I am administering a drupal 6 high traffic, high user base website and I would like to have it cloned into a development version in order to test modules before deploying on live.

I am unable to find anything related to this, no matter how hard I try.

What are the implications of cloning a live site into a test version on another server?

What aspects should I have in mind when doing this? e.g. avoid user notifications via email from test server


1 Answer 1


For most of our D6 and D7 sites we use drush to clone and sync staging and development environment from the production server.

  • Basic setup of the test/staging environment should be done using drush make or cloned from your version control.
  • Then you can sync the data using drush sql-sync [paramenters] [source] [destination] and user generated content using drush rsync [source] [destination].
  • Depending on your setup it might be advisable to run a script that truncates your user table or similar.

Both drush and drush make is easily installed using Homebrew or similar.

From now on you can easily resync your database using sql-sync as often as needed.

  • Thanks. What are the possible reasons for truncating user table?
    – Andrei
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 8:48
  • @Andrei: Mainly to prevent against data theft or compromising user data if your laptop gets stolen. Also to prevent unintentionally mailing all your 10.000 users 22 times in a row due to cron triggering a send or similar :-) Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:59
  • archive-dump / archive-restore Genious! I used to do 80MB SQL dump and FTP transfer of 200MB of files. Loves Drush ^^ Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 0:02

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