Useful Resources for sNusers

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Installing sNews:  Main  Install 1.4  Install 1.6 or 1.5  
Server Installation:  Install XAMPP-XP  
Databases:  For sNews  SQL Files  Multiple Installations  
Installing XAMPP for Windows XP

Installing XAMPP for WinXP

Running your own server offline

Running your own Apache and MySQL Server environment on your home or office computer for offline web development is very convenient, mainly because you don't need to be connected to the web or have a hosting account set up until you are actually ready to put something online. You can develop all your php/MySQL-based websites offline this way.

One of the more popular all-in server bundles - XAMPP - is available Free and regularly updated almost as soon as any of its components (Apache, MySQL, etc.) are updated. The latest Windows XP version... available as of November 26, 2006... includes everything you need: Apache 2.2.3, PHP 5.2.0 and 4.4.4, MySQL 5.0.27, phpMyAdmin, FileZilla FTP Server 0.9.20, and Open SSL 0.9.8d.

This Tutorial will focus on installing and setting up the XAMPP package on your WinXP machine... creating your database... and moving on to installing sNews 1.4.

The first step... of course... is downloading the WinXP XAMPP Installer [MD5] Package, officially known as xampp-win32-1.5.3a-installer.exe from Apache Friends.

Installing XAMPP

Step 1: Create a new directory called xampp in the root of your primary hard drive, which is normally C:/xampp.

Step 2: Open Windows Explorer and browse to the xampp Installer.exe location, double-click it, choose the language you want and proceed. The Install Wizard should now display. Click "Next".

Step 3: Select the folder for your installation... the C:/xampp folder... and continue. The installation will take a few minutes. The installation requires about 211 MB of space, with more than 7,000 files being created. When the installation is completed, click "Finish" and close the Install Wizard.

Step 4 - Installing the Services The next few panels we will see on your desktop will ask you if you want to install each of the main services. Click "Yes" for Apache 2, and it should be installed successfully to Ports 80 and 443. Click "yes" to MySQL and it should be successfully installed on Port 3306. If you do not have an FTP Utility and want to install FileZilla Server to FTP your site files to a host server later on, choose "Yes" to install it. If not, choose "No" and continue.

By now you should get a message saying the Installation was successful... and asking you if you want to start the XAMPP Control Panel now. Click "Yes", and the control panel should appear, showing Apache and MySQL running as a service. Do not close the Control Panel, just minimize it for now.

You should now have an orange XAMPP Shortcut logo on your desktop, You can use this to open the Control Panel for future server sessions. You should also have a little orange icon in the lower right corner of your desktop with your active programs icon group as well. When you shut down and close the Control Panel at the end of your server session, this will go away and not appear until you open the Control Panel again.

Activate the Apache mod_rewrite module

At this point, it's time to maximize the Control Panel. You'll see that both Apache and MySQL are noted as running, highlighted in green. Click the "Stop" buttons for both, one at a time, to turn them off. Do not close the panel, just minimize it again for a while.

In your good code editing application, browse for - and open - the xampp/apache/conf/httpd.conf file. Scroll down to line #118 and you should see this line: #LoadModule rewrite_module modules/ The # sign at the start of the line makes the line inactive. Remove the # sign to active the line. When you re-start Apache Server, this line will load the mod_rewrite module so your sNews site will function. Save and close the file.

The sNews Installation Steps

Take a few minutes to go through the Installation procedure for sNews 1.4 or sNews 1.5, depending on which version you will be installing. You will notice that the installation procedure involves making your Configuration settings in the snews.php file, which includes the settings that correspond to your database. Further down, we talk about using a Dump File to create the database. Download the snews14.sql dump file for sNews 1.4 or the snews15.sql dump file for sNews 1.5... and save it to the folder where your originally downloaded your .zip package. We'll use this now to create your sNews database.

Creating your sNews Database

Step 1: Maximize the XAMPP Control Panel and switch both Apache and MySQL on again.

Step 2: Open the XAMPP Home Page with this LINK. If you want to change the language, choose your language from the Languages section of the left-side menu-bar.

Step 3: Click on phpMyAdmin from the Tools section. Click on the Databases drop-down field to see what databases are already installed by default with the XAMPP package. Do not tamper with these databases as they are what make things function. When you create your new database, it will be visible in the drop-down too.

In the Main Panel, there are lists of functions and information links under MySQL and phpMyAdmin headings. Locate the "Create new database" fields as shown below. The field shown has snews1 typed in it but yours will be empty.

This is where you type in the name of the database you want to create. Whatever name you use, remember it and/or record it in your work log file. From the "Collation" drop-down, scroll down to find and choose the collation setting you require. If you are not sure, pick utf8_bin from the UTF8 section, at the bottom of the list. Then click "Create". You will then see the SQL query box with a message above it saying your database has been created. You should now see it listed in the Database drop-down to the left.

Step 4: click on the "Import" tab in the top horizontal menu bar. We want to use the "File to import" section. Use the "Browse" button to locate the dump file you downloaded. Next, click the "GO" button in the bottom left corner. If all goes well... and it should... you will see new tables in the left side-bar panel under the snews1 database - 3 if you used the snews14.sql file or 4 if you used the snews15.sql file. Your database has been created and populated with your tables. You can now close your connection to phpMyAdmin.

Installing your sNews Package

If you haven't done it yet, it is now time to install your sNews package in the C:/xampp/xampp/htdocs folder. The htdocs folder is your server system root folder. When you type http://localhost/snews1 in your browser address bar, your sNews home page will display... providing you have installed your snews files and folders in a folder named snews1 within the htdocs folder. Continue with the sNews 1.4 or sNews 1.5 installation now and you should be working on your site very shortly!