Installing Drupal 8 on Ubuntu 16.04 with DigitalOcean

Installing Drupal 8 on Ubuntu 16.04 with DigitalOcean

So you decided to go with DigitalOcean? Awesome! You're going to love it. The admin UI is really nice and intuitive as well. That makes it nice to navigate and find your way around. For me, that was important because I was new to DigitalOcean, so my comfort level depended on how well I could find things. 

First thing's first, you need to create your droplet in the DigitalOcean platform. You know the drill; create an account, login, etc. Here is my brief plug-in, if you haven't already created an account yet, use my referral link and you'll get a free $10 credit when you sign up. Of course, I get rewarded as well, but I'm not just doing this for the referral service. Don't use it if you don't want to, but free credit is always great when we can get it!

Next, you'll create your droplet with Ubuntu 16.04, enter your plan and region, access settings, etc., and then create your droplet. After the droplet is installed, if you decided to upload your SSH keys, you could just open a terminal and SSH into your new server. In this case, you won’t get a password emailed to you. If you decided to go with a password method, you'll need to check your email and follow the instructions in the email from DigitalOcean. After you gain access to your server for the first time you can now start with the tutorials.

Depending on your skill level, you can probably do these in a slightly different order and modify them to your liking, but for me, I just stuck with the tutorial for the most part. I did have to venture out and search for some other Drupal specific items, but I’ll share those as well.

  1. Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 16.04 - All of the tutorials I found advised to start with this one first. You’ll setup your user and begin transitioning from root.
  2. Setting up the LAMP stack with Ubuntu 16.04 - You will end up with PHP7 by default.
  3. Installing PhpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 16.04
  4. Installing Drupal on Ubuntu 14.04 - I know this takes you to an Ubuntu 14.04 tutorial, but the process for installing Drupal is basically the same. Not to mention, I couldn’t find a Digital Ocean tutorial for installing Drupal on Ubuntu 16.04. So as I went through this one, I followed it for the most part, but then at some points, referring to PHP, I ended up referring to a link below, as well as plugging in ‘php7’ rather than ‘php5’. You’ll also plug in Drupal 8, instead of 7, unless you want to go with 7. This was the only part that wasn’t as straight-forward throughout this process, but it still worked. As long as you pay attention to where you'll need PHP7 and Drupal 8, you'll be fine.
  5. Installing drush - This was a nice reference for installing drush on Ubuntu. And here is the master drush documentation, which is also helpful.

I also installed composer, since it’s becoming a preferred tool for building/installing Drupal, modules, etc., in Drupal 8. My next project will be to install DrupalConsole as well.

There you have it. Again, depending on your skill level, these tutorials will take some time, but have fun with them. It’s neat to learn how everything works at the stack level/backend.

Before I go, here are a few more helpful resources that I thought were neat:

How to point your site at the DigitalOcean Nameservers - This one is important for when the time comes to point your site at your domain.

DigitalOcean DNS tips and tricks

A Basic MySQL Tutorial - This is just awesome to have to reference when/if necessary.

Useful Linux/Unix Drupal Commands - It covers the scp, rsync and zip commands, which are nice to know when working with servers.

Well I hope you found this to be somewhat informative. This was a lot of fun for me and an incredible learning experience. I admit, I felt a little more liberated after completing all of this and getting my site up and running.

Feel free to reach out with any questions if you’re interested, or if you’ve even made it this far in my post.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your time.