Arrgh! I don't get it. I don't get it

I’m a novice w/ both Dreamhost & Drupal. A friend asked me to help his friend w/ his website. It needed minor changes in color theme and updating fotos in what appeared to be a flash module.

Foolishly I agreed and now have spent considerable time trying to figure out Dreamhost, Drupal. These forums have been v. helpful in understanding but I’m still lost in the weeds.

The situation, near as I can tell, is the original web developer for the website used a DH one click to install Drupal. After install he created the website, brought it live and then split.

I need to access then edit color in themes and update photos for a flash seq (I think) but I can’t find any instance of Drupal core to use to access and change files. From reading herein I’m learning that each domain and 1 click install are one to one (except multi-site install). I was assuming that I could log onto DH and using Drupal modules make the changes but I can’t find Drupal in the acct. Ok, that’s because it’s “located in a central repository”, I understand but then how do I make changes to an existing web site? How do I get to and use that 1 click Drupal? Or do I ftp them to my local then upload? That seems cumbersome.

I have found the .com, mail, blogs, etc. dirs & files within my Webftp site but this is for downloading the .php files.

I am very confused after several hours of reading. I fell I’m missing an essential step or maybe you can’t edit from within DH, I dunno.

My questions are:
Where is Drupal? Where are the website files? Where do I go to locate & use Drupal core to make changes to an existing site.

This has been a Lo-o-ong post and I appreciate you sticking w/me this far. If you can help thanks.


First before we do anything go here in the panel:

and click on “Manage Installed Applications” the when the page reloads you will need to click a arrow on the left side of the page so expand the entries for the domain in question. From that page you might see “Location within domain” (or I can’t remember what it says if it was a simple install) but find out what is there and post back. This will tell us for certain whether you are dealing with a simple or custom install.

Also you may very well NOT need to edit any files directly. If you don’t already know how to access the drupal admin pages you should visit and read some of the docs on the admin system and themes. There are also some great tutorials for beginners.

One thing you might consider is setting up a second drupal installation on a sub-domain or free sub-domain so that you have a place to play, learn, and test without messing up the live site.

Well if your friend used the one-click install you are sol for any real modification to the existing site. The only thing available from the one clicks was a simple install which installs to a central location inaccessible to you. You will need to do your own manual install of drupal to have any real control over the look and feel so go to and download the core files

As far as I know with the simple one clicks you do have access to the mysql database using phpmyadmin so its really just a matter of you getting the drupal core files and editing the settings.php file (in the sites/default folder) to point to the existing database with the user/password and a hostname that you will need to create to access said database (unless you already have one, they are interchangeable) and then uploading them to your directory and all of your existing information should be there only now you can alter your copy of drupal to your heart’s content.

Actually I just looked in the panel and the only drupal one click available is simple. So use ‘manage installed applications’ just to determine if it was a one click install.

Whether it was a ‘simple’ one click or the guy did his own install, you should be able to make the changes you are talking about. After all the guy got the site up and edited to its current state, so you should be able to make the changes you have mentioned.

If you give is the URL to the site it might help as well.

Okay I’m catching on. The files that I expected to “see” aren’t there as Drupal is dynamic “on-the fly” and the “files” are actually w/in the database. Okay

From “one click installs” I went to “manage installed applications” clicked on arrow to expand and there is NO Drupal app installed. None?

Now I’m really confused as I was expecting at least something. If the original developer had deleted his Drupal app the websites deletes also right?

BTW The nxt step seems to be a manual install but don’t have a clue as to how. Assumption is after manually installing Drupal core and pointing to the mysql dbase I can make changes. I’ll also be doing this on a sub-domain so as to break it there first

BBTW the site is BUT it can’t be accessed as there is the following error msg. instead of the site:

PDOException: SQLSTATE[28000] [1045] Access denied for user ‘darobinson’@‘’ (using password: YES) in lock_may_be_available() (line 164 of /home/prinkus/

so I must have screwed the pooch whilst trying to figure all this out.

Oh so we have learned TWO very important things…

First, it was originally a manual install (not a one-click). So there are files… and the second thing we learned from the error message is how to find them…and they are located in the standard location. /home/prinkus/

Do you have the admin login information for drupal?

Also looking over on there is alot of info on

if anyone with more drupal knowledge than me is reading and has more knowledge about this lock file please jump in… I’m by no means a drupal expert…[hr]
FYI… lock files are used by applications to basically say “hey wait a minute nothing can happen now”

Also to answer another one of your questions dynamic content pages are rendered as a webpage each time the page is called.

No actually is a sub-domain I just created in order to manually install Drupal. So still could ne one click or manual install & I can’t locate any files.

