I need to scrub a production db to replace paths in the body field. Being a production database, it needs to happen in a time-sensitive, well-documented way with the solution frozen in code. I'd assume that a .install file would be the best way to do this.

What would a one time install script look like to search the database for "http://mysite.com" and replace with "https://www.mysite.com" in the default body field?

1 Answer 1


I typically do things like this outside of modules, and instead use a drush script.

The script itself, would go something like

  • Go into maintenance mode
  • Do an EntityFieldQuery to get my nids.
  • Loop through each nid, and
  • Load the node, and make an entity metadata wrapper
  • Do the search and replace on the fields
  • Save the node
  • Exit maintenance mode

Before and after running the script, I usually do a drush sql-dump. You can even combine all of this into a single script


drush variable-set -y --always-set maintenance_mode 1
drush sql-dump --result-file=~/db/before.sql
drush scr path/to/my/script.php
drush sql-dump --result-file=~/db/after.sql
drush variable-delete -y --exact maintenance_mode

By doing a drush script, you can really ensure that the task runs when you want it to, and you aren't bound by execution time limits. I also find it easier to debug.

That said, you should just be able to use Pathologic to rewrite the URLs. Install/enable it, and add it to your text formats, and configure to do the path fixups.

  • excellent. Already using pathologic to filter on input for all content going forward, just need to scrub old content.
    – pxwise
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 23:22

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