How To Install Zen Cart on CentOS 7

Install Zen Cart on CentOS 7

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configuration of Zen Cart on your CentOS 7.  For those of you who didn’t know, Zen Cart E-Commerce is one of the most popular open-source e-commerce shopping cart software. It is a PHP-based online store management system and can easily be installed on top of a LAMP server. Zen Cart is fully customizable so you can run an online store and control all of its features and capabilities in no time. If you have a need for eCommerce make sure you check out Zen Cart first.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Zen Cart E-Commerce in CentOS 7.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: CentOS 7.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Zen Cart on CentOS 7

Step 1. First, let’s start by ensuring your system is up-to-date.

yum -y update

Step 2. Install the LAMP server.

A CentOS 7 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here.

Step 3. Installing Zen Cart.

The first thing to do is to go to Zen Cart’s download page and download the latest stable version of Zen Cart, At the moment of writing this article it is version 1.5.4:

wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/zencart/CURRENT%20-%20Zen%20Cart%201.5.x%20Series/zen-cart-v1.5.4-12302014.zip

Unpack the Zen Cart archive to the document root directory on your server:

mkdir -p /var/www/html/zen-cart/
unzip zen-cart-v1.5.4-12302014.zip
mv zen-cart-v1.5.4-12302014 /var/www/html/zen-cart/

We will need to change some folders permissions:

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html/zen-cart/

Set the permissions for these files and directories to 777 using the following commands:

cd /var/www/html/zen-cart/
mv admin/includes/dist-configure.php admin/includes/configure.php
mv includes/dist-configure.php includes/configure.php
chmod 777 admin/includes/configure.php
chmod 777 includes/configure.php
chmod 777 cache
chmod 777 includes/languages/english/html_includes
chmod 777 logs
chmod 777 media
chmod 777 pub
chmod 777 images/
chmod 777 admin/backups
chmod 777 admin/images/graphs

Step 4. Configuring MariaDB for Zen Cart.

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script. you should read and below each step carefully which will set a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MariaDB:


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

Next, we will need to log in to the MariaDB console and create a database for the Zen Cart. Run the following command:

mysql -u root -p

This will prompt you for a password, so enter your MariaDB root password and hit Enter. Once you are logged in to your database server you need to create a database for Zen Cart installation:

CREATE USER 'zencartuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-password-here';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON zencart.* TO 'zencartuser'@'localhost';

Step 5. Configuring Apache web server for Zen Cart.

We will create an Apache virtual host for your Zen Cart website. First, create ‘/etc/httpd/conf.d/vhosts.conf’ file with using a text editor of your choice:

nano /etc/httpd/conf.d/vhosts.conf

IncludeOptional vhosts.d/*.conf

Next, create the virtual host:

mkdir /etc/httpd/vhosts.d/
nano /etc/httpd/vhosts.d/yourdomain.com.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost YOUR_SERVER_IP:80>
ServerAdmin webmaster@yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/zen-cart/"
ServerName yourdomain.com
ServerAlias www.yourdomain.com
ErrorLog "/var/log/httpd/yourdomain.com-error_log"
CustomLog "/var/log/httpd/yourdomain.com-access_log" combined

<Directory "/var/www/html/zen-cart/">
DirectoryIndex index.html index.php
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

Save and close the file. Restart the apache service for the changes to take effects:

systemctl restart httpd.service

Step 6. Accessing the Zen Cart.

Zen Cart will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to http://your-domain.com/zc_install or http://server-ip-address/zc_install and complete the required steps to finish the installation. If you are using a firewall, please open port 80 to enable access to the control panel.

For security reasons, delete the ‘/zc_install’ directory and reset permissions of your ‘/admin/includes/configure.php’ and ‘/includes/configure.php’ files to read-only mode. Also, rename the ‘/admin’ directory to a name less likely to be ‘guessed’ by someone probing your site for illegitimate access.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Zen Cart. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Zen Cart E-Commerce on your CentOS 7 system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Zen Cart E-Commerce website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to idroot.us, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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