Updated 2015-08, Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS. Apache 2.4.7, PHP 5.5.9, MySQL 5.5.14

Summary

I wanted a local copy of Joomla to experiment with. It is not a simple thing. You need to have Apache, PHP, and MySQL installed first. Here is the offical list of Joomla Requirements. One shortcut might be to use Xampp. If you don't want to do that, here are the notes on what I did.

  1. Install the Apache web server. Life will be easier if you keep everything in your own public_html directory. If you want to use the same URLs in testing as online, then follow the part about virtual hosts. If you only want to play with Joomla's layout, then that part is not necessary. NOTE: If apache2 and php5 are installed, then libapache2-mod-php5 is automatically installed and contains requirements for mod_xml and mod_zlib.
  2. I tried getting a list of the installed apache modules with apachectl -M. It doesn't list the mod_xml or mod_zlib, so may not be the final say. Just to be safe, since I didn't find mod_mysql, I installed the closet thing I could find, the database modlue, using the commands a2enmod dbd.load and a2enmod rewrite.load.
  3. Make sure PHP is installed. Instructions are at the first link. You will also need to Enable PHP for user directories NOTE: Magic Quotes GPC has been REMOVED from PHP as of version 5.4.0, so you are good with that requirement.
  4. Install theĀ MySQL server. I suggest you include phpmyadmin. The instructions are included in the link. NOTE: As of MySQL 5.1, InnoDB is the default engine, so that requirement is met.
  5. Create a database for Joomla. There are instructions on how using phpmyadmin from the MySQL install in #4. Or use the mysql command line.
  6. Use the Joomla website to download Joomla. The .zip file would be fine. These are text files and scripts that will install Joomla. You don't need the package manager.
  7. Create a directory under you public_html directory and unpack the Joomla files there. I'm going with "joomla". Then you can point your web browser at that directory to get started. The index.php page will send you to ../USER_NAME/public_html/joomla/installation/index.php.
  8. Follow the onscreen prompts. The official Joomla install guide gives a good description of the pages. At one point I noticed the DB user should be root, because one of my lesser-users had problems creating things. You can skip the page on FTP. There is a choice of sample data that is called something like "learning Joomla" if you want some help.
  9. Checking Configuration: On the last tab, there was one red "No" concerning the configuration.php file not being writable. The info pop-up box says you can continue as long as you copy and paste the data into the top-level Joomla directory when you are done. Don't forget to do that. It seemed to work for me.
  10. Delete the Installation folder before continuing. This is NOT the .zip file. Go to the directory you created and delete the folder called "installation". It then worked for me.