Mint LAMP Development Environment

OPERATING SYSTEM: Linux Mint 13 Maya

For Drupal development, since I already have a Linux Mint system setup, I decide to focus on it rather than the Windows 8 Acquia Drupal setup I blogged about a few days ago.

Apache, MySQL & PHP

Install all of these applications with a single command. Thanks to Unix System Engineer, Nitin Sookun for posting this on the Linux Mint Community website.

Since you will need root permissions when performing write operations outisde of your home directory, the commands shown below presume that you are logged in as root or are in a root instance of the terminal. If you are not in a root terminal, you can prepend the commands with ‘sudo’, for example listing the contents of the current directory:

sudo ls
Sudo Sandwich

In a root terminal (such as ‘Konsole as root’).

apt-get install lamp-server

If you get this error message (as I did during a Mint Xfce LAMP install)

E: Unable to locate package lamp-server

Then you will need a carat at the end:

apt-get install lamp-server^

Then install phpMyAdmin

apt-get install phpmyadmin

Restart Apache and try loading http://localhost/phpmyadmin.

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

If phpMyAdmin doesn’t load, try adding an Include to your Apache config with a text editor (such as ‘Kate’). In your terminal, open a new bash shell tab, and launch the editor (gedit, kate, etc.)

kate /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

In the apache configuration file, near the bottom, look for the location of other Include statements and insert this phpmyadmin include as needed.

Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart


If you need to set or change the mySQL root password, use this command syntax when the password has not been set.

$ mysqladmin -u root password NEWPASSWORD

Use this command syntax to change the root password.

$ mysqladmin -u root -p'OLDPASSWORD' password 'NEWPASSWORD'


Download the latest stable Drupal core distro from Extract the downloaded file, for example, drupal-7.19.tar.gz to the host root, /var/www. Then with the mv command, rename the drupal-7.19 directory extracted into www to drupal7

tar -xf drupal-7.19.tar.gz -C /var/www
mv /var/www/drupal-7.19 /var/www/drupal7

Copy the default.settings.php to settings.php. Then apply write permissions to both the dafault directory and the settings.php file so Drupal can modify settings.php as needed during the install.

cd /var/www/drupal7/sites
cp default/default.settings.php default/settings.php
chmod a+w default
chmod a+w default/settings.php

Note, after Drupal is installed, reset settings.php file permissions to read only using a-w

Virtual Hosts

Setting up some Virtual Hosts in our Apache config. In terminal, open the apache cofig file for editing (gedit, kate, etc.)

kate /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Below the Files node, add this code block.

NameVirtualHost *:80

  ServerName default
  DocumentRoot /var/www/

  ServerName drupal7
  DocumentRoot /var/www/drupal7

  ServerName drupal8
  DocumentRoot /var/www/drupal8

Restart Apache to load our config changes

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Hosts file

Add the two named virtual hosts to the hosts file

kate /etc/hosts	drupal7	drupal8

Restart apache …

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now you can access the new Drupal website at http://drupal7

Next – Mint LAMP Development Environment – Part Two


Acquia Drupal for Windows

I needed to setup a localhost Drupal development environment to upgrade a Drupal 6 theme and do some testing prior to upgrading a live site to Drupal 7. I decided to give the Microsoft Web Platform Installer a try on my Windows 8 computer.

While installing Acquia Drupal with Web Platform Installer 4.0, at some point the Web Platform Installer asks for MySQL ‘root’ user password. Further along during the install, I received an error and was prompted again for the MySQL ‘root’ password. This error would not go away even after entering the correct password:

The specified password for user account ‘root’ is not valid, or failed to connect to the database server.

To resolve this issue, Launch the Windows Registry Editor and delete the mysql_pwd registry key under, HKCU\Software\Microsoft\WebPlatformInstaller

Download and install MySQL Connector/Net (32 bit).

I restarted Web Platform Installer, searched for Drupal, and this time I left the save ‘root’ password option un-checked during the install.


Random full page background

This Tutorial is written with Drupal 7 in mind. However, it can be applied to any website.

While upgrading and redesigning golf association website, I decided to figure out how to have a random full page background part of the design. Drupal 7 makes it easy to include js and keep it, the theme and templates all separate from the Drupal core. The key is separation of your theme and it’s modules from the Drupal core and it’s modules. The Zen theme and Starter Kit make this very easy to accomplish.

Create or add this code to a javascript file in your themes “js” folder. I saved the file as random-bg.js (/sites/all/themes/thebga/js/random-bg.js).

(function ($) {
    $(document).ready(function() {
	var bgimages = [
	$('body').css({'background-image': 'url(sites/all/themes/thebga/images/bg-body/' + bgimages[Math.floor(Math.random() * bgimages.length)] + ')'});

Note the JavaScript closure around


more info on that here:

Put your background images in /sites/all/themes/thebga/images/bg-body/. The bg-body directory is optional, I created it to keep the background images separate from the other images used in the theme.

Add this code to the page-backgrounds.css (/sites/all/themes/thebga/css/page-backgrounds.css).

body {
    /* background color + default image (in-case random-bg.js fails) */
    background: #003c00 url('../images/bg-body/ovl_2011_dos-equis_sunday.jpg') no-repeat center center fixed;
    -webkit-background-size: cover;
    -moz-background-size: cover;
    -o-background-size: cover;
    background-size: cover;

Open the theme .info file and after

; Optionally add some JavaScripts to your theme.

add this line to load your javascript file:

scripts[] = js/random-bg.js

That is it! Every time the page is refreshed, a random background is loaded using a jQuery css modifier.