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Joomla! is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet. It is used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Joomla! is easy to install, simple to manage, and reliable.

For more details see: Joomla!

Joomla! v1.6 page has the next version info and template.

Recommended settings

  • Memory (MB): 512
  • Swap (MB): 512
  • Hard disk (GB): 8

Appliance specific settings

  • Mysql root password: admin

Please change this for security reason:

  • via command line after the first boot:
mysqladmin -u root -p password yournewpasswordhere
  • Set the server timezone via command line:
dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Joomla! settings

  • Main software packages: Debian Lenny, Joomla 1.5.15, MySQL 5, Postfix, Apache2, PHP5

First steps

Start the VM and open a VNC console and install the latest security updates.

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Now, connect to the Joomla! web installer http://youripaddress and follow the instructions.

After finishing, you need to backup and remove the installation directory. Open a VNC or SSH console and execute:

tar -zcvpf /var/backups/installation.tar.gz /var/www/joomla/installation/*
rm -rf /var/www/joomla/installation/

Getting Joomla SVN code

The folks at have not provided links for directly downloading svn files as tar.gz archives. The following obtains the necessary tar balls.

If you have not done so once, then:

apt-get install subversion

Do a checkout:

svn checkout --username "anonymous" --password ""
cd 1.5
find . -type d -name '.svn' -print0 | xargs -0 rm -rdf
cd ..
tar -zcvf joomla15_svn.tar.gz 1.5/*
rm -rf 1.5

or an export (always sets last commit time - no authentication required - target directory must not exist):

svn export
tar -zcvf joomla15_svn.tar.gz 1.5/*
rm -rf 1.5

A bash script to obtain the changed files between SVNs is available here with comments in it for usage and options.

Upgrading to v1.5.xx

After having successfully set up Joomla v1.5.15 from the template here, you can upgrade the installation to the latest v1.5.xx.

Log in to the Virtual Machine console and issue the following commands (adapt the version based on your environment)

cd /var/www/joomla
tar -zxvf Joomla_1.5.15_to_1.5.22-Stable-Patch_Package.tar.gz
rm Joomla_1.5.15_to_1.5.22-Stable-Patch_Package.tar.gz
cd ..
chown -R www-data:www-data joomla

Now login to the administrator page on a browser and you will see that the version shows 1.5.22. Viola! You're done!

When you enter the tar -xvf or tar -zxvf ... command, sometimes you may get an error like:

tar -xvf Joomla_1.5.15_to_1.5.22-Stable-Patch_Package.tar.gz
  tar: This does not look like a tar archive
  tar: Skipping to next header
  tar: Archive contains obsolescent base-64 headers
  tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors

This is easily sorted out by extracting the tar file first and then decompressing it like:

gzip -d Joomla_1.5.15_to_1.5.22-Stable-Patch_Package.tar.gz
tar -xf Joomla_1.5.15_to_1.5.22-Stable-Patch_Package.tar

Kindly refer the Post Release FAQs link at the end of this page for any issues and fixes that may have surfaced since this release.

If you are bothered by file permissions that you may have set manually after the v1.5.15 to be retained, then prepare the Joomla upgrade files in a separate folder with the owner set as www-data and then copy them over into the joomla folder fully.

How to see the Joomla Version

Login to as an admin on the admin console (for example at and you will see the Joomla version number on the right hand top corner in the logged in page.

Running Joomla in SSL Mode

make-ssl-cert command is found in the ssl-cert package which comes installed by default in the Joomla template here.

Although we can use the pre-created SSL certificate for the Snake Oil Company available at /etc/ssl/certs and /etc/ssl/private folders, it is advisable for the sake of uniqueness of each install, to regenerate them thus:

make-ssl-cert generate-default-snakeoil --force-overwrite

In order to run Joomla in SSL mode (HTTPS), we need to upload a file (say, named ssl which is a subset of the file at /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl) with the following contents atleast:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost _default_:443>
	ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

	DocumentRoot /var/www/joomla/
	<Directory />
		Options FollowSymLinks
		AllowOverride None
	<Directory /var/www/joomla/>
		Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
		AllowOverride None
		Order allow,deny
		allow from all

	ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log
	LogLevel warn

	CustomLog /var/log/apache2/ssl_access.log combined

	SSLEngine on

	SSLCertificateFile    /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
	SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key

	<FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
		SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

	BrowserMatch ".*MSIE.*" \
		nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
		downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0


Then we need to execute the following:

a2enmod ssl
a2ensite ssl
/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

Now we can browse to https://youripaddress to view the site in SSL mode.

Checking the Server

The Acronym lsof is list open files.
The console command # lsof -i :80 will output like:

apache2 11191     root    3u  IPv4 5632521       TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2 11343 www-data    3u  IPv4 5632521       TCP *:www (LISTEN)
apache2 11347 www-data    3u  IPv4 5632521       TCP *:www (LISTEN)

If SSL is enabled, then the console command # lsof -i :443 will output like:

apache2 11191     root    4u  IPv4 5632523       TCP *:https (LISTEN)
apache2 11343 www-data    4u  IPv4 5632523       TCP *:https (LISTEN)
apache2 11347 www-data    4u  IPv4 5632523       TCP *:https (LISTEN)

Documentation and HowTo´s about Joomla!

Joomla! | Post Release FAQs and BugFixes | JTS Post Utility | Andy Wallace Joomla! 1.5 Install Manual