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Setting Up a Virtuemart Development Environment

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Don’t get stuck in the setup stage of your development no matter what the challenge might be. In case you’ve just initialize a development project, chances are you’ve already set up a virtuemart development environment using the IDE and SVN program. However if you are still battling with the set up or you just want to make it better, the following guidelines will help you to do just that.

The programs listed below are recommended for working with VirtueMart as well as synchronizing the working index with the local SVN source:

  • TortoiseSVN or SmartSVN
  • Aptana or Eclipse for php

In fact, there are many programs that can perform the same function as the aforementioned ones, however, these are just recommendations. Whichever program you choose for the job, you also need to install Jdump.

 Setting Up an IDE and SVN

Setting up an IDE and SVN is somehow technical, but can become part of you if you follow the standard procedure. In case you want to join a project, make sure that you have a working environment that’s quite similar to the ones used by other developers. One of the benefits of having a similar working environment other developers is because it makes it easier to help one another.

Important note: do not use the standard jos_prefixed, but something new entirely. We use jos_ in the example below because it helps to hardcoded prefixes.

Furthermore, make sure that you install your Joomla in a domain that has subdomain and path, for instance, shop.localhost/vm2/. The major reason for this is for developers to be able to find path problems.

Follow the explanation below to set up an IDE:


We use Jdump for development and testing

(http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/miscellaneous/development/1509). All dump() calls are outcommented or removed in the official releases (including beta, RC, and final), however, this extension is required for SVN checkout of development releases.


The 3 root folder for SVN are; trunk, tags, and branches. The trunk folder is used for presently active development, tags folder for public releases, and the branches folder is used for code branches.

The structure found in the three folders resemble the structure in a standard Joomla installation, but only comprises of the VirtueMart code.

For backend, frontend, plugins, and modules, three different folders are used.

Trunk/virtuemart/administrator/components/com_virtuemart ;pure vm

Trunk/virtuemart/administrator/language ;mixed

Trunk/virtuemart/components/com_virtuemart ;pure vm

Trunk/virtuemart/language ;mixed

Trunk/virtuemart/plugins ;mixed

Trunk/virtuemart/plugins/vmcustom ;pure vm

trunk/virtuemart/plugins/vmpayment ;pure vm

trunk/virtuemart/plugins/vmshipment ;pure vm

trunk/virtuemart/modules/ ;mixed

The /trunk is the Joomla base root = jRoot.

In case you have a Joomla installation, the best thing you can do is to make 1 checkout for back and frontend. The following is used for checkout on the Joomla base root:

svn co https://dev.virtuemart.net/svn/virtuemart/trunk/virtuemart

You should now have the latest version of VirtueMart after updating the process. For the best experience use “Install tables, or update them if necessary” function to get the latest table layout.

Important note: if you use j1.5, make sure that you copy the plugins manually from the subfolder (weight_countrie.php and weight_countrie.xml into the main directory). The reason for this is because j1.5 requires the plugins in the folder of the “plugin family” similar to vmpayment. However, j1.5 stores the plugins in the family folder and in its own folder, for instance vmpayment/paypal.

Installation of VirtueMart into IDE

Manual installation is likely the best method, however you’ll need to execute eql manually. In order to avoid phpmyadmin, try any of the following:

Move Joomla files into a directory (example: directory called Joomla), then install Joomla to create the database.

Make sure that you install VM along with the installer so as to install VM tables in the database [[create virtuemart installer]].

Furthermore, download the payment plugin installer from the following URL address:


Explore VM in a blank directory, which should be named “virtuemart” so as to fit the name from SVN directory structure.

Move Joomla files into the virtuemart (a directory), and change Joomla configuration file with the name given in the previous step. Note you need to give the correct tmp path as well.

The major benefit is that you can use the virtuemart installers. Then again, it also has a disadvantage, which mean you need to have two separate directory in the http directory and manage the configuration file.

Alternatively use them:

This technique requires that you delete the virtuemart files manually after the installation for you to be to perform the checkout.

What this implies is that you need to create or download the installer of virtuemart and install it in Joomla [[create virtuemart installer]].

Additionally, download the payment plugin installer from the link below:


Note: you need to delete the files installed by the VM installer for you to be able to check out the SVN. These are the files to delete;




This also help to prevent warnings the language files named en-GB.com_virtuemart.ini in



Once you are done with the above procedure, make sure you configure the SVN directly into the Joomla root directory.

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