Zen Cart

How to Install Zen Cart on Ubuntu 22.04

Zen Cart is a free, open-source e-commerce application with wide community support. It is written in PHP and requires a MySQL database.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Zen Cart on Ubuntu 22.04 OS.

Step 1: Update Operating System

Update your Ubuntu 22.04 operating system to the latest version with the following command:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Step 2: Install Apache webserver

You can install it via apt package manager by executing the following command.

$ sudo apt install apache2

You can start the Apache service and configure it to run on startup by entering the following commands:

$ sudo systemctl start apache2
$ sudo systemctl enable apache2

Verify the status of the Apache service using systemctl status command:

$ sudo systemctl status apache2


 apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running)
       Docs: https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/
   Main PID: 47636 (apache2)
      Tasks: 55 (limit: 2200)
     Memory: 4.8M
        CPU: 126ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/apache2.service
             ├─47636 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ├─47638 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             └─47639 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

Step 3: Install PHP and PHP extensions for Zen Cart

By default, Ubuntu 22.04 comes with PHP version 8.1. To install PHP and additional PHP modules to support Zen Cart, run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install php php-cli php-common libapache2-mod-php php-curl php-zip php-gd php-mysql php-xml php-mbstring php-json php-intl

Verify if PHP is installed.

php -v
PHP 8.1.2-1ubuntu2.9 (cli) (built: Oct 19 2022 14:58:09) (NTS)
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v4.1.2, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v8.1.2-1ubuntu2.9, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

After installing all the packages, edit the php.ini file:

$ sudo nano /etc/php/8.1/apache2/php.ini

Change the following settings per your requirements:

memory_limit = 512M
post_max_size = 128M
upload_max_filesize = 128M
date.timezone = America/Chicago

To implement the changes, restart Apache webserver:

$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 4: Install MariaDB and create a database

To install MariaDB run the following command:

$ sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client

Verify the status of the MariaDB service using systemctl status command:

$ sudo systemctl status mariadb


 mariadb.service - MariaDB 10.6.11 database server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running)
       Docs: man:mariadbd(8)
    Process: 59747 ExecStartPre=/usr/bin/install -m 755 -o mysql -g root -d /var/run/mysqld (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Process: 59748 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c systemctl unset-environment _WSREP_START_POSITION (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Process: 59750 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c [ ! -e /usr/bin/galera_recovery ] && VAR= ||   VAR=`cd /usr/bin/..; /usr/bin/galera_recovery`; [ $? -eq 0 ]   && >
    Process: 59790 ExecStartPost=/bin/sh -c systemctl unset-environment _WSREP_START_POSITION (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Process: 59792 ExecStartPost=/etc/mysql/debian-start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 59779 (mariadbd)
     Status: "Taking your SQL requests now..."
      Tasks: 9 (limit: 2200)
     Memory: 61.0M
        CPU: 415ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/mariadb.service
             └─59779 /usr/sbin/mariadbd

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script.

$ sudo mysql_secure_installation

Configure it like this:

- Set root password? [Y/n] Y
- Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
- Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
- Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
- Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y

Now run the command below to log in to the MariaDB shell.

$ sudo mysql -u root -p

Once you are logged in to your database server you need to create a database for the Zen Cart installation:

MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE zencart;
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE USER 'zencart'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'Str0ngWedrf1';
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON zencart. * TO 'zencart'@'localhost';
MariaDB [(none)]> exit;

Step 5: Download Zen Cart

The latest version of Zen Cart is available to download from GitHub. As of writing this tutorial, the latest version available is 1.5.8.

$ sudo wget https://github.com/zencart/zencart/archive/refs/tags/v1.5.8.zip --no-check-certificate

Then extract file into the folder /var/www/ with the following command:

$ sudo apt -y install unzip 
$ sudo unzip v1.5.8.zip -d /var/www/

Rename the extracted directory:

$ sudo mv /var/www/zencart-1.5.8 /var/www/zencart/

Then enable permission for the Apache webserver user to access the files:

$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/zencart/

Step 6: Configure Apache for Zen Cart

Run the commands below to create a new VirtualHost file called zencart in the /etc/apache2/sites-available/ directory.

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/zencart.conf

Paste the content as shown below:

 <VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    DocumentRoot /var/www/zencart/
    ServerName your-domain.com
    ServerAlias www.your-domain.com

    <Directory /var/www/zencart/> 
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

    ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/your-domain.com-error_log
    CustomLog /var/log/apache2/your-domain.com-access_log common


Remember to replace your-domain.com with the domain name of your server.

Save and exit the configuration file.

To enable this site run the command:

$ sudo a2ensite zencart.conf

To implement the changes, restart Apache webserver:

$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 7: Install free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate

First we need to install the Certbot client which is used to create Let’s Encrypt certificates:

$ sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-apache

To get the SSL certificate using the Certbot, type the command given below:

$ sudo certbot --apache -d your-domain.com -d www.your-domain.com

If the SSL certificate is successfully obtained, certbot displays a message to show the configuration was successful:

 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   Your key file has been saved at:
   Your cert will expire on 2023-04-02. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot
   again. To non-interactively renew *all* of your certificates, run
   "certbot renew"
 - Your account credentials have been saved in your Certbot
   configuration directory at /etc/letsencrypt. You should make a
   secure backup of this folder now. This configuration directory will
   also contain certificates and private keys obtained by Certbot so
   making regular backups of this folder is ideal.
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

Now, you have successfully installed SSL on your website.

Step 8: Access Zen Cart Web Interface

Open your web browser and type the URL https://your-domain.com/zc_install/index.php. You should see the following page:

Zen Cart System Inspection

Accept the license and click on the Continue.

Zen Cart System Setup

Provide your database information and click the checkbox next to the Load Demo Data option. Then click on the Continue.

Zen Cart Database Setup

Establish a username and email address for the admin of the Zen Cart backend and click Continue.

Zen Cart Admin Setup

Once the installation has been completed, you should see the following page:

Zen Cart finished Installation

Now, open your terminal and remove the installation directory with the following command:

# rm -rf /var/www/zencart/zc_install/

Then if you click on the Your Storefront you should see your shop page:

Your Storefront

Or if you click on the Your Admin Dashboard button you should see the login page:

Login Page

Provide your admin username, password and click on the Submit button. You should see your administration panel.

Comments and Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Zen Cart e-commerce platform. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Zen Cart on your Ubuntu 22.04 OS.

For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the documentation at the official Zen Cart website.

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