Xampp and Joomla
Content Management System

by Trev

This article has resulted from having to set up a Website for a local Computer Club. I started this project without really understanding what a server was and how to use it to set up a Website. I found the experience enlightening and extremely interesting. What I needed to do was to be able to develop the site on my own computer to teach myself how to use Joomla. Eventually the site will be uploaded to a Web Host, but that is not part of these instructions.

These instructions only cover setting up on your own computer for trial and learning experience. This is done in two stages:

First you need to set up the server part of the installation. Whilst there are a number of ways to do this. I think the method shown below is the easiest way and works fine.

Second, you need to set up Joomla. To find out what Joomla is all about, go to the following site or type Joomla into Google. Joomla is without a doubt an excellent Web site Content Management System and of course it's free. www.joomla.org

Instructions for installing Xampp on a local Linux computer

This method has been tested with Mepis and PCLinuxOS 2007.

  1. Download Xampp for Linux
  2. Get the latest stable version, currently xampp-linux-1.6.4.tar.gz (from http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html). Save to your Home/yourname/Downloads folder (create one if not there already.)

  3. Download Joomla
  4. You can download Joomla from the repositories using Synaptic. Alternatively you can download Joomla to your Computer from www.joomla.org This will be a .tar.gz file. Get latest stable package, in my case it was joomla_1.5RC4.tar.gz. Save to your Home/yourname/Downloads folder.

  5. Install Xampp for Linux
  6. First open a terminal as root (type su > type root password then press Enter)

    cd /home/yourname/Downloads

    Then press Enter.

    tar xvfz xampp-linux-1.6.4.tar.gz -C /opt

    Then press Enter.

    This will create a folder /opt/lampp and Xampp will be installed with all the necessary folders and files. (That was easy wasn't it? ) Have a look in your /opt/lampp folder and you will see all the files there. Next, we need to test Xampp.

  7. Test XAMPP
  8. Still as root, do the following command:

    /opt/lampp/lampp start

    you should see the following:

    Starting XAMPP 1.6.4...
    LAMPP: Starting Apache...
    LAMPP: Starting
    LAMPP started.

    Now go to your browser (I recommend Firefox) and type the following in the url box:


    Press Enter.

    This should bring up Xampp. And you can try the various Demo's to make sure all is working. To stop Xampp, do the following (still as root):

    /opt/lampp/lampp stop

    If you should ever want to remove Xampp, this is how it's done. However, you'll need Xampp for the next steps. To remove Xampp:

    As su:

    rm -rf /opt/lampp
  9. Setup Joomla
  10. The next step is to create a folder called joomla15. This should be:


    I use file manager super user mode to create the folder. I then right click on the new folder joomla15 and select Properties > Permissions tab > Advanced permissions and make sure that write permissions are enabled. When you are finished, exit the file manager.

  11. Install Joomla Files
  12. The next step is to to install Joomla into the Joomla15 folder. Back in the terminal as root, in /home/yourname/Downloads, do the following command:

    tar xvfz joomla_1.5RC4.tar.gz -C /opt/lampp/htdocs/joomla15

    This should install all the Joomla files into the joomla15 folder. The installation of the Joomla files is now completed.

  13. Final Install of Joomla and Activate
  14. Run Xampp:

    As "su" again:

    /opt/lampp/lampp start

    You should now have a web server running on your computer. (there is nothing to see at this point except the message that Xampp is started.)

    Open your Browser (Firefox I hope)

    In the address bar type http://localhost/joomla15. This will bring up the 7 steps for installation.

    1. Select language: en-GB (or your language)
    2. This should bring up the Joomla Pre-installation check screen. Make sure all entries in the top section are green. It is possible that the configuration.php writeable is On and red. If it is red you can still continue. It is also possible in the recommended settings that Register Globals is On and red. If so, just continue.
    3. Read the GNU license
    4. Database Configuration
    5. Database Type: mysql
      Host Name: localhost
      User Name: root
      password: blank
        (don't put anything in this box)
      Database Name: mydatabase
        (or whatever you like to call your database)
      Leave Advanced Settings as is.

    6. FTP Configuration
    7. Leave as is.

    8. Main configuration
    9. Site Name: Whatever you want for your site name.
      Your Email: A genuine email address is required here.
      Admin Password: admin (and repeat to confirm)
      Press the Install sample data button to add sample data (recommended if you are new to Joomla).

    10. Finish
    11. If at step 2 you had the configuration.php writeable shown as red, you will see a box with the configuration listed in it. Click within the box and it will turn blue (to select all). Do a Ctrl C to copy the info to the clip board. In the file manager as su, go to /opt/lampp/htdocs/joomla15. Right click in right hand side. Then select Create New then Text File and name it configuration.php then save the file. (It will be empty.)

      Now open this new file with KWrite and and click within the panel. Press Ctrl V to paste the content from the clip board into the file. Save the file. You can now close the file manager.

  15. Important step
  16. It is now necessary to delete or rename the Installation Folder in the joomla15 folder. Navigate to this folder and Right Click on 'Installation' folder and either Delete it or re-name it. (I renamed it oldinstallation.) The entire installation is now completed

  17. Now to check it out
  18. Now restart Xampp if not already running. Remember, as su:

    /opt/lampp/lampp start

    Now start your Browser and type in http://localhost/joomla15. You should now have the Sample Joomla site up and running and you should be on the front page.

    To get to the Administration area, go to the Main menu on the left panel and select Administrator. This will bring you to the Admin Login screen. Enter admin for the User name and admin for the Password and you should then be in the guts of it and can experiment to your heart's delight.

    Note: When developing the Joomla site, I open two tabs on the browser. One I start as above http://localhost/joomla15 and one I start as http://localhost/joomla15/administrator. This allows me to switch easily between the Front Page and the Administrator Page to check the affects of alterations made as administrator. When you have made an alteration and switch to the front page do not forget to press Ctrl + R to reload the page or go to view and reload.

Do read the Joomla manual on the website; there is a multitude of info from that site. The intention of this article is not to teach you Joomla but to get you up and running. Enjoy!