When I am updating Drupal core, and uploading files via FTP, how can I prevent mydomain.com/install.php trying to load and displaying WSOD errors like "Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required..."?

I'd like to display a static page with a BRB message instead.

  • Welcome to Drupal Answers! Why would you want to do such a thing? If you are getting the error, then probably there is something to fix, not to hide.
    – apaderno
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:59
  • Thanks for your reply, but the error comes because the upload is in progress and files are missing, not because there is anything actually wrong.
    – Matt.Rad
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:09
  • Upload the files, and then update Drupal by going to mydomain.com/update.php. Why are you trying to do two things at the same time?
    – apaderno
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


Just move your entire Drupal root somewhere else, and put something else in its place (with a "Be Right Back"-message) while the upgrade goes on.

For instance, if your Drupal root is /var/www/html, prepare a directory named /var/www/brb and put a static index.html-file in it with your BRB message.

Then execute the following pair of commands:

mv /var/www/html /var/www/pending_upgrade
mv /var/www/brb /var/www/html

Now, make sure that your ftp job puts the files in below /var/www/pending_upgrade.

When done, restore your site with the following pair of commands:

mv /var/www/html /var/www/brb
mv /var/www/pending_upgrade /var/www/html 

The above assumes that you have CLI access. If you don't, most ftp tools have built-in commands to move directories around.

  • The OP is talking about mydomain.com/install.php. How does moving the files into a different directory avoid the OP gets WSODs?
    – apaderno
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:09
  • @kiamlaluno, because when settings.php is missing or unreadable, or the DB is missing, Drupal redirects any attempts to access the site to install.php. By making Drupal inaccessible for page requests (by moving it somewhere else), this redirection don't happen. Apr 14, 2014 at 21:11
  • So, is the user saying that he is uploading the new files to the server, and users accessing the site get a WSOD? (I guess the question is not clear, to me.) I have never overridden the settings.php file to avoid problems with remembering the right credentials. Is there any good reason to update that too?
    – apaderno
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:16
  • Thanks, Free Radical. That is exactly the issue. @kiamlaluno, I am sorry if my question is vague.
    – Matt.Rad
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:17

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