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Table of Contents

What is Drupal?
Drupal Preparation
Update and Confirm Your System is Up-to-Date
Install Apache
Install MySQL
Install PHP
Installing Drupal
Configure Drupal Settings
Create Drupal Configuration File with Apache
Complete Set-up Using the Drupal GUI (Graphical User Interface)

How to Install Drupal on a Cloud VPS

Tags: Cloud Servers,  Drupal,  VPS 

What is Drupal?
Drupal Preparation
Update and Confirm Your System is Up-to-Date
Install Apache
Install MySQL
Install PHP
Installing Drupal
Configure Drupal Settings
Create Drupal Configuration File with Apache
Complete Set-up Using the Drupal GUI (Graphical User Interface)

What is Drupal?

Drupal is an established and highly regarded CSM (Content Management System) offering flexibility and ease of use when managing websites. Drupal provides excellent performance and security for larger-scale systems and has found use by the United States government, Emmy Awards, and NASA.

Drupal comes with a steep learning curve, but it provides many advantages outside of creating simple blogs. These additional advantages include higher customizability, scalability for larger platforms without loss of performance, and community-driven (Open Source) support.

Drupal most commonly requires a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) to run efficiently and install any operating system that offers PHP and an assignable database.

Drupal Preparation

Before installing Drupal, you will need to set up the foundational requirements for it to work correctly. Firstly you will need to log in to your server via SSH and prepare your server.

Update and Confirm Your System is Up-to-Date

Step 1: Update your OS by running the command below.

yum update

Install Apache

Step 1: Install Apache as the webserver. Enter "Y" for yes when prompted.

yum install httpd

Step 2: Enable Apache

systemctl enable httpd

Step 3: Set Apache to start upon booting

systemctl start httpd

Step 4: Check the status of Apache (httpd)

systemctl status httpd

Step 5: Once Apache installs and verifies, verify that it is working correctly by navigating to your server's IP in the URL. An HTTP Server Test Page should now appear.

Install MySQL

Step 1: Begin preparing your database for drupal by installing MySQL.

yum -y install @mysql

Step 2: Enable MySQL by entering the command below.

systemctl enable --now mysqld

Step 3: Set mySQL to boot upon server start-up.

systemctl start mysqld

Step 4: Verify MySQL is active.

systemctl status mysqld

Step 5: Secure your MySQL.


When prompted for your MySQL password, choose a password strength between 0 and 2. Next, enter your password according to the strength you require. Hostwinds always recommends using a strong password to keep your systems safe. Once you have set up your password, proceed with replying YES to the following questions:

  • Do you wish to continue with the password provided?
  • Remove anonymous users?
  • Disallow root login remotely?
  • Remove test database and access to it?
  • Reload privilege tables now?

Step 6: Log in to your installed MySQL.

mysql -u root -p

Step 7: Create a database for your Drupal installation along with a user with privileges. Note, we are using "drupaluser" and "password" as the Drupal database username and password. Subsequently, you can interchange these with your requirements.

Note: Running the MySQL commands, "drupal_db" will be the drupal database, "drupaluser" will be the drupal database username, and "password" will be the password for the database when needed during your Drupal set-up within the Drupal GUI.

CREATE USER drupaluser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON * . * TO 'drupaluser'@'localhost';

Install PHP

Step 1: Drupal requires PHP and needs set-up before officially installing the CRM. Begin by running the following and answer "Y" for yes when prompted.

yum install php

Step 2: Install further PHP extensions and applications. Answer "Y" for yes when prompted

yum install php-pear php-mysqlnd php-curl php-mbstring php-gd php-xml php-pear php-fpm php-pdo php-opcache php-json php-zip php-cli

Step 3: Enable PHP

systemctl enable php-fpm

Step 4: Ensure PHP starts upon booting

systemctl start php-fpm

Installing Drupal

Download and Install Drupal Version

Step 1: Review Drupal's download page and the versions available. Replace your required version with the version toward the end of the following command. We are installing version 8.8.5 in this example.


Step 2: Extract your drupal download.

tar -xvf drupal-8.8.5.tar.gz

Step 3: Move the extracted folder to the Apache document root directory

mv drupal-8.8.5 /var/www/html/drupal

Step 4: Allow Apache access to access the uncompressed Drupal root directory by modifying the permissions

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html/drupal

Configure Drupal Settings

Step 1: Configure your Drupal settings. You can do so by access the default folder.
cd /var/www/html/drupal/sites/default

Step 2: Copy the default settings into a settings file

cp -p default.settings.php settings.php

You can now access the settings.php file to configure any of your Drupal settings further.

Create Drupal Configuration File with Apache

To access the Drupal GUI, you will need to create a configuration file in Apache to tell your web server where to look and access the required folder and files.

Step 1: Run nano on the following file to enter text editor mode.

nano /etc/httpd/conf.d/drupal.conf

Step 2: Add the following standard Apache configuration text. Please note that you need to manually change the "" within the ServerAdmin and ServerName column to your domain. To make these easier to see, we have made them bold.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/drupal
    <Directory /var/www/html/drupal/>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    ErrorLog /var/log/httpd/drupal_error.log
    CustomLog /var/log/httpd/drupal_access.log combined

Step 3: Restart your Apache Web server to finalize this.

systemctl restart httpd

Entering your server's IP in a web browser's URL should now prompt for Drupal's installation wizard.

Complete Set-up Using the Drupal GUI (Graphical User Interface)

Step 1: Choose the language you want to use.

Step 2: Choose the installation profile type you wish to install for your profile. Note that the standard installation profile starts selected by default.

Step 3: Enter the database name and password you created during the installation of MySQL to attach your Drupal. Note, in our example, our database name is drupal_db, our database user is "drupaluser," and our password is "password."

Step 4: Once the database is entered and verified, Drupal will begin its official installation.

Step 5: Lastly, you will configure your site information under configuring your site. Enter in the required details, create a username for your Drupal CRM, and password. When ready, save and continue.

Congratulations! You've now set up Drupal on your server, and you can start building your website with the Drupal user guide here.

Written by Hostwinds Team  /  August 9, 2021