How To Install Zen Cart on Ubuntu 15.04

Install Zen Cart on Ubuntu 15.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configuration of Zen Cart on your Ubuntu 15.04.  For those of you who didn’t know, ZenCart is an Open Source e-commerce application. It is written in PHP and requires a MySQL database. Zen cart provides easy customizations of your online store. ZenCart has a built-in system for receiving online payments, setting tax and discount rates, etc. If you have a need for e-commerce 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 and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Zen Cart E-Commerce on a Ubuntu 15.04 server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 15.04.
  • 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 Ubuntu 15.04

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt-get commands in the terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2. Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP)  server.

A Ubuntu 15.04 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here. Also, install all required PHP modules:

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt php5-mysql php5-gd

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 1.5.5:


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

mkdir -p /var/www/html/zen-cart/
mv /var/www/html/zen-cart/

We will need to change some folders permissions:

chown -R www-data: /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.

Create a new virtual host directive in Apache. For example, create a new Apache configuration file named ‘zencart.conf’ on your virtual server:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/zencart.conf
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/zencart.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/zencart.conf
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/zencart.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/zen-cart/
<Directory /var/www/html/zen-cart/>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/ common

Now, we can restart the Apache webserver so that the changes take place:

systemctl restart apache2.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 or http://server-ip/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 Ubuntu 15.04 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, 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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