Notes on Drupal 6, a security update, getting stuck in maintenance mode, and Drush

As of this writing on March 28, 2018, I still have two Drupal 6 websites that I haven’t taken the time to update to Drupal 7 or 8. Today there was a big Drupal security release, so I either had to update those two websites or shut them down.

Fortunately the people at made a security update available, so I was kinda-sorta able to update those sites. I say “kinda-sorta” because while those sites look like they’re running externally, they’re actually hosed internally, meaning that this update hosed all of the Drupal “admin” pages. That means that I’ll finally either update those sites to D7 or D8.

But, in the meantime, here are some “notes to self” on what it took to get Drush to work with these old Drupal 6 websites:

  • The sites only have PHP 5.3.x available
  • I tried to get Drush 7 working, but could not
  • I found Drush 6.7.0, and downloaded it
  • When I tried to run it, it said it needed a local copy of Console_Table v1.1.5 installed, so I downloaded v1.3.1, renamed it to 1.1.5, installed it where it said to install it, and it worked (there was a problem with the 1.1.5 download, so I just grabbed the latest version and renamed it)

One of the problems I had was that the Drupal 6 security update left my website stuck in maintenance mode, which is why I started trying to get Drush going. Once I got Drush 6 working, I ran these commands to get my websites out of maintenance mode:

drush vset site_offline 0
drush cc all

Those commands got my websites out of maintenance mode, so anonymous visitors to the websites can now see the content, but as mentioned, the update broke all of the /admin pages. Every time I go to an admin page I get an Internet Server Error, which is finally enough motivation for me to either upgrade to D7 or D8 (or possibly look for another CMS).

Truth be told, I’m hoping to take a week off from my regular duties and write a little CMS using the Scala Play Framework.

Drupal 6 directories and files to delete

One other note: In the process of updating the Drupal 6 websites I ran these commands from the command line before uploading the new version of D6:

rm -rf includes misc modules php_uploads profiles scripts themes
rm *txt *php


I don’t know if I’ll ever need these notes again, but I’m putting them here as a “reminder to self” of how I did this. If you’re in a similar boat, I hope these notes are helpful.