Installing Drupal on Your Local Computer This tutorial will help you install Drupal on your own home computer and allow you to test and experiment building a Web site using this open‐source software. This is advantageous in crafting a site to your satisfaction before publishing live on the Internet through a web hosting service. The installation involves the download of necessary accompanying software enabling you to use your own local computer as a web server. Installing WAMP Before installing Drupal, we’ll need to download and install the platform and software that will enable it to run and communicate with the Web. Specifically, you’ll need to download WampServer (http://www.wampserver.com/en/download.php). WAMP is an acronym for: • Windows • Apache – Web server software • MySQL – Relational database system that stores all of a Web site’s content • PHP – scripting language that interacts with both MySQL and Apache to deliver dynamic Web pages. This software package also includes phpMyAdmin, which handles the administration of MySQL via a Web interface. WAMP will install automatically to a folder called C:WAMP on your machine. For basic installation, just accept all the default values. WAMP will create a subfolder called ‘www’ which will be used later for Drupal’s files.
To test if the installation was successful, type http://localhost in your Web browser and you should see the following screen: Notice that it gives you the versions of Apache, PHP, and MySQL. Clicking the ‘phymyadmin’ link at the bottom will launch the database software interface that allows you to edit or manage your database if you choose to do so. Knowing these versions is important if you want to migrate your site to an external web hosting service in the future. Now that you have WAMP installed on your machine, you’ll need to make sure that it is running before you attempt to install and use Drupal to build Web sites. To do this, go to the Administrative Tools area within Windows (in the Windows control panel). Click ‘Services’ and look for the ‘wampapache’ service (i.e. the status of Apache Web server software, whether it is running or not). Right‐click on the service and select ‘Properties’ from the pop‐up menu.
At the ‘General’ tab, find ‘Startup type’ and select Automatic, to ensure that your web server software will always be running when your computer is powered on. You can always change these settings at any time. Also, while in the ‘Services’ area, there may be another Web service running called IIS (Microsoft’s Internet Information Services). If this is running on your machine, you’ll need to disable it following the same steps outlined before, except selecting the ‘Disabled’ Startup type in the Properties dialog box.
Next, we’ll need to create an empty database for the Drupal install files which we will add later. Back in your browser at http://localhost, click the ‘phpmyadmin’ link, to bring up the interface for working with MySQL. In the ‘Create new database’ text box, type in ‘drupal’ (minus the quotes), and click the ‘Create’ button. After successfully creating a database, you will notice on the left‐side the listing of the ‘drupal’ database but with no tables. Installing Drupal will populate this database with tables containing code and content that constitute the core functionality of the software.
Installing Drupal Next, we need to install Drupal. Visit the Drupal download site at: http://drupal.org/project/drupal . These are the official Drupal Core files which come bundled with a variety of modules and themes to give you a good starting point in helping build your site. On the other hand, though there is a good variety of functionally to begin a site, the total size of the core files is relatively small (only about 1 MB compressed). Next, unzip the files to a folder created during your earlier WAMP installation called “C:wampwww”. After your files are extracted, rename the folder entitled ‘drupal‐6.17’ (number indicates the version of Drupal, yours might be different) to simply ‘drupal’ (minus the quotations again). Note that your folder and the database you created earlier must have the same name. Next, within your new drupal folder, navigate to a file named ‘default.settings.php’ at the following location: C:wampwwwdrupalsitesdefault. Make a copy of this file within this same subfolder location (i.e. ‘default’) and rename it ‘settings.php’. Next, type http://localhost/drupal/ in your browser to begin the Drupal installation process by clicking the ‘Install Drupal’ link.
During the installation process, you will be asked for your database name (the one you created via the phpmyadmin interface earlier). Enter ‘drupal’, give the database a username of your choice and then continue. After the majority of the installation has completed, you will be asked to for an initial configuration to your site. Here you can give your site a name, though you can always change it later. For now, we left it at the default term ‘localhost’. It will also ask for a username. As the person installing Drupal, you will become the overall administrator to the site.
Ignore the warning message about failing to connect to a mailserver. The installation process is complete at this point and you can proceed to your new home page by clicking the ‘your new site’ text at the bottom right:
The result shows your new home page, you as administrator already logged in via the username supplied earlier, and some links to help you begin customizing your site. The administration section is the instrument panel where the administrator can go to do most anything that Drupal will allow you to do. Here you can add, edit and delete content, change the site design, enable modules to extend the site’s functionality, change URL addresses, view the registered users of your site, determine user permissions and much, much more. The site’s name was changed below with a quick visit to the ‘site information’ area within the administration section. The ‘create content’ link on the left side allows to add a quick message on your new home page. Have fun and explore!