Setting up your workstation for Joomla! development

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This article provides detailed instructions for setting up your workstation for Joomla! development. Note that there are many possible configurations for doing Joomla! development. Any environment that supports Apache, MySql, PHP, and Subversion should work for writing Joomla! code and extensions.

This document provides step-by-step instructions for setting up and working with Apache, PHP, xdebug, Subversion. This instruction uses Eclipse IDE from chapter 4 and onwards. Please refer to the following links for other development tools:

The example used and screenshots are for Windows XP, but the basic steps are the same for Linux.

Install & configure XAMPP, php, Eclipse

Configuring a XAMPP server for joomla development Edit PHP.INI File Configuring Eclipse for joomla development

Install Eclipse Subversion

Before we can start coding in Joomla!, we need to be able to work with the Subversion (SVN) source code repository. Subversion is a third-party plugin for Eclipse, so we need to use the Eclipse Update Manager to install it. To do this, navigate to Help / Software Updates, as shown below.

Eclipse help software updates.png

The Software Updates and Add-ons dialog will display. Select the "Available Software" tab. The list of available update sites will display. Press the "Add Site" button to display the Add Site dialog. Enter "" as the URL, as shown below. NOTE: 1.8 is the current version as of the date of this update: July 20, 2012

Subclipse update site 1.6.png

Press OK and the "Available Software" tab should again display, this time with additional options from the Subclipse site. Select all Subclipse options as shown below. Then press the "Install" button.

Eclipse install update 1.6.png

Eclipse will work for a minute and then display the Install window, shown below. Press the "Next" button. A "Review Licenses" window appears. Click "I accept the terms of the license agreements". Now click finish.

Eclipse install update2 1.6.png

After the files have been downloaded and installed, Eclipse will show the message below recommending that you restart Eclipse. Press "Yes" and Eclipse will restart.

Eclipse install update3.png

Once Eclipse has restarted, we can test that the Subversion plugin is working. Select File / Import as shown below.

File import.png

Then expand the SVN element in the tree. You should see an option called "Checkout Projects from SVN", as shown below.

Svn checkout projects.png

At this point, the plugin has been installed successfully. Press "Cancel" to cancel the import. (We'll import the Joomla! project in the next section.)

Setting up your workstation for Joomla! development -- Part 2

This article is continued here: Setting up your workstation for Joomla! development -- Part 2. This includes checking out the Joomla! source code, debugging Joomla! from Eclipse, creating patch files, and Eclipse tips and tricks.