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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.
Drupal Version 6 introduces some convenient features that allow it to essentially monitor itself to make sure the most up-to-date core program and modules are installed. We'll show you a typical update from version 6.2 to 6.3. We'll also show you how to update a module. However, we are not including any exercise files for this video, as the older version isn't as secure as the new one. So it would be a bad idea for you to install it on your own computer. By the way, all instructions for updating the core Drupal system are contained in a file in Drupal's word directory, entitled upgrade.txt.
This video is largely based on that text from Drupal Version 6.3. As you've no doubt noticed, Drupal often reminds you to check for new updates, especially, whenever you install or remove modules. Sometimes, you'll see a different kind of message. As you'll see when I click on Administer; it's this red box that tells you one or more problems were detected with your Drupal installation. Fortunately, it tells you what to do. You click on the status report link, and you can see that there are two problems. One problem is that the Drupal core is not up-to-date. It tells us there is a new version available - version 6.3, whereas we're running 6.2.
The other thing it tells us is that one of our modules is out of date. We'll come back to that in a minute. Before we do anything else we want to back up our site. To do so, we go back to the installation directory, where we first put Drupal. I am going to do that by going to the Finder and hiding everything else and then going up one level. On the Mac you do that by going Go to Enclosing Folder, whereas on the pc, you simply click on the Enclosing Folder icon. Once there, I am going to copy this Drupal folder; I do that on the Mac with Command+C, or on the PC, with Ctrl+C, and then bring it over somewhere else. I am going to put it on to the desktop and hit Command+V or Ctrl+V on a Windows machine and I'll rename it, drupal-old-backup.
Now, I'll reopen my drupal folder and go back to the administrative interface. The first thing you should do is to take the site off-line. To do that, go to Administer and scroll down until you see Site Maintenance. Click on that link; the text in the box here is what ordinary users will see when the site is off-line, you as the administrator will still be able to get around the administrative pages, but nobody else will be able to get into the site, so be sure to do this during the low traffic time. You can change this text, but we're going to leave it as it is. Then you click on Off-line and Save configuration. What the ordinary user sees when they try to access the site now, looks something like this.
We'll now return to the administrative interface. There are two additional things that you need to do - first, is to turn off any contributed modules. To do that, go to Administer and Modules and scroll down. There are two groups on this page - one is Core-optional, and one is Core-required. No modules in those folders need to be turned off; however, everything else should be. For example, at the top of this page we have CCK Content. We'll turn that off, continue scrolling down. Nope, nothing in Core -optional needs to be turned off and nothing in Core-required, so we click on Save Configuration.
Finally, turn off any contributed theme that you are using. To do that, click on Administer and Themes. We are running one of the original themes that came downloaded with Drupal, so we don't have to do this step. If you are using a different theme however, change it to one of Drupal's default themes that would be either Garland, or Bluemarine, or anything else that came with Drupal. To do so, click in the button underneath Default, then go to the bottom and say Save configuration. Since we've made some changes to the Theme and Modules, we can check again to see if there are any updates; but, of course, we already know that there are. We'll go to the Available updates page. Now, we download the new version of Drupal by clicking on the Download link. You can close this window when you are done.
We go to wherever it was downloaded. In our case, that's the desktop, so I click on the Finder and hide everything else. We then unpack the file that was downloaded by double clicking on it. That creates a folder. Now remember we have a backup of everything that was in our Drupal folder, so we can throw this all away. We will be replacing some files in the new installation with things from the old backup, but we'll show you how to do that when the time comes. To select everything, hit Command+A on the Mac or Ctrl+A on a Windows machine. And then on a Mac, you would drag it to the Trash, or on a Windows machine you'd right click and select Delete.
Now, we take everything in that newly downloaded folder. Select everything again with Command+A or Ctrl+A and drag it back into your Drupal installation folder. You can then close this window since it is empty. There is one more thing to do. This Sites folder contains most everything that makes your site, particularly yours. Some Drupal installations also have a folder called Files at this top level. If you do, you should also pay attention to that one. We are going to replace this Sites folder with what was in our old Drupal backup. To do so, throw away this one and put in the one that was in the old backup. We do so, by copying it Command+C or Ctrl+C on the windows machine. Go into your other window where your actual Drupal installation is and Command+V or Ctrl+V on a Windows machine. There, we can close extraneous windows now.
So now, we have a Drupal installation that contains the new version and we still have a complete old backup over here. Now, we go back to our administrative interface. We run this special page by deleting everything after the domain name and typing in update. php. Now, it tells us a little bit of information, which we've already gone over in this video. Click on Continue. You can take a look at Select versions. Although since we have already moved the files over, we don't have to actually put anything in here and click Update.
Now, you can go back to your administration pages. Let's make sure that we are running the new version by going to Reports, and Status Report. As you can see we are running Drupal 6.3, if you want to check to make sure that everything is up to date, I would recommend that you run the cron job, by clicking on this link here, saying run cron manually. Now, we're going to go back to where our site was by turning on those contributed themes and modules. We'll turn on the modules first since we didn't actually change the theme. Go to Administer and Modules and you'll see at the top that CCK turn on Content which was the only one turned on before; go down to the bottom of the page, and say Save configuration. Once again, it warns us that we might need to check for available updates. Let's do that now, by saying check manually. Aha! Remember how, when we first started, we needed a new update to not only the core, but also to a module. Well it just discovered that fact. So we'll do the process again by going to Available updates and essentially, repeating the process.
However, to replace a module you don't have to do all of those backups and moving files around. It's a much simpler process. Simply click on Download, and go to the place where the file was downloaded. Again, for us that's the desktop. We close this window, go to the desktop, and hide everything. Now, we'll go to the place in our Drupal folder where we would install that module, that's in Sites and Default in the modules folder. There is our old CCK. I am going to take that out of the Drupal directory by dragging it to the desktop. I am going to rename it cck- OLD. Now, I'll unpack the new version of CCK and drag it in. Then we can go back to our administrative interface and try refreshing this page to make sure that we have all available updates. Yes, we are all up to date. Let's go to Administer and Modules to make sure that it's turned on and indeed it is. So we are all updated.
The last thing we have to do of course is to return the site to Online mode, remember to do this, or else your site can be done for a long time before you realize. Go to Administer, scroll down to Site maintenance and turn it online again, and Save Configuration. Now, just to be sure, we are going to go to our ordinary user and refresh the screen. There we are; the ordinary user is back online as is the entire site. Congratulations, you've just done a difficult process that is nonetheless very necessary. The Drupal project releases updates fairly and frequently. Typically every few months for the core with major updates only about once a year, but if you have lots of modules, you'll probably find yourself updating those ones much more frequently. If you need further help with upgrading, the Drupal project maintains extensive documentation at drupal.org/upgrade.
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