the incredibly sloppy guide to installing joomla on Mac OS X

January 2nd, 2006

Joomla is a really nifty CMS (Content Management System), it’s used for everything from small personal websites to large corporate installations. Setting it up on Mac OS X requires a little work, but luckily, not too much work, or we wouldn’t be discussing it at all. Here’s a half-half-assed (quarter-assed?) guide to getting Joomla up and running on your mac:

  1. Install MySQL. This sounds like a pain in the butt, but the Mac OS X package installer is really not that bad and installs everything nicely into /usr/local/bin/ like it should. I don’t think you have to actually do everything this dude suggests, but his suggestions are in fact the right way to do it. Make sure to assign a root password, either by using the Terminal or the PreferencePane.
  2. Install YourSQL into your /Applications folder. Use YourSQL to make a database by entering host (localhost) user (root) and password (whatever you set it to) to connect, then click on the column that says “localhost”, then click on “Create Database”. Name your database “joomla”.
  3. Enable PHP on your mac.
  4. Download Joomla (currently at version 1.0.5), double-click to decompress the .gz archive, and rename the resultant messy joomla_1.0.x-blablalba folder to just plain “joomla”, then move it to the “Documents” folder in the “WebServer” folder in the “Library” folder on your hard drive.
  5. Navigate via a web browser to http://localhost/joomla/
  6. A lovely config page will come up and tell you what is right and what is wrong in the joomla installation. You’ll have to chmod a bunch of the files. Open the terminal, type chmod 777, hit space, then drop (one by one) the incorrectly set folders in the joomla directory, hitting return after each one.
    NOTE: I’m sure chmod 777 is too permissive, but who cares. It can be fixed later.

  7. Reload http://localhost/joomla/ to check to make sure all the permissions are correct. When they all are, proceed through the rest of the install; you’ll be asked for the MySQL user, password, and database name (localhost, root, and whatever you set it to).
    NOTE: Using the mysql root user is probably bad, but again, who cares. This, also, can be fixed later.

  8. At the last stage of installation, it’ll give you a box filled with words. Lots and lots of words. Copy all those words, put them in a text file, name the text file “configuration.php”, and save that text file inside the joomla folder.
  9. Delete the “Installation” directory in your Joomla folder.
  10. Go to http://localhost//joomla/ . Now you have Joomla! Lots and lots of Joomla.So much Joomla. Administer joomla here:
    http://localhost/joomla/administrator/ .


20 Responses to “the incredibly sloppy guide to installing joomla on Mac OS X”

  1. Jason says:

    (Website is actually down right now).

    Looking at the Joomla world, but am not a programmer, not yet completely familiar with Tiger, yet wanting all the nice goodies I’m seeing with Joomla in keeping a few websites up-to-date and not 3rd grade looking.

    These instructions still work for Tiger? Any changes? Any other good resources if there are differences?

    Great info. Thanks!


  2. Ferndave says:

    There’s a great solution for getting Apache, mySQL, and PHP running on a Mac without any hassle or sloppiness. It’s called MAMP. The web site is:

    It’s a simple version of a web server all in one folder. It takes longer to copy the folder from the dmg than to get it running.

    To get Joomla going, all I had to do was copy the uncompressed Joomla folder into the htdocs folder inside the MAMP folder. That’s it.

  3. Marcus says:


    I’m new to this, here’s what I did.

    I did exactly as Ferndave did, and MAMP works perfectly as my local websever on my Mac G4. However, when i put the Joomla folder into the htdocs folder inside the MAMP folder, I couldn’t get the Joomla page to load. It couldn’t find index.php.

    Not sure what i have done wrong, i renamed the Joomla folder ‘Joomla_1.0.12-Stable-Full_Package’ to ‘Joomla_1’.

    any help would be much appreciated!

  4. artyford says:

    I’m at the same stage as Marcus I think…

    1. MAMP installed in Applications
    2. Joomla unzipped and moved into Applications/MAMP/htdocs/joomla/
    3. installed MAMP widget and started server

    *4. Ferndave/Marcus: What’s the equivalent URL to Jeff’s “Step 5” http://localhost/joomla/ ?