For something I though would be easy-peasey this is getting way complex.

from DH:
“The DreamHost customer who owns has not yet uploaded their website or has chosen to leave this holding page active.
If you are the owner of this domain, you’ll find your login information contained within the emails sent to you when your account was activated. Once logged in, you’ll be able to delete this page (quickstart.html) and begin uploading your new site.”

sounds to me like DH expect the site to be developed elsewhere and then uploaded as finished. So again how do I invoke access/use Drupal to update and make minor changes?

thank you very much for your help. I will be reviewing your locks links


have you looked at any of the tutorials at Do you understand what a web application is? and finally do you have the admin user login information for the drupal installation?

Also the message from support seems odd since attempting to add a subdomain messed up the original site? did you attempt to use the same database for the sub-domain install?

Yes I have been reading the tuts at Drupal although I got the most fron the “Learn by the Drop” videos. Yes I do know what a web app is. And yes I do have the original admin usr/login info but who knows if its current.

Here’s my problem:
After reading and watching tuts I know understand how Drupal “works”. I expected a “front end” like Dreamweaver and now know I do updates from website login.

That being said however when I login and try to access I get an error meg not the admin page. Consequently I can’t make changes to site. There is an “edit” selection on the “blocks” but no more.

Additionally after reading the msg logs it appears the previous developer was seeking to remove Drupal 7

from support msgs.
Here are the directories that need to be deleted:

Here is the error message I get when I try to delete the file from my ssh connection:
[matar]$ rm -r ~/

FROM support:

The problem was the permissions:

matar:~# ls -al
total 52
dr-xr-xr-x 3 darobinson pg4555936 4096 2011-05-30 18:31 .

If there’s anything else I can help you with, please
let me know.

Ryan C

this is confusing as it appears that Drupal 7 was removed however I did not think this could be done w/o also removing the website.

I KNOW I APPEAR TO BE A F*&KING IDIOT w/ these questions but I’m not doing my “homework”. I walked into this w/ zero knowledge of DH & Drupal but that’s just a learning hurdle. What is really messing me up is the website condition left by the previous developer. I’ve actually learned quite a bit about Drupal and feel confident I could make changes/pdates needed but I can’t get to the “expected” admin panels & etc. and I really don’t understand how 1-click drupal install works w/ dreamhost.

Again thank you for taking the time to read and suggest solutions. Right now I’m waiting for DH support to assist me in getting on-line again. Then I will push forward as I can.

no I did not attempt to use the same database for my subdomain.
When this mess is finally cleaned up

Drupal 7 administration functions are not accessed like you would in WP where you have an actual /admin/ type part to go to. When you log in (assuming your user is part of the administrators group) there should be a menu bar at the very top where you would access the dashboard, content, etc type lables. When you click on one of the options a menu should pop up over whatver page you happen to be looking at (this is called the overlay). All of the various functions you want to be doing would be accessible by clicking on one of the choices and they are pretty self-explanatory once you start clicking around.

The look and feel of your D7 install is determined by whatever ‘theme’ you happen to be using. Now you can develop your own theme or you can install a theme you got from somewhere like and just modify it until it suits your needs. If you want to have certain things appear in certain sections you can create custom blocks and have those blocks show up in certain predetermined sections (which are controlled by whatever theme you happen to be using usually). You normally do not edit themes on your live site. You will need some sort of text editor (notepad ++ is a favorite and it is free) in order to alter certain aspects of your theme manually and then upload your changes to the appropriate directories. There is a themes and modules directory but you should leave those for the ‘core’ themes and such installed. Any custom modules and themes you should put in the sites/all folder just so you can keep things tidy whenever you need to upgrade to a newer drupal version and such.

Now personally I usually have a and a I have a local wamp install that gives me a server environment on my home computer since it has all the goodies php mysql etc and I work on local copies. I deploy any changes to the dev site to actually test things in the DH environment and if everything is working fine I then copy the changes over to the ‘live’ website. Some people skip having a dev subdomain and just work locally and then deploy changes to the live site and that’s fine too. This way you always have the most up-to-date changes on your local system should anything go wrong with the server. I have a dev site because there can be slight differences in my actual configuration and what is on the DH server and this ensures that I can have my local copy, see how said copy actually responds on DH servers, and then change the ‘live’ site to something that I know will not break it.

To make a long post short the look of your site is ruled by your theme. Blocks and such are for holding particular sections of content like if you want certain links of affiliate information on the left sidebar, right sidebar, certain things in the footer, etc. The information you add to your site will be done by adding the various types of content (pages, articles, or a content type you have created yourself). You can add additional functionality by going to and searching around for modules that are compatible with your drupal version.

nice post Ryo-ohki :slight_smile:

Hello, Ryo-ohki

First I want to thank you very much for the toughful post/reply you wrte in regard to my inability to “get it” w/ Drupal.

I read your word, took others advice and bought a “Dummies 4 Dupal” installed a drupal core to my local and now am getting the hang of it.

Again thanks for your assistance.