Drupal Development with Drush and Quickstart

    So say you're new to Drupal and have been playing around a bit. You've been exploring the modules and themes available and you're excited about all the possible ideas you might implement. You're deep into the experimentation phase here and time is of the essence! Decompressing the Drupal package for a new site, setting up a sandbox like with LAMP (or MAMP, or XAMPP), and finally configuring the database running the install script takes several minutes and is highly repetitive. Even after setting up a core install there are many common modules like Views, Ctools, or Panels that you need to download, unpack, and enable. How daunting! Is there any way to script things like this so you can get down to work?

Quickstart/Drush to the rescue

    Quickstart is a VirtualBox image of a Ubuntu install with everything you need to start exploring Drupal. After downloading the 1Gb Appliance image, install it into VirtualBox and start it up.  This virtual machine comes with Apache/MySQL/PHP ready to go along with Firefox Add-ons and the Eclipse IDE among other development tools. However, one of the greatest tools for Drupal development is Drush. Drush is: "A command line shell and scripting interface for Drupal" and, with a few extra scripts included with Quickstart, will allow you to setup a new virtual host, create a database, and setup Drupal with one command.

After that, installing modules is just as easy, with one command to download (or clone), and one to enable. 

Now you're free to make Drupal installs at will without all the tedium! Experiment till your heart is content!! Of course it doesn't stop there, Drush can help you script database backups, run updates, manage users, or watch for errors.

I personally find this a more fluid motion for development control much like writing software. The ability to build, backup and burn down projects I'm working on without fear of losing any previous work or getting bogged down in the grunt work lets the creative come first. Go fourth and explore!

Other links

Quickstart YouTube Channel
Drupal.org Drush Documentation

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