From Joomla! Documentation
- This is the part used in both versions of the 'localhost' document. It just has the part about installing xampp. The Joomla! versions are different.
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.
Who is it written for?
Not everyone using this Manual will have enough experience to feel comfortable doing this. You need to know a little about computing, for example:-
- Know where to find files on your computer and be able to create folders
- Be able to download something from a Web site and save it in an appropriate place
- You will not panic if you do not understand a concept!
Experienced developers and people with programming experience will be fine.
- If in doubt - follow the instructions and try it!
There are three basic stages in doing this:-
- Downloading and installing some software that Joomla! needs to use to run locally, that is to say on your own desktop or laptop computer. This is a web server called Apache, a database called MySQL and a scripting language called PHP. There are a few other things as well - which are downloaded together as one package called XAMPP.
- Downloading and installing Joomla!
- Configuring Joomla!
Download and install XAMPP
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.
- Link to instructions for the newer version - 1.7.4
- There have been some problems reported with 1.7.4. These are discussed but not resolved in one of the XAMPP forums
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.
- Use Windows Explorer
- Create a folder (called something meaningful like Downloads) beneath the top level of the directory. (Depending on how your computer is set up - this will be C:\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:-
- Find this in the first part of the screen - Download older versions of XAMPP (even the "old" WAMPP) directly from Sourceforge
- Go to Sourceforge link - which is at http://sourceforge.net/projects/xampp/files/
- Click XAMPP Windows choice
- This lists previous versions
- In the window that opens
- Click Save File
- In the Save In box - find the Download folder on your conmputer
- Click Save
A file with the XAMPP logo is saved to the Download folder. In Windows Explorer Details view, the file type will be Application.
Install XAMPP - version 1.7.3
Extracting the software and installing the files:-
- Run the file
- Double-click the file name
- You may be asked to confirm that you want to run the file - if so - Click Run.
The next window gives on-screen instructions.
- Use the top level of the C: drive - so leave the C: as it is. (If you want it elsewhere, Browse for the folder where you want it)
- Click Install
Installation Progress is indicated on the screen. When the files are extracted, a Windows command screen asks a few questions to configure the installation.
- Respond to these with the defaults.
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.
- Choose 1 to start the Control Panel and press Return
- Choose x to Exit the install process
You should see a XAMPP Control Panel on the desktop. Right click the icon and select Properties >> Advanced ... then 'Run as Administrator' and Save. To open it is it is not already open:-
- Double-click the Control Panel icon on the desktop.
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:-
- Apache Svc is ticked
- Apache is Running (Click Start to run it)
- MySQL Svc is ticked
- MySQL is Running (Click Start to run it)
Now test localhost
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:
- The most likely cause is that Apache or mySQL are not running. Use the Control Panel to check these.
- The VOIP software Skype may in some cases interfere with network settings. If you are using XAMPP or MAMP on a Mac OSX computer which also has Skype installed, ensure that Skype is turned off, then quit and re-start MAMP or XAMPP.
If it has been successful - there will be a splash page with a choice of languages.
- Choose your language
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.