Setting up your workstation for Joomla! development

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Revision as of 11:39, 27 November 2009 by Dextercowley (Talk | contribs)

Not sure if this is the right place for this -

This is an excellent page. Probably the best I've yet used on this site. Detailed and clear.

As it brings in a lot of different applications, its hard to know where to go for support on particular issues - a table or some such with the relevant support forums or channels would help a lot.

My particular problem - Everything works fine and tests fine but when I go to use xDebug in Eclipse as described, the 'break at first line' or explicit setting of breakpoints are ignored. The session terminates and the page appears as if they were not there.

There is probably some 'obvious' global setting I've missed but I can't find any solution through google although I have found a few threads by people with the same problem (and no solution).

Please Post a Question to Joomla! Coding 101 Forum

Hi. Why don't you post your question to the Joomla! Coding 101 Forum. I'll try to look for it, and there are probably people there who know way more about this than I do. Thanks. Mark Dexter 18:57, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

About not deleting the "Installation" folder

The tutorial says "you don't have to or don't want to delete the "installation" folder" and then goes on and says that if you run "administrator/index.php" you will see the admin login page. but this doesn't happen since the installation folder hasn't been deleted. what is shown is the warning to delete the folder.

Hi. That's interesting. On my system, when I run through Eclipse, it works fine without deleting the installation folder. That's why I put that information in there. Honestly, I don't understand why you don't get the warning the way you normally do. Are you running from inside Eclipse or just from the browser? In any case, you might want to post this question in the Joomla Development Forum, since those people know a lot more about this than I do. Mark Dexter 10:58, 7 September 2008 (EDT)

would be really nice to know how to fix the current conflict with zend and xdebug. PHP Fatal error: [Zend Optimizer] Zend Optimizer 3.3.3 is incompatible with Xdebug 2.0.3 in Unknown on line 0 which causes apache to promptly shutdown. I don't know which to turn off, zend or xdebug --N6REJ 13:56, 23 December 2008 (UTC) Troy

the php_xdebug should be commented out

Sorry.... reverted my changes. My install is still crashing. Others are having the same issue, I have to find out what the definitive fix is.

Vista Issue with xdebug

Hi. Are you running Windows Vista? If so, the xdebug DLL that is included with XAMPP doesn't work. You need to download the DLL file from the XDebug website. See the instructions here: Setting_up_your_workstation_for_Joomla!_development#Edit_PHP.INI_File. Mark Dexter 16:56, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Mark installed XAMPP on 64 bit Vista, however I am (still) finding installing XAMPP 32 bit Vista to be a significant headache. this by the way appears not to be an XAMPP problem by an Apache+XDebug+Vista problem.

I first had difficulty getting both Apache & mySQL to run at the same time - permission issues were reported. I *think* I solved that by right clicking on the XAMMP installation file and selecting "Run as adminstrator".

Having got both Apache & mySQL going together, I tried running XAMPP default screen & phpInfo with php_xdebug.dll (as supplied), php_xdebug-2.0.2-5.2.5.dll (just because I had it) and php_xdebug-2.0.4-5.2.8.dll (as recommended). All failed, occasionally after raising my hopes just enough...

Now I find that I can't start Apache (ERROR: Apache service not started [1]) and I can't stop mySQL (ERROR: MySql service not stopped [1]).

At present, I'm going to keep googling "apache xdebug vista" and see if anything turns up. --Pete Nurse 06:00, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Vista Issues

Hi Pete. I am currently working with the Xdebug dll php_xdebug-2.0.2-5.2.5.dll. I am still working this out, but it appears that the more recent one, php_xdebug-2.0.4-5.2.8.dll, sometimes crashes Apache. With the earlier DLL I am able to debug and run normally, at least so far.

I am having two issues. (1) How to start apache and mysql automatically. (2) When I run phing, I get the annoying "CLI has stopped working" message. It works fine and doesn't cause any problems -- just annoying. So, why don't you try that dll and see if that works for me. And if you have the autostart figured out, please let me know. Thanks. Mark Dexter 13:44, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Solved crashing issue Apache - XAMPP 1.7 for Win Vista 32 - with XDebug

I uncommented extension=php_xdebug.dll in the Dynamic Extensions section of php.ini

All is fine now. Apache was crashing repeatedly even with the latest xdebug.dll

I am not sure why this needs to be in the Dynamic Extensions section as later in the php.ini file the library is referenced as zend_extension_ts="C:\xampp\php\ext\php_xdebug.dll"

More on the Vista/Apache/XDebug Nexus

On 32-bit Vista, I think I've managed to tame the problem. (Note "tamed" rather than "control"!)

