this case the version is at dev. That means that it is still in its development and they do not recommend that you use on a production site. In fact it's only intended for the developers to use so that they can fix problems. Be extremely careful when using modules that are this stage.
Then we have RC. That means release candidate. It is the last stage before something becomes stable and release to the public as though it were a product. So the stage is go dev, alpha, beta, RC and then the final. Now that was gone through that, let's look at its specific Drupal module. To go to it we go to Durpal.org of course and then to Download Modules. We have decided to protect user by preventing online robots from easily collecting their email address. So even if a user types in email@example.com, it will appear on the site and in an obfuscated way. The module we want to add is called Spamspan. I'm going to just find it quickly by searching here and we find everywhere on the site where the words Spamspan appears. I am going to click on one and eventually I found the module.
I happen to know that this one is also in the security category. Once you get to a modules home page you will notice several things. First there will be a description of the module appear. The second thing is releases, as we described, and as you scroll down further you see quite a few resources, documentation, the license that governs the module and sometimes you can even try out a demonstration. Clicking on that will go to an outside web site where the module has been installed and you see actually how it works. I do recommend looking throughout the page, especially if you have any problems with the module. Very often you will find information that will help you through it.
Once you have read all of that all you need to do is download the module. You go up to the download link that is next to the version that you want, in our case the one for 6.X. Click on Download. Usually does not take very long, they are very small files, and then go to where ever you downloaded the file. In our case it is on the desktop. I will click on the Finder and say Hide Others and there is our file. I will double click on it and it expands into a folder. The next question is where do we put this folder? The obvious place is modules but that is not actually the best place to put third party modules. That location is reserved for modules that were installed by Drupal itself. If you put them in there, then they won't be undated when Drupal does its update process.
Instead, as with themes, you go into sites and then put it in either All, if you want it to be available for all sites on a multi site installation, or for our purposes we only need to put it into default. We will open that up and we will put it into a folder called modules. I should mention that you need to call this folder modules with a lower case M, just as you needed to called the themes, with the lower case T. There is one problem though. We cannot create that module folder until we make this directory writable. It's not at the moment because Drupal has locked it in order to protect the settings file. So, we are going to go up one level. Again, see we can see the default folder there, we will select it and then we will get info on that. On the Mac you go up to File > Get Info. On the PC you would right-click and select Properties.
You may have to enter your password in order to unlock that folder. We will do that here and then change Read Only back to Read and Write. We are going to change that back to Read Only before we are done. So, I am going to leave this window as a reminder. Now we go back into default. I will create a new folder and call it module and there we will put out Spamspan module. Very good. Now again I am going to go back and change that to Read Only and close it. Now, we go back to our Drupal interface, I will hit Command+Tab to go back to our browser. We can close our Download window, close the other windows we have open and switch to our site. As with any other module you would go to Administer and Modules and scroll down.
You may have noticed that there are these groups. This one is called Core Optional. This group of modules when you first install Drupal but they are necessary for installation. You can close this group if you like by clicking on the link. Core Required those that were installed by Drupal and you can not turn off because otherwise Drupal won't run. We will close that and we have our Spamspan right here. We still more information and this is very interesting. It tell you what it depends on, what other modules have to installed. Sometimes you will download a module and it will say, depends on such and such and it will say missing or disabled. You will have to obviously get that module or turn it on before this one will work. In this case we do not have to turn down any thing else. So, we will just click Enabled, Save Configuration and it is been turned on. The next step of course is to configure which we'll do by going to Administer and By Module, but we will get into that in another video.
When you see all that modules can do you will have to resist the temptation to just grab a bunch and enable them all. I sure know I do. But I recommend you download, install and then thoroughly test only one at a time before going on to another one. That will keep your site safe, stable, and secure.
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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