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# MageSpawner

This is a little handy shell script that I am using for quite a while now. The goal is to quickly create new (and remove) Magento installations for testing purposes. Testing as in "I want to try something", not as in Unit Testing.

Before you start, let me state something:

Do not use this on a production machine. Ideally, use it on a machine where you don't care about losing everything. The remove script uses a "rm -rf" command, so if something goes wrong, it could go awfully wrong. I solely use this on a VM where everything important is backed up regularily.


  • Linux/Unix (tested on Debian)
  • bash
  • Needs to be run via sudo / as root (chown and chmod are used)
  • These commands must be available:
    • basename
    • command
    • mysql
    • php
    • sed
    • tar
    • wget OR curl


  • Get the files from Github.
  • Copy config.conf.sample to config.conf and adjust the settings as needed.
  • Make the files ./install and ./remove executable.

Getting started

Run ./install and follow the instructions. If you aren't logged in as root, sudo will be used for the commands chown and chmod. At the moment, you have to enter the details in an interactive mode (= no command line automatisation).

This is how it looks like on my VM:

Welcome to MageSpawner.

Which version do you want to install?
1) None, abort installation
2) CE
3) CE
4) CE
5) CE
6) CE
7) CE
Enter the number (e.g. 1): 7
CE selected.

Specify the shop name. It may be used for the URL, directory and database name, so don't use spaces, special characters or the like     .
Shop name (default: shop): test
Thanks, the required information was provided. The installation will now begin.

Downloading Magento package...
--2013-02-01 19:25:57--
Auflösen des Hostnamen
Verbindungsaufbau zu||:80... verbunden.
HTTP-Anforderung gesendet, warte auf Antwort... 200 OK
Länge: 17891797 (17M) [application/x-gzip]
In »magento-« speichern.

100%[==============================================================================================>] 17.891.797   438K/s   in 44s

2013-02-01 19:26:41 (399 KB/s) - »magento-« gespeichert [17891797/17891797]

Package downloaded.

Unpacking package and setting permissions.
Package unpacked and permssions set.

Creating database...
Database created.

Executing Magento setup script...
SUCCESS: 7804dbac5c3ab69ecce4667681a814ae
Setup script executed. Please write down the encryption key provided above.

Reindexing Magento indexes...
Product Attributes index was rebuilt successfully
Product Prices index was rebuilt successfully
Catalog URL Rewrites index was rebuilt successfully
Product Flat Data index was rebuilt successfully
Category Flat Data index was rebuilt successfully
Category Products index was rebuilt successfully
Catalog Search Index index was rebuilt successfully
Stock Status index was rebuilt successfully
Tag Aggregation Data index was rebuilt successfully
Indexes reindexed.

Editing .htaccess for VirtualDocumentRoot configuration (setting RewriteBase)...
.htaccess edited.

Do you want to use modman? (y/n) y
Initialized Module Manager at /var/www/magento/shops/test.magentoshops.vm

Final permission settings...

If you didn't see any error messages, everything went fine.
Set up your vhost config and host entries (if needed) and you are ready to go!
The frontend shop URL is http://test.magentoshops.vm.

After the script has finished, you may be two steps away from using the new Magento installation:

  1. Add an entry two your hosts file. Your browser has to know which server the domain (e.g. 1702.magentoshops.vm) belongs to. If you use a real domain and have set an wildcard DNS record, then you are good to go. Otherwise, open your hosts file and a line like 1702.magentoshops.vm (don't forget to change this to the correct IP and domain).

  2. Add an entry to your server configuration. Your web server has to know how to handle the request. Normally, you would have to add a Virtual Host every single time you setup a new Magento installation.

    As programmers don't like to repeat themselves and I'm a programmer, I'm using the Apache Module mod_vhost_alias and the nifty VirtualDocumentRoot directive.

    This is what my configuration looks like:

     <VirtualHost *:80>
         ServerName magentoshops.vm
         ServerAlias *.magentoshops.vm
         UseCanonicalName Off
         VirtualDocumentRoot /var/www/magento/shops/%0/
         # Some more settings
         # Magento development settings

    The VirtualDocumentRoot path /var/www/magento/shops/ has to match the MAGE_BASE_DIR setting in config.conf. The script automatically edits Magentos .htaccess so that the RewriteBase is adjusted for this setup.

Removing a test installation

If you want to remove a test installation, call ./remove. Again, the script will ask for your sudo password if you aren't root.

This is how it looks on my VM:

Welcome to the Magento uninstall script.

Which shop do you want to uninstall? Provide only the subdomain part of the domains provided.
Shop code: test

Deleting files...
[sudo] password for matthias:
Files deleted.

Deleting database...
Database deleted.

Shop was deleted successfully. Please delete vhost entries and host config as needed.



  • Merged pull request by Nils Preuß: "Added fix for 'PHP Extensions "0" must be loaded , while installing magento-1.7.x' that occured in at least some installations" Thanks for this!
  • Script doesn't have to be called with sudo anymore because the script itself will ask for sudo if needed.
  • New configuration parameters for file and folder permissions


  • Script can now both use wget or cURL to download Magento. wget is preferred. (thanks Rouven for the input)
  • modman can be initialized from install script
  • Minor changes / fixes


  • Initial commit


Copyright 2011-2013 Matthias Zeis

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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