The procedure is as follows:-

  • Install XAMPP using the right click/Run as administrator. I'm not totally sure that Run as administator is necessary here but it can't hurt.
  • Replace the supplied php_xdebug.dll with php_xdebug-2.0.4-5.2.8.dll (as discussed in the main document).
  • Update php.ini line (change this to suit your installation) from
  • Start XAMPP using Run as administrator - this is extremely important.
  • Check operation by clicking the Apache Admin button in the XAMPP Control Panel.
  • I find the previous step often fails with Apache turning itself off and giving the following error
Connection Interrupted
The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.
The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again.
  • Restart Apache and recheck as many times as necessary before it runs correctly.

I have found that once Apache runs reliably, it's good until I reboot the PC.

More art than science I'll admit, but at least it works for me! --Pete Nurse 23:08, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Vista 64/Xdebug

I finally got my Vista-64 machine to work nicely with xdebug. The final solution was the one that Mark suggested of going backlevel on xdebug (instead of the most recent as the page suggests). My apache 2.2 was crashing with "Parent: child process exited with status 255 -- Restarting" in the apache log file.

My configuration: Vista/64 ultimate; Apache2.2; PHP 5.2.6; php_xdebug-2.0.2-5.2.5.dll

This was very frustrating getting this to work, but the few minutes of xdebug I had between crashes were so enticing, I had to keep plugging away at it. Much better that the code tab of Dreamweaver!

To autostart Apache & Mysql on a windows machine, you want to go to services and change the start type to auto.

Start/type "Services" Right click on Apache, select Properties Select "automatic" from the startup type dropdown menu.

Do the same to MySql.

Now that I have this set, time to get back to working on my application for summer of code...

Thanks for the great documentation, by the way! Andy

Sueter 20:07, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Spoke too soon

The fix wasn't as stable as I'd hoped. My periodic crashes have become more frequent and I just had to comment out xdebug to allow joomlapack to run without crashing.


One more try with Vista 64 that's working

Mark suggested dropping all the way back to php_xdebug-2.0.0-5.2.2.dll. That has been working successfully for a short time now, so I have my fingers crossed. So if you are having problems on a Vista 64 machine, try that.


Sueter 15:27, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Subclipse 1.6.x incompatibilities, use 1.4.x instead

Install Eclipse Subversion:

"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."

Unfortunately this version does not work, as JoomlaCode SVN is too old and does not work well with the new API in 1.6.x. At least SVN merges will fail, but there are other incompatibilities as well. Use "" instead..

BTW: when JoomlaCode SVN will be updated to the newer version? New SVN tools for Eclipse are so much better..

Matias 4-Oct-2009

Hi. I have been using Subversion 1.6 on my Windows Vista-64 Eclipse for several months now with no problems. The 1.4 version works as well, as far as I know. A newer server for Joomlacode is in the works and we hope to have an SVN update on the server side within a few weeks. Mark Dexter 15:22, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Refactoring article into smaller pieces

Hi, all. Thank you to everyone who has built up this wonderful article. It was very helpful to me as I got my workstation set up.

I think that this article is big and complex enough that it would benefit from being broken down into smaller pieces. I would like to add my lessons learned to the article. This means adding a step, setting up multiple virtual hosts in multiple separate development directories, and also adding platform and tool variations, e.g. EasyEclipse for PHP on Mac OS X. The article is barely manageable now. Adding a few more pieces like these would make it too complex, I think.

I propose keeping this article as an overview, with links off to the subarticles. The overview would be broken into several steps, each step getting one piece of functionality working and having a measurable end-point (web pages displaying, stepping in debugging working, etc.). There could be multiple articles for each step, showing different ways to accomplish that goal, or telling a different story for a particular platform.

Comments? Objections? JimDeLaHunt 07:35, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

My only concern is that it be easy to follow in a step-by-step process for new users, without having to follow too many links. Maybe one way to do it would be by platform: Windows, Linux, and Mac. Each user is only going to be interested in one of these platforms, so allowing them to skip information for other platforms would make sense. Even if there is some duplication for information that applies to all platforms, I don't think this would be too bad. Those are my thoughts. Mark Dexter 16:39, 27 November 2009 (UTC)