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Your needs and experience should determine which version you install. Factors you might wish to consider include:
15 megabytes (mb) of disk space should be enough for a default installation without additional component, images, and other media. The database will be small when starting, and will grow when adding more content.
Detailed instructions are available from the Joomla! help site, http://help.joomla.org/content/category/15/99/132/.
How to install Joomla! will depend on what kind of webserver you have, what the settings of the server are, and what permissions you have.
If you have a hosted site, you may have access to fantastico or a similar product via your control panel. This can be an easy way to install Joomla! However, double check to make sure that the current version of Joomla! will be installled.
Instructions for installation can be found here. Installation Guide http://help.joomla.org/content/category/48/268/302/
If you manually install Joomla you will get a message during installation that the configuration.php is not writable and the installation process provides you with the entire configuration.php which you have to copy/paste to an editor and upload and name configuration.php to complete installation.
The configuration.php is now written directly in the file system. Make sure the configuration.php is afterwards set to 444 or 644 (not writable) to protect your system.
You may want to create an installation file that includes specific extensions in addition to the core Joomla!. You might want to do this if you have or plan to create many sites that all use the same basic suite of extensions.
Please note that if you intend to distribute (as opposed to simply using this yourself) a version of Joomla! that has any extensions released under non-GPL compliant licenses preinstalled there are important licensing issues that you need to review.
waiting for licensing info
Waiting for Licensing info
In general, you can update following the instructions below. However, it is recommended that you check the upgrading forum for special instructions for a given release.
Question: What is a patch?
A patch in Joomla! is a bunch of bugfixes, and might or might not include security issues. The patch announcement will always tell if a patch has fixed security issues. A patch is a minor upgrade. From Joomla! 1.0.0 to Joomla! 1.0.7 is considered a patch. Going from Joomla! 1.0,x to Joomla! 1.5 (which will be released later this year) will be a major upgrade and should be treated differently.
Question: How do I know which version I use?
Go to the administrator backend, and check the second line from the bottom, it will look something like this: 'Joomla! 1.0.x Stable [ Sunny ] 15-Jan-2006 20:00 UTC'. The information that is available here, is pulled from /includes/version.php Question: should I patch or not? It is always advised to update to the latest version, especially if a patch has security fixes in it. When you experience no problems with Joomla!, and a patch doesn't contain security fixes, you do not have to patch to the latest version. Take care that if you jump more then one step to take a look at all the announcements. A patch for Joomla! 1.0.7, for example, doesn't contain the announcement for Joomla! 1.0.6. Whenever you experience problems, please search the forums first and try to patch your installation to the latest version.
Question: Is this also the way to upgrade Joomla 1.0.x to 1.5.x?
There will be a separate migration procedure to upgrade from Joomla 1.0.x to Joomla 1.5.x. This will consist of more than just copying over the patched files.
Question: Do I need to install one or more patches to go to the latest version?
When going from Joomla! 1.0.1 to Joomla! 1.0.x for example, you only need to install one patch. This patch will have a name like 'Joomla 1.0.1 to 1.0.x-Stable-Patch Package.zip'. Make sure that you current Joomla! version is the first number and that the version you are going to is the second number. Patches can be obtained here.
Question: Why do patch files have different extensions like .zip, .tar.gz, and .tar.bz?
You only need one of those patches, the different extensions are for different operating systems. People using Windows will probably want to get the .zip files.
Question: Does a patch overwrite my configuration?
No, the patch only overwrites files that are available in an official download. It doesn't overwrite configuration.php for example. There are a few things that you need to know. A patch can overwrite the default language file /language/english.php. You only need to take care if you made changes to the default english.php. A Joomla! patch doesn't overwrite other language files you have put there yourself. A patch can also overwrite /images/favicon.ico, for the people who use a favicon.ico and have overwritten this file. A patch can overwrite files in the default templates that are available with a default Joomla installation. If you want to use a default template, please make sure that it is better to copy the default template to another folder under the /templates directory. If this is not possible, please remove the /templates directory out of the patch files.
Question: When do I need to update my language file?
You basically only need to update your language file if you are using a language other than English. It is possible that patch contains a few additions in the default language file (/includes/english.php). If this is the case /includes/english.php will be available in the patch. Check your local international forum or the language forum for any updates that have taken place.
Question: What about the configuration.php-dist file?
This file is only needed if the installation wizard doesn't work when Joomla! is installed for the first time. This file can be found in a patch, as sometimes there are new configuration settings. This file can be totally ignored when patching Joomla!. The new configuration settings will be automatically added to your current configuration.php file.
Question: How do I patch Joomla! for a local installation?
Question: How do I patch for a Joomla! installation at a hoster?