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How to Install the Joomla Environment on a Local Windows Server

Rather than installing all of the tools that Joomla requires on your Windows server, you can install the Joomla environment via XAMPP. When you install XAMPP, it installs the Apache web server, PHP, and MySQL for you all in one fell swoop — no fuss, no muss. XAMPP lays the full groundwork for Joomla; after you install XAMPP, all you’ve got to do is to unzip and install Joomla.

XAMPP is free and can be installed with minimal effort and in just a few minutes. Just select the version for your operating system to go to the correct download page.

As a bonus, XAMPP contains more than just the three components you need for Joomla. The Windows version, for example, includes all the following: Apache, MySQL, PHP + PEAR, Perl, mod_php, mod_perl, mod_ssl, OpenSSL, phpMyAdmin, webalizer, Mercury Mail Transport System for Win32 and NetWare Systems v3.32, Ming, JpGraph, FileZilla, mcrypt, eAccelerator, SQLite, and WEB-DAV + mod_auth_mysql. Whew!

To install XAMPP in Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Download the executable installer file (such as xampp-win32-1.7.3-installer.exe).

  2. Double-click the .exe file to open the XAMPP installer wizard.

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  3. Click the Next button.

  4. Follow the directions in the wizard to install XAMPP, which also installs Apache, PHP, and MySQL.

    If prompted for a password, use the one you selected for MySQL if you created the database earlier; the default installation gives you the username root.

    Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, take note: Because of missing or insufficient write permissions in the C:\program files directory in Vista and Windows 7, Apache Friends installs XAMPP to C:\ by default.

    If your computer is already running Internet Information Services (IIS) — that is, you have a c:\inetpub directory and can bring up an IIS page when you navigate to http://localhost — you should disable IIS if you’re going to install and run Apache on the same computer.

    By default, these servers use the same port and will conflict. To disable IIS in Windows, open Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools→Services→IIS, right-click IIS in the Startup Type column (currently set to Automatic), choose Disabled from the shortcut menu, and then reboot your computer.

  5. When installation is complete, reboot your computer.

    The components of XAMPP run as Windows services.

If you have problems installing XAMPP, check the XAMPP for Windows FAQ.

During installation, the wizard adds an icon for the XAMPP control panel to the bar at the bottom of the screen. Double-clicking that icon opens the control panel.

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To test your new installation, open a browser and navigate to http://localhost. Click the Documentation link, and XAMPP Documentation page should come up in a web browser.

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To test whether PHP is running, click the phpinfo link on the left side of the main XAMPP page. This link runs a PHP function that displays a table of information about the PHP installation.

That’s it! You are now ready to install Joomla on your Windows server.

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