How to Manually Upgrade Drupal Core Files on Ubuntu Linux

Computer screen with app icons
Computer screen with app icons

A highly critical remote code execution vulnerability was recently discovered in Drupal CMS core settings, and Drupal users are highly encouraged to upgrade immediately. However, Drupal cannot update or upgrade from its admin dashboard.

You cannot upgrade Drupal from its portal. So, you’ll have to manually update or upgrade to the latest version from the command line console or via some hosting platform.

All previous versions of Drupal CMS are vulnerable. You can find out more about this vulnerability by going to this page.

To resolve this remote code security vulnerability, you can apply a patch or upgrade to the latest version of Drupal.

Upgrading Drupal is the easiest method available, and this post will show students and new users how to upgrade Drupal CMS easily.

To upgrade Drupal, continue with the steps below:

Backup and Put the Site in Maintenance Mode

Before upgrading your site, back up your content and database, and put your site in maintenance mode. You can do that by going to the:

Log into the admin interface and go to Administration > Configuration > Development > Maintenance mode.

drupal upgrade

Then put the site in maintenance mode and click Save.

You should always use maintenance mode when making significant updates, particularly if the updates could disrupt visitors or the update process.

Delete Drupal Core Files

Now that your site is in maintenance mode, delete Drupal core directories by running the commands below.

Change into your Drupal root directory. Generally, in /var/www/html/drupal or where you installed it.

Then run the commands below to delete the core and vendor folders or directories. And remove all the files in the root directory.

sudo rm -rf core vendor
sudo rm -f *.* .[a-z]*

Restore Drupal Core Files with the Latest

Now that you’ve deleted the core vendor folders and the file in the root directory, download Drupal’s latest content. Then, copy and restore the files and folders you delete.

cd /tmp && wget
tar -zxvf drupal-x.x.x.tar.gz

Next, copy the extracted files, particularly the core and vendor directories, and files in the root of the downloaded folders. The reverse of what you did to delete the content above. This should restore the files and folders with the latest versions.

cd drupal-x.x.x
sudo cp -R core vendor /var/www/html/drupal
sudo cp *.* .[a-z]* /var/www/html/drupal

You may have to change the directory file permissions again. Run the commands below.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/drupal
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/drupal

Update the Core Database Tables

Finally, open your browser and browse the site URL, followed by update.php.


Drupal ubuntu upgrade

This will update the core database tables.

You should now be able to log on, go to your Drupal admin, and navigate to Administration > Reports > Status report. Verify that everything is working as expected. In addition, you should see that the site is updated.

You can now go and take the site from maintenance mode.


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