Upgrading Drupal 5 to 6

posted by Ishmael Sanchez on Aug 29, 2009

Drupal upgrades are a pain. Even minor version upgrades can cause problems. Major Drupal version upgrades require special attention. Having successfully done a handful of Drupal 5 to 6 upgrades I put together the list below as a resource based on my upgrading experiences.

  1. Create backup of site files and database (verify backups have usable data)
  2. Login as user 1, turn off caching, and put site in maintenance mode
  3. Optional: Use Apache to redirect to a custom maintenance HTML file (Highly Recommended if possible)
  4. Check log list at /admin/reports/dblog to verify no PHP or other module issues prior to upgrade
  5. Check status report at /admin/reports/status to verify all core and contributed modules are at most recent versions
  6. Uninstall update_status module and delete folder (update_status is in D6 core)
  7. Make note of all module settings on /admin/build/modules, and turn off all but the core required modules
  8. Turn off all custom or contributed themes; set a Drupal core theme as default
  9. Delete all Drupal 5 core files and folders except /sites and any custom directories like /files
  10. Upload new Drupal 6 core files
  11. Run update.php and note any errors
  12. Check log for errors
  13. Turn on core optional modules and re-run update.php
  14. Read update.txt, upgrade.txt, or readme.txt files for specific directions on upgrading certain contributed modules
  15. Delete old Drupal 5 module folder
  16. Upload Drupal 6 module folder
  17. Run update.php
  18. Turn on module (If your module has additional features you may have to re-run update.php)
  19. Repeat steps 14-18 for each contributed module
upgrading-drupal5-drupal6.pdf12.18 KB

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Ishmael Sanchez