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Drupal 6.0: Installation and Basic Usage
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In the preceding figure, it is evident, from the checklist on the left, that we have gone from the first step — choosing a language — directly to the third. Presumably, Drupal confirmed that the MySQL server is running and is up-to-date enough to be compatible with Drupal 6.0.

Enter whatever values you had earlier chosen for your database name, username, and password. Click the "Advanced options" link if you wish to change the server name from its default ("localhost"), or set a port number, or assign a table prefix. That last option would be valuable if, for whatever reason, you choose to have your Drupal tables share a database with another application's tables, and you want to distinguish all of the Drupal tables — perhaps for sorting reasons, or more critically if the other application has one or more tables already using the same names as Drupal's tables.

Installing files progress
Figure 5. Installing files progress

If all goes well, the installation of the Drupal files should progress until it is completed. Figures 5 and 6 show screens that may be visible only for a moment, depending upon the speed of your computer.

Installing files completed
Figure 6. Installing files completed

When the file installation is finished, you will be ready to set the initial site configuration.

Configuring Drupal

Configure site
Figure 7. Configure site

The site's web server name will default to whatever value was specified earlier. As explained on the configuration screen, the site email address is the one that will be used to send automated administrative messages, such as user sign-up confirmations. Consequently, be sure to use an address from the web site's domain, e.g., admin@example.com, to reduce the chances of those messages being tagged as spam by the recipients' email services. This is not applicable if the Drupal installation is on a local web server only, perhaps intended for development purposes.

Specify a name, email address, and password for your administrator account. Unlike the aforesaid site email address, the admin address is not displayed to site visitors. The security strength of your chosen password will be displayed to you as you type it in; include mixed case characters and punctuation symbols if you wish to create a strong password, for any publicly accessible Drupal site. The time zone of your new Drupal site will default to that of your computer and thus probably does not need to be changed. By default, clean URLs are disabled, but can be implemented with configuration changes later.

By default, you as the administrator will be notified of updates to Drupal, which can reduce the risks of your site falling prey to recently discovered security holes. However, if your Drupal site is behind a firewall (which is usually essential for safety), then having Drupal constantly checking for product updates will cause its pages to load much more slowly than otherwise — even completely timing out. One solution is to disable automatic update checking, and simply do it manually as part of your administrative routine.

Installation complete
Figure 8. Installation complete

The installation process was successful, despite the warning message displayed in the figure above, which are a result of the local web server not having an email server set up. For a local-only development site, this is not an issue. Clicking the link "your new site" at the bottom of the installation text, returns control to the page index.php, i.e., your new Drupal web site's homepage.

Initial homepage
Figure 9. Initial homepage

The welcome message recommends that you login as the administrator to make any further configuration changes; enable additional functionality through modules; customize your site's design, via themes; and begin adding content. We will explore each of these four areas in more detail.

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