After last year’s disastrous attempt to upgrade our hosted web site I decided to build a ‘pre-prod’ copy of the site on a VM hosted on my iMac to play with before touching the actual ‘production’ site hosted at UK2.NET again.
It has been a long and arduous process just to build the basic LAMP server because the CentOS 6 (and earlier) distribution doesn’t include the phpMyAdmin tool for MySQL which makes life really hard setting MySQL up. (The sting in the tail is that phpMyAdmin won’t backup or restore databases larger than about 10MB due to a bug that hasn’t yet been addressed by the developers. Crazy!)
But eventually I have managed to get the production web site and database migrated to pre-prod, only to find that while I get the home page okay clicking any link through to another page always throws a 404! ARGH!
It was only with the help of this page https://drupal.org/node/753760 that I found out why, the ‘clean URLs’ feature. And finally an appearance of a document in the Drupal site on how to migrate or restore Drupal here https://drupal.org/node/776864 confirms the need to turn off ‘clean URLs’ before backing up the source web site.
Which makes me wonder “If you have to turn them off every time you want to take a back up, what is the point of them in the first place?” But actually the answer is that my LAMP setup doesn’t support clean URLs for some un fathomable reason that is too low priority to sort out now.