Installing Drupal on Windows 2008

There are many government institutions who have standardized their servers to work with Windows Servers.  We don't see this as a good approach for many reasons, but some departments have decided that their ability to manage a uniform server environment outweighs all other considerations. 

The reasons we don't recommend using Windows Server environments include:

  • it is inherently less secure than a Linux environment as you cannot disable elements that are not central to running a web server.
  • there is a relatively small community of people using Windows and Drupal, so there isn't a very large user base to draw on when you run into problems. You are more likely to run into unique problems.
  • the documentation is often out of date, providing conflicting instructions on current best practices.

That being said, we were instructed to document the process of setting up the Government of Canada's Web Experience Toolkit Drupal Distribution on a Windows 2008 Server. For that we've written the following documentation to make it easier for departments who want to use their Windows Server environments. 

This document is made available through the government's Open Government Licence and it is our hope that it becomes a living document.  There will inevitably be changes and modifications which will need to be made, so please contribute back suggestions. 

This document has not yet addressed issues of performance, security or scalability.

Please let us know if you want to receive updates, contribute changes or simply download the document.

  • Documentation