Fully packaged Drupal distributions now deployed on drupal.org
3281d Consulting is very pleased to announce that a new era on drupal.org has begun: Drupal distributions (also known as “installation profiles”) can now be automatically packaged with Drupal core and all of their required dependencies. When you download the distribution, you just unpack it into a web root directory, visit install.php, and you’re done. This should vastly lower the barriers to getting a new Drupal site up and running. Please read on if you’ve ever considered installing a Drupal distribution or if you maintain one on drupal.org.
Changes for end users
Mostly, the only change for end users is that installation profiles are actually useful now.
In the “Recommended releases” table, find the entry for the version of Drupal you want to install (for example, 6.x). If you click the “Download” link, you’ll immediately get a .tar.gz archive (.zip files are coming soon, stay tuned!) that includes Drupal core, the installation profile itself (which defines the modules and themes to enable and can configure your new site), and all of the required modules and themes that the distribution depends on. If you click on the version string or the Notes link, you’ll see the full details for that release of the distribution.
The first table lists all the available files you could download. The top file, ending in “-core.tar.gz” is the one you would download directly from the project page. The one ending in “-no-core.tar.gz” includes the installation profile directory and all of its dependencies, but not a copy of Drupal core. This would be useful if you were setting up a multi-site installation and you just wanted different profiles in different site subdirectories, for example. The final option, just “.tar.gz” includes only the installation profile directory. This would only be useful if you were planning to build the whole site yourself with drush make, or if the installation profile wasn’t updated to the new system and didn’t provide a fully packaged distribution.
The second table lists all the components included in the distribution. This table is aware of all available releases on drupal.org, much like the Update status module included in Drupal core. If newer releases or security updates are available for any of the components of the distribution, the release notes will also be available