Last updated October 3, 2012. Created on January 1, 2011.
Edited by jasondaniels455, camhoward, rreck, Screenack. Log in to edit this page.

The following is a simplified guide to create a Drupal site in a few easy steps. You can read a more detailed version of these instructions, or check out the installation troubleshooting guide if you need some additional tips.

To follow these steps, you will need an SFTP client such as, WinSCP or FileZilla, and a web server that meets some basic requirements (e.g. a web server such as Apache, a database such as MySQL, and PHP). We'll begin with the steps for a Drupal 7 install, followed by Drupal 6 (they are very similar).

Drupal 7

Step 1: Download, Extract, and Upload

  • Download the latest version of Drupal 7.
  • You will get a file called drupal-7.x.tar.gz. Extract the compressed files.
  • Log into your server using your SFTP client and navigate to the web root directory. Upload all of the files inside your Drupal folder into the web root folder on your server.

Step 2: Create a database

  • Create a new database through your hosting provider's control panel. Make a note of the database name.
  • Create a user, add that user to the database, and grant the user full rights on the database. Make a note of the username and password.

Step 3: Make the /sites/default directory writable.

  • For example, with *nix command line chmod a+w sites/default or with a ftp or file manager right click and set to 777
  • Drupal should reset this when it's completed the installation (chmod a-w sites/default or 555)

Step 4: Run the installer

  • Browse to your new Drupal site. This will take you to the Drupal installer, which starts with: "Select an installation profile." Save and continue.
  • Choose "Standard." Save and continue.
  • Choose English or learn how to install Drupal in other languages. Save and continue.
  • Choose the type of database you created (e.g. MySQL or SQLite). Enter the name of the database you created, the username, and password. Save and continue.
  • On the site information page, you can set the site name and email from which the site will send out mail. You also set the username, email, and password of the first administrator account. Save and continue.
  • You will now be automatically logged into your new site with the administrator account and can begin to configure your site.

Drupal 6

Step 1: Download, Extract, and Upload

  • Download the latest stable version of Drupal 6.
  • You will get a file called drupal-x.x.tar.gz. Extract the compressed Drupal files.
  • Log into your server using your SFTP client and navigate to the web root directory. Upload all the files inside your Drupal folder into the web root folder on your server.

Step 2: Create a database

  • Create a new database through your hosting provider's control panel. Make a note of the database name.
  • Create a user, add that user to the database, and grant the user full rights on the database. Make a note of the username and password.

Step 3: Create the configuration file

  • In your /sites/default folder, you will find the default.settings.php file. Make a copy of this file and rename it to settings.php.
  • Change the permissions on the /sites/default folder and the settings.php file to be writable. (On a Unix/Linux command line: chmod a+w sites/default).

Step 4: Run the installer

  • Browse to your new Drupal site. This will take you to the Drupal installer. Start filling out the form.
  • When you get to the database screen, choose the type of database you created (e.g. MySQL or SQLite). Enter the name of the database you created, the username, and password. Save and continue.
  • Change the permissions on the settings.php file to remove write permissions. (On a Unix/Linux command line: chmod a-w sites/default).
  • On the site information page, you can set the site name and email from which the site will send out mail. You also set the username, email, and password of the first administrator account. Save and continue.
  • You will now be automatically logged into your new site with the administrator account and can begin to configure your site.

Also see the Lullabot video tutorial on Installing Drupal 6.

Looking for support? Visit the Drupal.org forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.