Magento development server installation

created August 26, 2011, last updated August 26, 2011.

closeThis post was last updated 11 years 3 months 27 days ago, some of the information contained here may no longer be actual and any referenced software versions may have been updated!

MagentoCommerce made the first stable release of Magento Community Edition available to download on the 18th of August 2011.

I like to have various versions of Magento installed on my development virtual server (Ubuntu distro) for testing and developing my magento modules and I thought it might be useful to share the notes I made to very quickly install another dev instance of Magento, this time the newly released version 1.6.

I use the Magento test data package which includes configured products, images, reviews etc.

Download the Magento Community Edition you wish to install from this link (login required).

From this page you can also download the Sample Data v1.2.0 which although it was released in 2009 still works fine with all Magento versions.

So login to your dev server with an admin account and  change into a suitable location for your dev environment, i.e. /home/www/mydev download the Magento source –


and untar the install package

tar -xvf magento-

This will create a magento folder containing the release. Rename the magento folder to something more meaningful

mv magento magento-1-6-0-dev

remove the downloaded package or if you want to keep it copy it somewhere nice.

Now download the sample data from

Copy it to the same folder containing your magento-dev-1-6-0 folder. You will need to login to the Magento site to get it. Extract with

tar -xvf magento-sample-data-1.2.0.tar.gz

This will create a media folder called  magento-sample-data-1.2.0 containing the images used by the sample data in a media folder, and the sample data itself in an sql file :magento_sample_data_for_1.2.0.sql

Change into the test data directory and copy the media folder to the Magento 1.6 source folder

cp -r ./media/* ../magento-1-6-0-dev/

You can remove the test data folder now if you want. Now we need to set the permissions on the new files for the magento install

Change to the folder containing magento-dev-1-6-0 and set ownership with

chown -R admin-user.www-user

Where admin-user is the admin account you use for administration and www-user is the built in www account, i.e. www-data with Apache and Ubuntu.

Now change into the magento-dev-1-6-0 folder and set the file permissions, For my dev site  I use

for folders:
find ./ -type d | xargs chmod 775
for files: (group and owner read write)
find ./ -type f | xargs chmod o+w,o+r,g+w,g+r

and don’t forget to set the permissions for the mage installer

chmod 550 ./mage  

Now you need to prepare the SQL database for this dev installation. So create a new database in phpMyAdmin or the SQL command line e.g.

CREATE DATABASE  `magento-dev-1-6-0` ;

and import the test data into the new database with

mysql -h localhost -uUSERNAME-pPASSWORD magento-dev-1-6-0 < magento_sample_data_for_1.2.0.sql

Where username and password are your SQL credentials with admin rights over the new database.

This creates a magento database and populates it with the test data. Its important to do this before installing Magento. The Magento installation will detect the test data and make the necessary upgrades changes to the database as it installs.

I like to install each dev instance of magento with its own virtual server i.e. , so I copy an existing Magento apache site config file and update the paths to my new installation, install it in Apache

a2ensite magento-dev-1-6-0

and restart apache to enable the new site. You can also simply use your default web site.

Now we are ready to install Magento, point your browser at your default site and the magento install folder, or the virtual server you created i.e. and the Magento install screen should appear.

Follow the normal Magento install procedure to finish your dev magento install.

Magento 1.6.0 development site with test data
Magento 1.6.0 development site with test data


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