Joomla! Installation on a Virtual Server on the Net

3 min read

In principle the simplest approach that actually always works is the following:

  1. Load the Joomla! 1.5 file onto your local PC and unpack it in a temporary directory.
  2. Load the just unpacked files by means of FTP onto your rented server. The files must be installed in the publicly accessible directory. These directories are usually named htdocs, public_html, or simply html. You can specify a subdirectory within the directory into which you install your Joomla!. Many web hosts allow you to link your rented domain name to a directory. This name is necessary to call your website from a browser.
  3. You have to find out what your database is called. Usually one or several databases are included in your web-hosting package. Sometimes the user name, database name, and password are fixed; sometimes you have to set them up. There is usually a browser-based configuration interface at your disposal. You can see an example of such an interface in the following figure. You will need these access data for Joomla!’s web installer.

You can get going after you have loaded these data onto your server and are in possession of your access data.

Joomla! Installation

To install Joomla!, you need the source code. Download the package and save it on your system.

Selecting a Directory for Installation

You have to decide whether Joomla! needs to be installed directly into a document directory or a subdirectory. This is important, since many users prefer a short URL to their homepage.

An Example

If Joomla! is unzipped directly in /htdocs, the web page starts when the domain name is accessed from its local computer http://localhost/ and/or from the server on the Internet. If subdirectories are created under /htdocs/, for example, /htdocs/Joomla150/ and we unzip the package there, we have to enter http://localhost/Joomla150/ in the browser. This isn’t a problem locally, but doesn’t look good on a production Internet page.

Some HTML files and subdirectories, however, are already in /htdocs in the local XAMPP Lite environment under Windows, which, for example, displays the start page of XAMPP Lite. In a local Linux environment, a starting page dependent on the distribution and the web server settings is also displayed.


I recommend that you create a subdirectory under the document directory named Joomla150 in Windows by using Windows Explorer. (With Linux, use the Shell, KDE Konqueror, or Midnight Commander.)


The directory tree in Windows Explorer should look like this:

Joomla! Installation on a Virtual Server on the Net

An empty index appears in the XAMPP Lite version when the URL http://localhost/Joomla150 is entered in the browser:

Joomla! Installation on a Virtual Server on the Net

With Linux or with another configuration it can happen that you get a message saying that you don’t have access to this directory. This depends on the configuration of the web server. For security reasons, the automatic directory display is often deactivated in Apache’s configuration. A potential hacker could draw many interesting conclusions about the directory structure and the files on your homepage and target your computer for an attack.

For security reasons, you are usually not allowed to access the appropriate configuration file of the Apache web server. Should you be able to, you should leave the content directories deactivated and/or only activated for those directories that contain files for downloading.





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