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oscommerce - an idiots guide .. please?


oscommerce - an idiots guide .. please?

hi there i'm quite new to all this php web site/adsl/domain name mullarky so i was wondering before i stuff everything up big style if there was an idiots guide to installing OS commerce on f9 servers
thanks in advance

oscommerce - an idiots guide .. please?

Can't say I'd ever heard of the package before, but I had a quick stab at installing it myself, which seems to have been relatively painless. Here are a few pointers which may help you:[list=1]
  • I used the tar.gz package from sourceforge and downloaded this straight into my CGI space. Logged in to your CGI account, you could use wget to retrieve it directly.

  • I made sure my umask was set to 0072: umask 0072

  • I extracted the software: tar xvzf oscommerce-2.2ms2.tar.gz

  • For ease of reference, I renamed the oscommerce-2.2ms2.tar.gz directory to oscommerce: mv oscommerce-2.2ms2.tar.gz oscommerce

  • I set my browser to and followed the on-screen instructions:

  • Install a new Online Store

  • Import Catalog Database: Selected
    Automatic Configuration: Selected [I think the security settings actually prevent this from happening -- see later]
    Press Continue

  • Database Server: humbug or rumpus (as notified by Force9)
    Username: username
    Password: database password (as notified by Force9)
    Database Name: database name (as notified by Force9 -- probably of the form username_f9)
    Persistent Connections: Not Selected
    Session Storage: Database
    Press Continue

  • The test connection was reported as successful, and the database import file had the correct path, so I pressed Continue

  • The database import was reported as successful. (A little surprisingly, it seems this can be repeated as necessary, which is what I'm doing to report these steps). Press Continue.

  • On the Web Server Information screen, I left everything as it was, and pressed Continue. The "Enable SSL Connections" option is one you may wish to consider. (A proper online shop should certainly use SSL -- but is it a possibility on the CGI machineHuh Someone else may be able to answer this, I don't know, but it's a definite requirement for online business, I would say.)

  • At the "osCommerce Configuration" screen, the database parameters were as provided to the installation a few screens earlier. I simply pressed Continue.

  • At this point I received an error screen, because the install process had been unable to modify the configuration files. The screen tells you what to do to correct this. I used chmod o+w configure.php in the two directories concerned and pressed the Retry button, which did the trick. (My advice is to set the permissions back afterwards with chmod o-w configure.php -- you do get a warning to this effect.)

  • The "Configuration was successful!" screen gives you two choices: Catalog (which seems to show you what is in your "shop" [thanks to the default initial imported database]) and Administration Tool which is probably a good place to head (the system only knows of euro and US dollar, for example -- it was pretty clever when I added the GB Pound, and set it as the default, in that it automatically showed the GBP/EUR and GBP/USD conversion rates).
  • As well as setting the permisions back to 704 on the configuration files, you also need to remove the catalog/install directory after use. You get warnings about these.[/listShocked]First impressions are it's a pretty neat bit of software for the purpose!

    Second impression is that it needs write access to certain directories (eg catalog/images) which may not be such a good idea. If possible, I'd be inclined to FTP any image files (of the products you're intending to sell; of your company logo, etc) to their correct locations rather than do it through the osCommerce software and Apache, so a bit of experimentation would be necessary to find out where it expects to find these.

    Also, note this major consideration on the default catalog page:
    (3) Securing The Administration Tool

    It is important to secure the Administration Tool as there is currently no security implementation available.

    (You could use a .htaccess file to protect access to the catalog/admin directory.)

      Special Offers!

      Now, roll-up, you punters -- who wants to buy The Matrix on DVD for £30, which is what it seems to be offering it for, and I can confirm I'll be very happy to part with my copy at that price!

      Or even There's something about Mary, a snip at only £49.99!
    (I'm beginning to like this sales business, but perhaps the GBP/USD conversion wasn't so clever after all!)
  • N/A

    oscommerce - an idiots guide .. please?

    Thanks for all that info, I shall treasure it...considering I did this 48 hours ago the hard way!

    The site I uploaded has 2,600 products, and 500+ articles in the article manager add-on. Most products have a thumbnail and big image, and there is also a gallery of around 100 photos. All in all, around 120 megabytes + a 3 megabyte database, uploaded to the standard webspace, then FTP'ed across to the CGI webspace.

    Anyway, the hard work I put in can be seen in it's splendour here, I hope you find inspiration from it...

    It's somewhat different to the standard installation, has around 12 contributions added, and it's all packaged up ready for the next job.


    Steve (not the Stampman)

    oscommerce - an idiots guide .. please?

    Pretty impressive!

    How do you get round the security issues (or shouldn't I raise that subject!): securing the Admin function, uploading the image files, and SSL?

    oscommerce - an idiots guide .. please?

    I have secured the admin with .htaccess / .htpasswd. One thing I learnt here is that the path you need in htaccess for the cgi server is:


    This is contrary to the support information, and the information I got when I asked the question to support :?

    I enabled SSL...and it doesn't work. It took me a while to work this one out. You only go to SSL "mode" when you go to checkout. I kept getting a page not found, and it took me a while to realise why (it's the first time I've used SSL for osCommerce).

    The solution is fortunately already in place. My client is using to process credit card details, and so I can run the site in unsecured mode. For my own osc site, I use Worldpay, again allowing me to host the site anywhere that supports PHP/MySQL.

    I have always set my images directory permissions to 777, without any security issues. However, I'm willing to take advice on this one as my knowledge is limited here. I also have to do this for a file called mainpage.php, I have installed an onsite WYSIWYG editor for the home page, so that the client can update it as and when they want to.