Test Drupal 7 beta for 54 min free thanks to Canonical

Matthew Nuzum —  — Leave a comment

This week two exciting things happened in the open source world. Drupal 7 beta was released for testing and Ubuntu 10.10 was delivered. It just so happens that the timing couldn’t have been better, because Canonical debuted a new feature that lets you test Ubuntu Server Edition in the cloud free for one hour.

Now you have no excuse not to try out the latest Drupal 7 beta. It’s not hard but you will need to do just a bit of setup. It works like this:

  1. Create a free account
  2. Make sure you’re able to use SSH (try installing PuTTY if you use Windows, Linux and Mac OS users are already set)
  3. Launch an instance
  4. Use my instructions to setup Drupal 7 (takes 3 min)
  5. Play with Drupal 7 for the remainder of the hour for free

You can repeat steps 3 – 5 if you’d like, but the nature of the system means your data is wiped clean when your hour is up. Fortunately my instructions are copy and paste so you can do it very quickly.

Create an account

Visit https://10.cloud.ubuntu.com to begin the process. Click the big orange button to try Ubuntu 10.10.

You’ll be asked to either sign in (the form on the left) or create an account (the grey button on the right). I assume you have not visited here before and need to make an account.

Next, fill out the form with your e-mail address. Choose a password and enter the captcha 😛

You’ll be sent an e-mail with a short code to enter. Copy that and paste it into the form here to confirm your e-mail address.

Your account was created, now sign in by clicking the big orange button:

By the way, if you have a launchpad.net account you probably skipped some of those steps above. As a matter of fact, if you have an SSH public key associated with your launchpad.net account life will be even easier.

Now we launch the Ubuntu 10.10 Server instance. I’ll assume you don’t have an SSH key filed in launchpad. You’ll get a one-time use password when you launch your instance. You’ll also see an informative paragraph above the gray box which no doubt you won’t read. It’s OK.

Launch your server

Check the 2nd box saying that you will agree to the Amazon Web Service Customer Agreement and the Ubuntu Code of Conduct (basically, if you use this for Drupal 7 testing you’re in compliance). Then hit the orange Launch button.

It takes a min or two for your server to launch. Keep the page open, it refreshes every few seconds. Once the server launches you’ll be given a simple information screen like this:

If you are using Windows you’ll probably want to use the excellent SSH program PuTTY, if you are in Mac OS or Linux you can just open a terminal. The command to type at the terminal is:

ssh ubuntu@address (basically just copy and paste from the webpage)

If you’re in putty just enter the IP address and click connect. When asked for a username type ubuntu.

The first thing that happens is you’ll enter your one-time password. It will immediately request you change it. Follow the instructions to type the one-time password again and then enter a new password of your choosing. It may log you out, if so, just connect again and use your new password this time.

Now test Drupal 7 Beta

You’ve probably now invested about 6 min of your life and you’re ready to see D7. Let’s go.

Type these commands from the terminal:

sudo tasksel install lamp-server

This will prompt you to install a web-server and MySQL onto the server. The screen turns blue and you’ll be asked to choose a MySQL server password. GO AHEAD AND PICK A PASSWORD. It can be 123456 if you want, it will only be around for 1 hour. If you don’t it slows things down a little.

  1. sudo apt-get install -y php5-gd
  2. wget http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-7.0-beta1.tar.gz
  3. cd /srv
  4. sudo tar zxf ~/drupal-7.0-beta1.tar.gz
  5. sudo sed -i ‘s//var/www//srv/drupal-7.0-beta1/g’ /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
  6. sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
  7. sudo mysqladmin -u root -p create drupal
    (you’ll have to enter your MySQL password you chose earlier)
  8. cd /srv/drupal-7.0-beta1/sites/default
  9. sudo cp default.settings.php settings.php
  10. sudo mkdir files
  11. sudo chown www-data settings.php files/

You are now down. Drupal 7 beta is installed and ready to configure. You can do the rest of these steps in the web browser.

Remember your server address you have open in your browser? (it’s a series of 4 numbers separated by dots) Copy that, open a web browser and then paste that address in as the URL and hit enter.

At this point, you are now officially a Drupal 7 Beta tester!

Follow the instructions to configure Drupal. At the database screen the important details are:

  1. Database name: drupal
  2. User name: root
  3. Password: (the password you typed into the blue screen during configuration)

Explore, play, look for problems, read this page to find out how to test and report issues you find.

Don’t forget to say thank you to Canonical. If you like how easy it is to set up Ubuntu Server strongly consider Ubuntu Advantage, a tool created by Canonical to make setting up and managing Ubuntu Server much easier.

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Matthew Nuzum

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Web guy, big thinker, loves to talk and write. Front end web, mobile and UX developer for John Deere ISG. My projects: @dsmwebgeeks @tekrs @squaretap ✝