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Reason: This article should be written from a Multiversion point of view since it describes methods of installing software on a local computer for use as a local server. Any version of Joomla! will work on a local server as long as it meets the requirements of the specific version. The version of XAMPP is out of date - the latest version is 1.8.3 and an example for WAMP would also be highly useful
Articles in this Series
Hands-on a Joomla! site:
Adding and altering Articles:
Setting up a Joomla! site:
Doing and learning more:
It is very useful to be able to learn and experiment on your own machine. The aim of this document is to help you to download a sample Joomla! site to your own computer, known as a 'localhost' installation. It has some helpful sample content that allows you to become familiar with the way that a Joomla! site is put together. You can also install an empty copy of Joomla! for creating a new site.
Not everyone using this Manual will have enough experience to feel comfortable doing this. You need to know a little about computing, for example:-
Experienced developers and people with programming experience will be fine.
There are three basic stages in doing this:-
Important note on versions of XAMPP - as at March 4th 2011. This section covers installation of the older version 1.7.3. There is a newer version, 1.7.4, which became available the end of January 2011.
The point of this to to configure your own machine to behave as if it were a server with the difference being that the result is not visible over the internet and is thus confined to your own computer. This is very useful for learning new things and even developing a new web site.
Make sure you have a separate folder for downloads.
Download sites for using a Mac or Linux with documentation.
For installation instructions of Xampp and Joomla on Linux see also Installing_Joomla_on_Debian_Linux
Warning: If you are not familiar with downloading software - don't be put off by unfamiliar vocabulary on the download Web site!
The site for Windows download. This is a page with links to downloads as well as instructions for installation.
This is what you do to get the stable 1.7.3 version:-
A file with the XAMPP logo is saved to the Download folder. In Windows Explorer Details view, the file type will be Application.
Extracting the software and installing the files:-
The next window gives on-screen instructions.
Installation Progress is indicated on the screen. When the files are extracted, a Windows command screen asks a few questions to configure the installation.
The files are placed in the correct locations and you are then prompted to press <Return> to continue and to confirm the timezone.
Finally the screen presents 7 choices.
You should see a XAMPP Control Panel on the desktop. To open it is it is not already open:-
This is the Control panel with the services running.
Apache and MySQL need to run as Services (indicated by a tick against Svc in the Control Panel). Make sure the following are set:-
Type in your local home page's address in your browser - which is
If it has not been successful - you will get a message saying 'Unable to Connect'. This may happen if:
If it has been successful - there will be a splash page with a choice of languages.
You now see a Welcome page which says 'You have successfully installed XAMPP on this system!'. There are also various links to documentation and other things to the left.
You can move on to downloading and installing Joomla! itself.
Under the XAMPP folder (for example C:\XAMPP\) there is a folder called htdocs (C:\XAMPP\htdocs ). This is the folder under which all content that will be seen on the localhost Web site is located. (There are already files there - such as index.html which displays the logo for XAMPP)
It will be called a Compressed(zipped) Folder in the Details list in Windows Explorer
The Extraction Wizard prompts for where you want the files to be located. This is in the folder created above - for example C:\xampp\htdocs\Joomla16
Progress is indicated by the blue bar. When completed an Extraction Complete screen displays.
The files are now in the right place and you are ready to set Joomla! up for use.
If you called the file something else - then use the name of that file instead of 'joomla16'.
The Joomla! Installation screen displays. Here you are stepped through seven choices in order to set up the site, the database and a few other things. Your progress is indicated to the left of the screen.
There is some information on the side panel about why you should install the sample data.
Why install the sample data?
If you want both a site with sample data and a site with no data - you can install another instance of Joomla! on the same computer as explained in the last part of this document.
Sometimes there is a message that the database won't connect. The fix - Click Previous and remove the password. Check that the other settings are the same as you originally entered and then continue.
The Finish screen has helpful advice.
You need to do one more thing - remove the installation directory. In this example it is at:-
If you try to go on to use the site without doing this, you will be prompted to do it. You are only allowed to continue when it has been deleted.
There are separate web addresses for the main Site and for the administrator Back-end Assuming the site is 'Joomla16':-
If you have used a different name - put that in instead of 'Joomla16'
You can install and configure another instance of Joomla! using a different name. You do need to download it again as you removed the installation directory as a security measure.
The set up stages are the same, except:-
And - of course - do not install the sample data if you want a clean site.
This time the addresses are different:-
If you have used a different name - put that in instead of 'development16'
You may want to uninstall Joomla! and XAMPP. If you do this - make sure you have copies of anything you may need, such as configuration files.
There are two possibilities.
The easy way - you can use the uninstall script.
This opens a command window and asks if you want the htdocs directory deleted.
The services are then stopped and the control panel removed from the desktop. The next message is that it will delete the files. Your response should be y for uninstalling the package.
The installation can be uninstalled by deleting all the files under the \XAMPP\ folder, but there may be errors if you do not stop the services and check that nothing is running first.
There is also documentation on the XAMPP site about uninstalling.
You now have a Joomla! site to work with and some documentation to go with it.
Become familiar with Joomla! by altering and adding content.
Lorna Scammell February 2011