    Many thanks in advance…

  5. artyford says:

    he he…answered my own Question…


    Marcus: run the MAMP app to see which port number to use…

  6. worked says:

    Worked well (the sloppy directions)… Thank you for posting.

    I recently applied Joomla! to my host server and am having issues with uploading components and templates. I believe it’s because the host is running IIS (Windows server) not apache. So on my localhost (OSX 4.10) I’m testing this theory. Here’s hoping!

  7. worked says:

    I have no issues uploading components, modules or templates on the apache server… looks like I need to find a new apache host server. :)

    Thanks again for posting the instructions!

  8. worked says:

    Hey there- So I tried to install the ionCube Loader needed to run jReviews and everything blew-up. Joomla gives me a warning that states” Could not connect to the database server.” After much trial and error I uninstalled MySQL and reinstalled… now I can’t get the server to start and it still throws me the same error message. This Joomla world just feels unstable to me… Any help is appreciated!

  9. artyford says:

    Sorry ‘worked’, I have no experience with a non-local server yet, though if I were in your boat I’d make sure I’d covered off everything here:

    …and get your server host on the case ref system requirements.

    Good luck.

  10. Clemente says:

    Hey Marcus,

    Just a quick note to say thanks for the advice on MAMP really works, can’t believe I got it right, so thanks for that.

    Happy Joomal all, and good luck.

  11. […] incredibly sloppy guide to installing joomla on Mac OS XSource: mentions in this article, for full text please visit source…. Joomla is a really nifty […]

  12. bimoseptyop says:

    have you gat trouble like this:
    Could not connect to the database server

  13. Stephen says:

    Well I really could do with some help here. Installed Mamp fine no problems. Installed new database using Mamp, I think, no problems, Downloaded, unzipped Joomla and copied files to Mamp/Htdocs. I have typed every conceivable variation of Http//localhost/?? etc I could think of, even navigated using File>open in Opera, Safari and Firefox and get essentially the same message every time, i.e. “the requested url was not found on this server”.

    I know it must be something very simple and basic but it is clearly beyond my limited knowledge. Help??

  14. Banaz says:

    I´m on the secound step of the installation wizard for joomla. I´m 100% sure that I´m entering the right host, user and password, but it keeps on complaning that the user and password are indorrect.
    Do any one know what the problem is?

    Pleeeeease, I realy want to tray to use joomla… :-(

  15. […] the incredibly sloppy guide to installing joomla on Mac OS X Friday, January 06, 2006 Joomla is a really nifty CMS (Content Management System), it’s used for everything from small personal websites to large corporate installations. Setting it up on Mac OS X requires a little work, but luckily, not too much work, … […]

  16. TheFinder says:

    good article on how to install joomla after you installed MAMP

  17. Fried says:

    The built in stuff works fine! No need to go thorugh any installation other than mySQL. I don’t like installing stuff unneccesarily!

    The whole procedure is exceptionally simple – the most ‘complex’ being the PHP enabling – you actually have to type stuff in a file!

    One thing that snagged me when trying to get http://localhost/joomla/ to run and cursing for ages not being able to find out why, until I realised that the ‘Joomla’ folder permissions were set to only my local user name! Set this to all users access, and away you go!

    Next problem was how to set user credentials in my/YourSQL so Joomla could connect to the DB – that was another hair pulling exercise being new to Macs, but I found the mysql Database with YourSQL and the ‘users’ table has those fileds that can be edited…

    When I made those changes, I could connect to the DB but was blocked again because of my browser cookie settings! After changing that, I could no longer connect to the DB using ‘localhost’ as the server, but worked fine…

  18. Tom says:

    Hi. I have the same problem as Fried.
    When I got to load http://localhost/joomla/ I get the message that it is Forbidden, “You don’t have permission to access /joomla/ on this server.”

    I look at the permissions on the joomla folder at I’ve enabled access form me and the Administrator (one in the same thing, I thought).

    What am I missing?


  19. […] The person creating the site requested Joomla! and phpMyAdmin. I’ve followed the following website ( … -mac-os-x/) to get as far as I can, and then I get stuck with the "Unable to connect to the […]

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