Before you start
This tutorial will help you install and configure all of the software necessary to develop a Drupal-based Web site in Linux. We'll show what we developed and how we worked during the development process. Not everyone is an expert in software installation or has had someone explain how a productive development environment should work. At the conclusion of this tutorial, you'll have a blank development canvas to use for any development project.
Our development platform is centered on open source software with the actual development taking place inside of the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE). We chose Eclipse because it provides a common development platform in which to collaborate with excellent project file management, local revision history, and an integrated revision control system. It is much easier to share and develop code if each developer is working with the same development environment. There is nothing stopping a member of your team from using their preferred tools and environment, but it can introduce unnecessary complexity.
This tutorial will not explain how to use the software; it is meant to teach you how to install and configure the tools so they work together. It is assumed that you have general development knowledge, but may not be familiar with each piece of software. There are many excellent tutorials on the Web and throughout developerWorks that describe each of the software components in great detail. See Resources for more information.
The basic prerequisites before installing and configuring the software environment include:
- Linux (SUSE Linux, Fedora, Debian, or Ubuntu)
- Java 1.4 or higher (Java 5 is preferred)
- Internet connection, with broadband being preferred
- ~250 MB of available disk space
We are going to be installing several software packages that will require several hundred MB of free disk space and may take hours to download if you are using a dial-up Internet connection. Table 1 shows the software and installed sizes for the development environment we'll build.
Table 1. Software in the development environment
|Eclipse SDK||205 MB|
|Drupal 4.7||1.7 MB|
|Apache HTTP Web Server 2.0||4.2 MB|
Once all of these software packages are installed, we will configure them for development. The exception is the Drupal system. We install Drupal into Eclipse, so won't discuss its installation until we have configured Eclipse.
It is important to note that this tutorial will use SUSE Linux 10.0 in all of the examples. SUSE Linux 10.0 is a modern, high quality, freely downloadable Linux distribution. You might have a different distribution preference, so we include a listing of required packages for other popular distributions.
If you are not using SUSE Linux 10.0, you can still follow along because the methods and concepts are applicable to all Linux installations. You should be on the lookout for configuration file path differences and substitute accordingly.
We are going to rely on our Linux distribution's package management system to resolve all package dependencies during the installation. If for some reason your distribution does not provide a package that satisfies our base version requirements, you can generally substitute our version for the one in your distribution. Substituting software versions may impact what features are available and compatible with your development goals.