How to Install Zen Cart E-Commerce Shopping Cart on a Linux Server

zen cart vpsZen cart is one of the most popular open source e-commerce shopping cart softwares. It is a PHP-based online store management system and can easily be installed on a Linux VPS. Zen Cart is fully customizable so you can run an online store and control all of its features and capabilities in no time.
This install guide will help you install Zen Cart and it assumes that Apache, MySQL and PHP 5 are already installed and configured on one of our Linux virtual server hosting plans.

Download the latest version of Zen Cart (at the time of writing this tutorial, the latest stable version is 1.5.1):


Extract the downloaded zip file to the Document Root directory of your website:

unzip zen-cart-*.zip -d /var/www/html/
mv /var/www/html/zen-cart-* /var/www/html/zen-cart/

make sure the web server Apache is running on the server and has permissions to write and create directories in it.

Zen Cart requires a MySQL user and database, so create them by executing the following commands:

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

Also, create a new virtual host in Apache, for example:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/zen-cart/
ErrorLog logs/
CustomLog logs/ common

Restart your Apache service for the changes to take effect.

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

Open in your favorite web browser, follow the onscreen instructions and complete the installation.

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.

The administrator back-end is available at

Of course, if you are one of our Linux VPS Hosting customers, you don’t have to do any of this, simply ask our admins, sit back and relax. Our admins will install Zen Cart for you immediately. For more updates, you can refer to our guide on How to Install Zen Cart with Nginx on Debian 8.

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