Install Drupal 7 CMS in an AFS-Based Virtual Host


Drupal 7 CMS, AFS virtual host


How to install Drupal 7 CMS in an AFS-based virtual host


  1. Identify the latest Drupal 7 release from and note the version number for the next step
  2. Establish an SSH session to "", then run the following command to download and unpack the {{release}} in your [drupal doc root directory]

wget -O - '{{release}}.tar.gz' | tar --strip-components 1 -C [drupal doc root directory] -xzf -

​​​​​​Note that recent versions of Drupal have PHP minimum version requirements.  Contact the ITS Web Hosting Team if you're concerned about the PHP version for your host (we offer up to version 7.3, as of September 2020).

  1. Once you've downloaded the Drupal software, you'll need to make some changes to permissions
    1. This will let the install.php script edit sites/default/settings.php, with your database info
    2. Since this is AFS, unix permissions mentioned in the Drupal documentation aren't significant
    3. Also, the first time you try uploading an image file, etc., Drupal will try to create sites/default/files, and subdirectories therein
    4. The 'files' directory will likely need to retain write permissions long-term, but sites/default should never have write access (after initial installation) to prevent site security issues
fs sa sites/default umweb:servers write
cp sites/default/default.settings.php sites/default/settings.php
mkdir sites/default/files
fs sa sites/default/files umweb:servers write
  1. Run the installation process through the Drupal web UI for your site (https://{{FQDN}}/install.php)
    1. Enter your database info: make sure you specify the proper mySQL database hostname (e.g.,,, etc) as the host; localhost will not work here 
  2. After setting up the DB, you'll see an additional page to set the admin password for the blog along with other details  
  3. Once that's complete, the sites/default directory must not be left writeable, so remove the permissions you set for it
    1. Bypassing this step will result in security issues with your installation
fs sa sites/default umweb:servers read

Generally, our servers should be configured not to execute PHP out of any writable directory.  Please contact us to disable PHP if you leave a location writable after the installation process is finished. 

OpenID Connect (OIDC) authentication for your Drupal site

Assuming SSL and OIDC are to be configured for your Drupal site, you can use the module "openid_connect" to replace Drupal login pages with OIDC.  Please see the Knowledge Article #8508 Install and Configure OpenID Connect (OIDC) Client for Drupal 7 in an AFS-based Virtual Host for more information.

Keeping Drupal up-to-date

Keep your core Drupal instance up-to-date, along with all installed optional modules and themes.

Additional Information

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.

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Article ID: 8581
Wed 7/27/22 4:29 PM
Mon 10/3/22 4:51 PM