Getting Started

Submitted by admindm on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 11:12

Lets be clear on our goals. Its always a good idea to know where your going before you set out. We have just been told how great Drupal is and we want to use it to make our web server. We want to use this web server as an email server. Once its running we wan't to setup our new and vastly impressive hobby site. Then we want people to come to the site. 

We'll start by setting up the server itself then setup any Drupal requirements. Then Drupal itself and finally some common and helpful modules for drupal. Your going to need a server. It can be any spare PC old or new. It needs to be fairly reliable though so lets avoid anything that needs to be rigged to get it to run. You could run a Virtual PC on your current desktop. If you wan't to run it on a VPC I recommend you get Virtual Box. I've used this a lot myself when testing server setups. It gets regularly updated and is fairly easy to use but if you get stuck post in Virtual box's forum or check the documentation. Once you have a virtual PC up and running the steps will be the same as setting up a stand alone server. 

The server I'm going to use for this was built for the purpose. I needed a home server at the time so I built one. Using my desktop was not a practical option for me as it uses a hell of a lot of power. My server uses less than 1/4 of the power my desktop uses. If you are building from scratch then consider your servers spec carefully. If your just running a home web and email server a low spec will be fine. I chose low power parts deliberately as it saves on the electricity bills. If your planning on hosting several sites professionally then your going to need something fairly robust. Its not the best idea to run a professional web server on a home connection. I'm not saying don't do it. You might have a fantastic connection but its not that simple.

My preferred server software, and the one I'll be using for this guide is Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS. It can be downloaded here. 12.10 is due out any time now but 12.04 is the Long Term Support version so I'm sticking with that for now.  You can setup all the server requirements on Ubuntu Desktop but its much better to do it on a proper server OS. If you really want to do it on the desktop you need to use the Terminal. Ubuntu server opens a Terminal as soon as you log in. On Ubuntu Desktop you will need to open a terminal window. Much like opening a command prompt in Windows. If you need help finding it please look into the Ubuntu Forums. We'll go over the specifics of what we need to install on the server later for now you just need to know that to get Drupal running there are several requirements that need to be installed. We'll go over all of the common ones although on a very basic site some wont be needed.

Your also going to need a copy of Drupal. I'll post the download link for it later. You're going to be downloading a lot of stuff from so we'll get it all at once

To summarise

  1. A server, hardware or Virtual
  2. A copy of Ubuntu Server 12.04
  3. A selection of Drupal Pre-requisites - To be detailed later
  4. Drupal itself
  5. Some common drupal modules.

Ok lets get started!