The next release of Drupal will be 4.8 or 5.0, depending on what features make it by the September 1 code freeze.

One feature that eases the installation process, is the long awaited automated installer.

There is no need to manually create the database tables any more.

Here are the steps for creating a 4.8/5.0 Drupal site, with the messages you are expected to see.

Create the Database

If you are on a shared host, then you create the database from the control panel provided to you. For example, this will be under MySQL in cPanel. You have to give the database a name, and create a database user with all privileges to the database you just created.

Let us say you created a database called drupal, and a user called user1, with password gizmo.

Run install.php

Up until Drupal 4.7, you had to a) edit the settings.php file, and b) create the database tables manually, either via MySQL command line or from PHPMyAdmin. These two steps were a bit too daunting for non-tech savvy users.

This is now improved in 4.8/5.0.

If you now point the browser to the site, it will detect that this is a fresh uninstalled site, and will run the install.php script for you.

Before it can do that, you have to make the settings.php file writable to the web server users. If you do not do so, you will get the following error:

The Drupal installer requires write permissions to ./sites/ during the installation process.

To do so, change the file mode to be writable. For example, in Linux you would do:

chmod 777 settings.php 

Then again visit the site's url.

Just point your browser to the site, and run the install.php script. 

Once you do that, you will be presented with a screen that asks you for the database parameters.

You will need to pick:

Database type

Select mysql if you are not using MySQL 5.

Database name

Enter drupal here, or the name you used to create the database.

Database user

Enter user1 here, or the user name you used for the database above.

Database password

Enter gizmo, or the password you created above.

Advanced options

Normally you would skip these options, unless:

  • You are using one database for more than one Drupal site,
  • Your hosting company uses a different server for the database. This is what Dreamhost uses.

Click Save.

If all goes well, you will now have the database tables created for you, and you will see the following message, complete with a Druplicon:

Drupal installation complete

Congratulations, Drupal has been successfully installed.

You may now visit your new site.

Note that if you needed to change the permissions for the settings.php file, you will need to reset those permissions, to avoid security issues.

The installer will remind you to do so by the following message:

All necessary changes to ./sites/ have been made, so you should now remove write permissions to this file. Failure to remove write permissions to this file is a security risk.

To do so, enter the following command:

chmod 644 settings.php 

The installation is now complete.

Create the first user

Once you click on the link, you will see the usual startup screen of Drupal, saying:

Welcome to your new Drupal website!

Please follow these steps to set up and start using your website:

  1. Create your administrator account
    To begin, create the first account. This account will have full administration rights and will allow you to configure your website.
  2. Configure your website
    Once logged in, visit the administration section, where you can customize and configure all aspects of your website.
  3. Enable additional functionality
    Next, visit the module list and enable features which suit your specific needs. You can find additional modules in the Drupal modules download section.
  4. Customize your website design
    To change the "look and feel" of your website, visit the themes section. You may choose from one of the included themes or download additional themes from the Drupal themes download section.
  5. Start posting content
    Finally, you can create content for your website. This message will disappear once you have published your first post.

For more information, please refer to the help section, or the online Drupal handbooks. You may also post at the Drupal forum, or view the wide range of other support options available.

It is important to create the first user as quickly as possible once you see this page.

Proceed with configuring Drupal

Then follow the on screen links to configure your site to your liking, add modules, customize the look and feel, ...etc.

Enjoy your Drupal site.

Note: this article had an error in it that was pointed out to me by Jeff Eaton, Natalie, and Anonymous. It is now corrected. Thanks for the feedback folks.


Wed, 2006/08/02 - 04:23

I discovered this recently and it was definately an improvement over having to do it all manually, though it would be nice if it didn't throw all of those SQL errors the first time you look at the site. Could the install script perhaps be run the first time a user tries to visit the site?

Wed, 2006/08/02 - 10:40

This happened to me as well.

The reason is, if you have a settings.php that already has values for the database, user, and password, Drupal will assume that you indeed have configured it in the past, and tries to access the database, and come up with those SQL errors.

If you have a fresh settings.php (the one shipped with Drupal), you will not see the SQL errors, but an install screen where you enter the parameters.

I modified the article above to document the default behavior that most people should see, after a few people pointed this out to me.

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