How To Upgrade Drupal 6.16 to 6.17 Print

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Drupal have recently released a maintenance update for Drupal 6. This is update 17 (6.17) for their popular Content Management System. There are no security related fixes in this release, but it is still advised that anyone running 6.16 upgrade, as a number of bug fixes (55 in total) are taken into account.

This article gives a brief overview of bug fixes and the upgrade process from Drupal 6.16 to 6.17.

Fixes include:

  • session cookie handling
  • better processing of big XML-RPC payloads
  • better PostgreSQL compatibility
  • improved PHP 5.3 and PHP 4 compatibility
  • improved Japanese support in search module
  • better browser compatibility of CSS and JS aggregation
  • improved logging for login failures

Upgrading Drupal is a bit more tricky that other CMS like Joomla. An overview of the upgrade process follows.

  1. Make a full site backup via your cPanel account and download it to your local computer. You should have at least a backup of the following:
    1. sites/default/files directory from backup
    2. sites/default/settings.php from backup
    3. .htaccess
    4. any other files you have installed (i.e. sites/all/modules, sites/all/themes, sites/all/libraries, scripts/, etc
  2. Switch the site to 'offline' mode
  3. Switch the administration theme back to the default
  4. Turn off all non-core modules
  5. Delete all your current Drupal installation files
  6. Upload the new Drupal files.
  7. Restore your custom files from the backup. This includes:
    1. sites/default/files directory from backup
    2. sites/default/settings.php from backup
    3. .htaccess
    4. any other files you have installed (i.e. sites/all/modules, sites/all/themes, sites/all/libraries, scripts/, etc
  8. Login as the 'root' user (USER1)
  9. Run the update.php script (http://www.example.com/update.php)
  10. Remove the following files:
    1. /install.php
    2. /CHANGELOG.txt
    3. /INSTALL.txt
    4. /INSTALL.mysql.txt
    5. /INSTALL.pgsql.txt
    6. /LICENSE.txt
    7. /MAINTAINERS.txt
    8. /UPGRADE.txt
  11. Enable your theme
  12. Enable your modules
  13. Put the site in 'online' mode

Done!

As I said, pretty complicated in comparison with other CMS upgrades, but as Drupal users know, it's worth the effort. Much of the upgrade complexity comes about because Drupal is a very modular CMS, which allows its users unrestrained expansion possibilities and many would say, the best platform with regards site customisation.


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