Must follow directions

Following directions. Exactly, precisely following directions. It’s a basic skill necessary for success in information technology. And sometimes it doesn’t work, and then you need the skills to discover where it went wrong and how to cure it.

Last weeks’ class attempt at installing Drupal 7 is the case in point.

A year ago, the web architecture class had no problem at all in installing Drupal 6, and configuring various options… and thus I figured it would be a nice easy walk-in-the-park install.

Wrong. I should know better by now (Eternal optimism thou art my companion).

We started off with everyone logging in to the command-line environment, doing the wget routine to pull the tarball down, unpacking and following the directions as given on for “command-line” installation. And then – kablooie (that’s an advanced technical term). It didn’t work, and the server was popping out 500 errors everywhere. But yet, this shouldn’t be happening.

A dedicated (hardheaded?) core remained trying to work through the problem – and suddenly a breakthrough! One had succeeded. But, the method of success made no sense, at least to the old Unix hands. But after some headscratching and handwringing and wtf-ing, we performed the same stepsĀ  – and it worked!

A week later I’ve successfully replicated the winning pattern, cutting it down to only a few steps.

Sometimes it pays not to think too much.


Installing Drupal step by step – notes by Lora DiGiuseppantonio
1. Download drupal onto your computer local machine, unzip it and install .
Quick install with FTP.
2. Right click download on to tar.gz(version) IN HOME Directory!!!!
copy link location
3. in linux type in wget inside putty
right click in putty then enter
4. once you have the file loaded in linux ls the file and you should have
5. in command line type: tar xvfz drupal-7.12.tar.gz
ls- should be blue file drupal-7.12
6. mkdir public_html/(destination directory name) <–name file
7. cd (command) drupal-7.12
type on commandline mv* ../public_html/(destination name)
8. once you have moved all the files to the new file
cd (new file) ls the new file
Now you are in the NEW file with all the Drupal files. YOu have to change some permissions
9. Step 1 Go into the sites file cd sites
(ls) you should see a file namedĀ  default
cd default type ls to see files
There should be a file named default.settings.php type this command:
cp default.settings.php settings.php Enter:
chmod a+w settings.php
10. Once the settings are changed you are all set to install your info into durpal as in
server name and user name.
11. to install a theme :
Right click the file location . Copy address
install new theme
enter address that you copied
then the user name password you use either in linux or FTP server your
address of server.

In search of the perfect development environment

“So what tools and setup do you use for testing/development?”

If I had a quarter for every time I’ve been asked that question…

Here is my recipe for a decent, portable, single-system does-it-almost-all development environment. It uses virtual machine technology to provide for a local hosting server – a server which is logically isolated from the development host.

1) The host computer – you can use whichever OS flavor you want for the host, but it needs to support virtual machines and have at least a couple of gigabytes of RAM and enough processor horsepower to pretend to be two different machines – so a dual-core or hyper-threaded CPU is going to be necessary. You’ll need about 30 GB of storage space for all the parts and scratch areas.

2) Virtualization software is dependent to some extent on your host platform, and how much you’d like to spend on things. Most readers I expect will want the low-cost spread, so I would recommend VMWare Player. It is free after registration (VMWare will send you infrequent advertising and promotions). Note if you use Windows XP you should download Player version 3.x; the current 4.x releases require Windows 7. In either case, the default install works fine.

3) The VM image file is next on the list – I have found the Bitnami LAMP-stack to be especially easy to use. Download the virtual machine image, unpack to a directory and you’re almost ready to go.

4) Before you launch the VM for the first time, check your network settings in VMWare Player. I prefer the NAT choice (allows the VM to get to the Internet but will not expose your system to the outside world). For better security, select host-only and the VM is completely invisible.

5) Start the VM. When it boots, switch over to the window and login “bitnami” password “bitnami” and then change the password to something you’ll remember.

6) Fix a couple of things to make life easier – turn sshd on as default, and enable phpmyadmin for administration. To enable sshd,

$sudo cp /etc/init.d/ssh.conf.back /etc/init.d/ssh.conf
$sudo start sshd

(sudo will ask for your password; this is normal behavior)

To enable phpmyadmin, edit the file


and and replace the line

Allow from


Allow from all

and you’re done.

7) You can access your new server via the web at whatever address it is configured to use. You can find the IP address in windows by opening a command prompt window and issuing the command ipconfig /all, and then taking note of the IP address assigned to the VMNet8 adapter (one of two virtual network adapters installed by VMWare Player). On my installs this address is but yours may be different.

8) To move files in and out of the virtual machine use a secure-shell copy (or just configure your FTP client to use SSH-SFTP); and when you’re finished with the VM either suspend it or shut it down.


A few other notes:

I use VMWare. I’ve played with the others – VirtualBox, Parallels (Mac-only), Virtual-PC (Windows-only) but VMWare is the leader for a very good reason: It works. You don’t have to spend hours twiddling settings trying to coax features or improved performance. I mostly use VMWare ESXi, or VMWare Server (obsolete but nifty), or VMWare Workstation (pricey but really sweet).

I don’t bother with installing VMWare Tools on a server instance… I rarely log in on the server, except for configuration changes or updating software or doing a polite shutdown.

It’s better to do a shutdown than a raw power-off on a VM. You run the risk of corrupting files on when doing a power-off.