Migrating a Drupal Site to Aegir for the Command Line Phobic

Aegir is wizardry, pure and simple. Once you’ve got it set up and running there’s almost no excuse not to have all of your sites on it.

There are plenty of great tutorials on moving your existing site into Aegir like Dboettger’s tutorial or Aegir’s Community tutorial but they assume that you’re pretty handy with the command line.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the command line or you don’t want to mess with it you can still pull the migration off.

If your site uses a standard codebase like Drupal 6.22 and you already have an Aegir platform installed you can skip this part. Otherwise make sure you have the backup and migrate module installed on the standalone site. Then fire up your favorite SFTP program like Cyberduck for Mac or WinSCP for Windows.

Drupal Core Aegir platform

Login to your Aegir server as the aegir user. Create a directory for your new platform in /var/aegir/platforms. Transfer the whole codebase over. The permissions should stay the same because you’re transferring as the aegir user. You might have to go back and change the group of the files directory, the private directory and the settings.php to www-data if you run into permissions issues.

Now you have your files moved over go into Aegir, click Create Content in the bottom right menu and select Platform to set up a new platform.

Creating a new Aegir platform

Once the platform is set up and verified you can create a new site with it.

The site will be a new site on a blank database.

To transfer over all your database files use backup and migrate. Create a new quick backup from your standalone site and restore your blank Aegir site with it.

Syncing databases with backup and migrate

It might sputter a bit, make sure to clear the cache and run cron. Then there’s going to be a bit of clean up to do. Make sure there are no hard coded image or file paths in your template. Check all of your nodes for hard coded paths as well.

If the backup and migrate hopelessly bricked your Aegir site wipe it out and create a new one. This time before running the quick backup in your standalone site disable all the modules but backup and migrate and then create the quick backup.

Once you’ve restored your Aegir site from that backup you can start turning modules on one by one to see where the issue is.

Good luck, and remember don’t let a fear of the command line keep you from working with Aegir.