Drupal – Becoming developer

This post is about using Drupal Quickstart image and Drupal ladder for becoming a Drupal developer.

The title could also be: Going from Windows, Visual Studio, SharePoint and IIS to Ubuntu, NetBeans, Drupal and Apache.
I probably have to crawl a lot in new OS, webserver, IDE, programming language and CMS API, but on the other hand – I expect to find so many similarities that it does not take long to feel at home in that new house. Where is the bed and the coffee machine? Probably still in the bedroom and kitchen.

Thanks to http://reload.dk/ for hosting a CodeSprint. The goal was to get a lot more developers to work on Drupal Core. Too few people are helping with the huge task to implement, test and document all the features that are wanted for Drupal 8.

A nice and easy way to start, when your host OS is Windows is to start on a pre-configured virtual Ubuntu image. Drupal can also run on Windows, but there are two main advantages to choose this image

  • Hosting companies often uses Linux hotels. When you development environment is also Linux, then you can trace environment specific errors.
  • You have the same tools available as are possible to use on the production environment.

The image runs on Virtual Box.

What’s included:

  • Support for Drupal 7 and Drupal 6
  • Ubuntu Linux, Apache, MySQL, APC, XDebug, IMAP, UploadProgress
  • Firefox (with developer plugins) and Chrome
  • Drush, drush make, and custom drush commands
  • Install scripts for: Apache Solr, Aegir, Hudson, and Oracle
  • Netbeans and Eclipse, configured with XDebug
  • XHProf and Webgrind profilers. Emails logged as files
  • cvs, subversion, git, bazaar

Install the image

  • Open the downloaded .ova file using VirtualBox – Files – Import.
    On my PC the image is only set to occupy 1.5 GB Ram and 5.5 GB disk. A very modest demand compared to Windows images.

  • Start the image and change the keybord layout to your country: System – Preferences – Keyboard
  • At some point a popup window will arrive telling it is missing keyring password. Enter “quickstart”
  • Verify that you have network.

The Drupal ladder

The Drupal ladder is a method for making it easier to become a Drupal developer. The learning curve is pretty steep. Following the ladder makes it easier to take the right steps.

Goto http://drupalladder.org. In the menu goto Lessons.

The first lesson is to “Install Git

Open a command prompt. There is a link on the taskbar.

By writing $ git, you will get a print with Usage as a confirmation that it is already installed.

For git enter you name, email and some config:

$ git config –global user.name “Your Name”
$ git config –global user.email yourname@example.com
$ git config –global core.safecrlf true

Time to download the latest version of drupal called the HEAD (currently D8).

Download it to somewhere under the apache webserver (/var/www)

In this case I preferred to make a subdir for that called dpr

$ cd /
$ cd var
$ cd www
$ mkdir dpr
$ cd dpr
$ git clone http://git.drupal.org/project/drupal.git

When you at next task needs the latest HEAD you will only need to type

$ git pull

Now try to retrieve a single module (this must also be a D8 version)

First goto the modules dir:

$ cd drupal
$ cd modules

Select a module e.g. http://drupal.org/project/admin_menu

Press “Version Control” tab. Then you get here:


Select V. 8.x from the dropdown.

Paste the git clone and cd into an editor and correct the version to 8.x

git clone –recursive –branch 8.x-3.x http://git.drupal.org/project/admin_menu.git
cd admin_menu

Next paste the commands into the prompt.

Now do some prints

/modules/admin_menu$ git status
# On branch 8.x-3.x
nothing to commit (working directory clean)
/modules/admin_menu$ git log -3
commit 3d3d57f122f24eb8978ce854032e90ec45977b5d
Author: sun <sun@example.com>
Date: Sat Oct 27 18:02:39 2012 +0200
Added Simpletest test class cache flush option to admin_devel module.

/modules/admin_menu$ ls -a

Install Drupal locally

You can skip step one – Install Dev Desktop. You already have a web server.

Next step (retrive D8), you can skip, too, since we got it with git clone.

You need to create an empty DB to install Drupal into.

  • Open http://localhost/phpmyadmin/ . There is a link to it in the taskbar.
  • Login with user: root, psw: quickstart
  • Click tab Databases
  • Create new DB: D8a (can be anything)

We can create the content to the DB from the browser:


You will get a couple of errors:

File system
The directory sites/default/files does not exist.
Settings file The settings file does not exist.

The Drupal installer requires that you create a settings file as part of the installation process. Copy the ./sites/default/default.settings.php file to./sites/default/settings.php.

Do just create the folder and copy the file as explained and refresh to continue from


Enter DB info:

  • DB name: D8a (as above)
  • DB user: root
  • DB psw: quickstart
  • DB host: localhost
  • DB port: 33066
  • Table prefix: dp_ (optional)

After installation you need the site data:

  • Sitename: D8a
  • Email: admin@example.com
  • User: admin
  • Email: <youremail>
  • psw: admin

Now the site is ready on http://localhost/dpr/drupal/



The End


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