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Test environment

We are kicking around the idea of an entire redesign. We really need to kick around the idea of a development environment.

Serge Adam

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Here's a solution for an offline (your own laptop or desktop) dev environment that I had posted to the old Magillah site. It still works, just use the most recent versions rather than the version noted here. Of course, I would love to see a "staging area" online as part of our Joomla toolkit. This would allow us to play with styles, layouts, templates, etc., prior to publishing to the live area.

Duplicating your URJ Joomla 2.5.17 on your local Windows machine
Based on "New Installation Instructions" at

Refer to step #6 to update an existing site with a new site tree and database…

1. Download xampp-win32-1.7.3.exe from

2. Install XAMPP to top level C: drive (yes, top level, it creates C:\xampp)
    a. Select all defaults
    b. Choose 1 to start the Control Panel
    c. Choose x to Exit (make sure focus is on the Cmd window and not the ctrl panel!)
    d. From Control Panel
        i. Check Apache and [Start]
        ii. Check MySql and [Start]

3. Create folder C:\xampp\htdocs\joomla25, or any other name that suits you

4. Download 2.5.17 Full package from

Extract zip contents into C:\xampp\htdocs\joomla25

5. Go to http://localhost/joomla25 

Joomla will walk you through its initial setup… don’t worry about anything after the language selection; we’re going to blow away everything anyway while restoring our real site!
a. Select language (English US), click Next
b. Pre-Installation check, click Next
c. License, Click Next
d. Database
i. In another tab or window, go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin
Create a blank database using any values you want (remember this is temporary)
e. FTP, skip, click Next
f. Site Name
i. Enter anything here, we're about to blow it away… [Temple Etz Chaim, Franklin, MA]
ii. Admin account: anything, will blow it away…
iii. Install sample data... don't need to since we're about to blow it way…
g. Remove Installation folder, yes

6. Now restore your Web site!
    ² If starting here, use the XAMP control panel to stop Apache and MySql…

    a. Delete the entire contents of C:\xampp\htdocs\joomla25
    b. Extract your full site backup Zip into the joomla25 directory

    ² Start Apache and MySql…

    c. Goto http://localhost/phpmyadmin
        i. On the left side, click the database you previously created
        ii. Click the Drop tab; this will delete that database (it's OK, really)
        iii. Click the Home icon in the phpMyAdmin left nav panel
    d. Create a new database using parameters from your site's top level configuration.php file to replace all "$" variables names…
        i. Create new database  named <$db> [tempetz1_tpxz1l], collation utf8_general_ci

The database is created with the username "root" and empty password
ii. Make sure the database is selected and click the Import tab
Browse to your database backup SQL script
Click Go. Wait for it! It doesn't start right away but it's working!

    e. Finally, you can add your own db user account but it's not necessary:
        i. Choose your database
        ii. Click the Privileges tab
        iii. Add a new user…
            1) any name such as the $user config parameter [tempetz1_tpxz1l]
            2) keep host as "any host"
            3) any password such as the $password config parameter [foo1234]
            4) Select radio button Grant all privileges on database

7. Rename the /jooml25/installation folder to something like /joomla25/_installation
    a. (I think this skips the Akeeba restoration step)

8. Access the site home page at http://localhost/joomla25
9. Access the administrator at http://localhost/joomla25/administrator

Should not be needed:
1. Delete or rename the file C:\xampp\htdocs\joomla25\administrator.htaccess
Otherwise, attempts to access /administrator will prompt for usr/pwd
2. The first time the site is accessed, the Akeeba restoration program ANGI will appear
3. You can safely walk through this as long you choose the Skip Restoration button at the upper right of the second page!

Isaac Chartoff 0 votes
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Nice tip. I wanted to do this ages ago, but they told me I couldn't (shouldn't) due to licensing restrictions.

Where did you get the various plugins and modules?

Sara Milch 0 votes
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When make a full backup of your site, it will include the full directory tree from its root including all modules and component directories. I haven't read the license but I figure if this is just on a private workstation just for development.... If I am breaking the license, of course we need to rethink this, but until then...

Isaac Chartoff 0 votes
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