Discussion Forum Drupal Setup

  • Currently on 2 virtual hosts - bakersfield and forteviotvb3
  • discuss.inf.ed.ac.uk points to bakersfield and was originally EASE authenticated - see SetupEASEWebSite and IS EASE page. Since Jan 2018, it no longer uses EASE.
  • drupal installed in /var/www/html, documentroot set to /var/www/html/drupal
  • config files and sites directory in /etc/drupal7
  • forum_chat.h configures all the apache/cosign stuff
  • additional modules:
    • acl
    • advanced_forum
    • chain_menu_access
    • ctools
    • forum_access
    • geshifilter (to allow code highlighting)
    • views
    • cosign
  • code highlighting - geshifilter needs to be last in filter processing order (config->textformats->filtered HTML)
  • cron mysql backup, 3 times daily - 7 days are kept
  • Mirroring (to tape) - /backups/forum and /var/www/html/drupal
  • set to send email alerts about security updates only (rather than all possible updates)
  • the cosign module by default sets email to @umich.edu. This had to be modified.

Setting up a forum

  • Structure->Forums->Add Forum
    • Forums can be placed inside a container or within another forum. For now, though, all our forums have been created at the top level.
  • Confirm access restrictions
    • Create a role, if required, for the general users of the forum allowing them to read and write posts.
    • Create an admin role for the forum which will allow editing and deletion of posts etc.
    • People->Permissions->Roles->Add Role
    • Add appropriate permissions to the role
      • People->Permissions
  • Give the admin role to appropriate people
    • People->Select Username->Edit and click appropriate role.

  • Automating the process to add users to a particular forum - in this case for the Inf2b discussion:

[forteviotvb2]root: pwd


[forteviotvb2]root: getrolemembers module-inf2b >/tmp/module-inf2b

[forteviotvb2]root: for i in `cat /tmp/module-inf2b` ; do drush user-create $i --mail="$i@sms.ed.ac.uk"; done

[forteviotvb2]root: for i in `cat /tmp/module-inf2b` ; do drush user-add-role "inf2b" $i ; done

IJP forum

  • Contacts are Paul Anderson and Michael Anslow <M.Anslow@sms.ed.ac.uk>
  • Michael and Paul have been given the drupal 'IJP admin' role. This allows them to manage topics and posts within the IJP forum and also to create new topics.
  • Accounts will be created automatically when a user first authenticates using EASE but this doesn't give them access to the IJP forum.
  • Anyone wanting to read posts or write posts needs to be given the IJP role. From top menu, select People, click on user->edit->tick IJP role or use the drush command.

Inf2c-cs forum

  • Contacts - Boris Grot

Inf2c-se forum

  • Contacts - Alan Clark

Software Engineering Large Practical forum

  • Contacts - Alan Clark


Contacts - Alex Simpson and John Longley


Contacts - KK and Srikanth Ronanki

Upgrading minor drupal version

  • Announce the minor disruption - it should only take a few minutes but should inform people in advance.
  • Download the drupal package and install in /var/www/html. The directory will be called drupal-7.xx
  • Read the README.txt and UPGRADE.txt files in the drupal-7.xx directory, paying particular attention to changes to default.settings.php
  • Put the site into maintenance mode. (Configuration -> Maintenance Mode)
  • In the drupal-7.xx directory, point .htaccess -> ../../../../etc/httpd/conf.d/drupal7-site.htaccess
  • In the drupal-7.xx directory, point sites -> ../../../../etc/drupal7
  • In /var/www/html, ensure the symbolic link (drupal) points to the new drupal-7.xx directory.
  • Check "Drupal core update status" under reports->status page. Update if required.
  • Take the site out of maintenance mode.

So what next ?

  • account creation - can this be further automated ?
  • Should we continue with EASE authentication or set up an alternative DICE authenticated site ?
  • Should we put forum groups into 'containers' ? (e.g. all 2nd year courses into a 'year 2' container).
  • Should we make it look and feel more customised ?
  • So far it's only been advertised to teaching staff. Should this now be extended ?

-- AlisonDownie - 27 Jun 2014

Topic revision: r19 - 24 Jan 2019 - 14:24:59 - AlisonDownie
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