Developers Corner

How to Install Drupal 7 on your Google Cloud VM Instance

Tristan Wells

The Google Cloud Engine lets you create flexible virtual machines and run them on the high performing Google infrastructure. 

In this article, I'll walk you through the process of installing Drupal 7 on a Google Cloud virtual machine instance. I'm writing this article because Google Cloud has a great variety of tools for 1-click installs. Though they do not have a Drupal 7 install, and their 1-click LAMP install uses a more expensive box than required. This article outlines the steps required to create a LAMP install on their base performance instance along with drush and Drupal 7.   



Setting up the first virtual machine (VM) 

Log onto your Google Cloud account and navigate to the console page.

Go to "compute engine" then "create new VM". 

Pick a VM with Debian 8. 

  • The basic VM CPU can run Drupal with ease.

Make sure to check both firewall options.


Logging into your new VM instance

There are 2 ways to go about logging into your VM. 

The 1st way is to log in from within the browser console "<img>" that Google Cloud provides. 

The 2nd way is to ssh in from your local terminal window which requires the following steps: 

  1. Open your local terminal window and enter the following command: 
ssh-keygen -t rsa -f ~/.ssh/your-key-name -C <google cloud user name>
  1. If you don't know your username, ssh into the VM using the browser window Google provides.
  2.  Follow the instructions for setting up "public key" in terminal.
cat ~./ssh/
  1. Copy the output.
    • It should be in the format of "ssh-rsa<key><username>"
  2. On Google Cloud Console platform go to -> metadata ->ssh keys.
  3. Add a new key and paste your key into the new field.
  4. You should now be able to ssh into your new box now.
ssh <username>@<VM IP> 

Now you should be logged into your VM instance. 

Setup LAMP on your new VM box

Start with Apache and enter the following commands: 

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install apache2

To see if that worked, go to your ip located on the VM instance page.

You should see a page that reads "Acpache2 Debian Default Page".

Install MySQL

sudo apt-get install mysql-server php5-mysql

Give root use a password. 

sudo mysql_install_db

sudo /usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation

This step is important to safely secure your MySQL installation by setting the root password, removing the anonymous user, restricting root user access, and removing the test database. 

Verify thatMySQLl is installed.

mysql -uroot -p

Provide the password you created above.

Create the Drupal database

mysql -uroot -p 
  • This will prompt you for the password you just created for root user in MySQL.
​​CREATE database drupal;

Now for a more secure site, let's create a user for this newly created database.

CREATE user '[newUser]'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY '[password]';

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on drupal.* to ‘[newUser]’@‘localhost’;



Install PHP

Step 1: Enter the following commands:

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt phpmyadmin

sudo apt-get install php5-gd 

Step 2: Test the newly installed PHP

The following commands will reload Apache and test the PHP.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

sudo rm /var/www/html/index.html

sudo vim /var/www/html/index.php

This will open your VIM editor where you should enter the following line. To begin typing in Vim hit the letter 'a'.

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Closs and save the file (in vim, ZZ). 

Go to your sites IP again and you should now see this PHP info page.

Installing Drupal 7

Step 1: Install Drush

This can be done in multiple ways. The steps below are from Drush docs.

php -r “readfile(‘');” > drush 
  • Manually type this if there's a token error.
chmod +x drush

sudo mv drush /usr/local/bin

drush init

Close and open your terminal window and test Drush. 

‘drush status’

Step 2: Install Drupal directory

Enter the following commands:

cd /var/www

sudo rm html/index.php 

sudo drush dl drupal --default-major=7 --destination=. --drupal-project-rename=html

Step 3: Install Drupal

cd html

sudo drush si standard --account-name=admin --account-pass=admin 
--db-url=mysql://[mysqluser]:[password]@localhost/[tablename] --clean-url

Now you have a working Drupal 7 install 

But you're not done, you still need to secure your admin login. After your first login, please change the admin login from admin/admin to a secure password.

Liked this article and want to read more? Check out:

  1. Maintaining Contrib Modules Using Drush qd and PHPStrom
  2. Improve the Performance and Scalability of Your Drupal Site
  3. E-commerce Solutions: Drupal 'How-To'

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