Drupal 6 Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

Drupal 6 Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Updating Drupal

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.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 36s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the example files
      3m 47s
  2. 28m 50s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 31s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 32s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 38s
  3. 11m 26s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 19s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 7s
  4. 34m 28s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 1s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 32s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 51s
  5. 25m 34s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 51s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 18s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 6s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 35s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 20s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 25s
  7. 35m 6s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 57s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 48s
  8. 19m 18s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 12s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 34s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 51s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 1s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 49s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 48s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 48s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 44s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 40s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 38s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 52s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 29s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 49s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 10s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 10s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 53s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 18s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 43s
  17. 10m 14s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 51s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 15s
    1. Goodbye

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Drupal 6 Essential Training
6h 52m Beginner Aug 25, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • 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
Tom Geller

Updating Drupal

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6 Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
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.)
  1. Increase XAMPP's PHP allocation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 

  1. Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
  2. Select "PHP". In the side menu, select "php.ini" to open a file containing PHP's configuration options.
  3. Search for the line, "upload_max_filesize = 2M".
  4. Change it to "upload_max_filesize = 32M" (or whatever you like). 
  5. 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.)
  6. 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".)

  1. Open your Drupal database with phpMyAdmin.
  2. Go to the "users" table. Click the Browse icon.
  3. For the row where uid = 1, click the Edit icon. (Note the value under the "Name" column: That's the administrator's username.)
  4. In the "pass" row, select "MD5" under the "Function" column
  5. In the same row, enter your new password under the "Value" column.
  6. 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: 
  1. 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. 
  2. Use the command-line interface to copy the .htaccess file.
Sorry for the error.
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.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Drupal 6 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.