In part 1 of this article, you learned how to set up a "virtual machine", so you could run WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal on your computer. In part 2, we'll finish that initial configuration, and you can start using your chosen CMS.
Configure Your Virtual Machine
In the last article, you started VirtualBox and set up a new "virtual machine" (VM). Before you start that VM for the first time, you need to make two configuration changes.
Select your VM from the list, and click the
If your computer has an AMD Phenom or Barcelona-level Opteron CPU, click
System, and then check
Enable IO APIC. If you're not using one of these processors, you may be able to skip this step.
Network, and then, for
Attached to:, select
Bridged Adapterfrom the dropdown list.
This network configuration is critical. Your VM will be serving a CMS, like WordPress, but you won't actually access the CMS within that VM window.
Instead, you'll browse to the CMS web address in a browser window in your real computer. You'll interact with it through the browser, as if it were a remote site. It's exactly how you would normally interact with your CMS on a live site.
For all that to work, though, the VM needs to have that network setting set to
When you're finished, click
Ok to close the settings window.
Boot Your Virtual Machine
Back on the main VirtualBox screen, select your VM and press the
Start button to "boot" your virtual machine. Here we go.
You'll see a bunch of cryptic text fly by. Don't panic. Ignore it, or enjoy the retro feel.
The first time you boot, you need to do some initial configuration. You'll only need to do this once, and it's fairly easy. You get a series of text screens that look like something out of a futuristic 70s movie. On each screen, you fill in some information and press ENTER.
Mostly, you'll be entering new passwords. It's asking you for new passwords, not requiring you to enter existing passwords.
For these instructions, I'll take you through a WordPress install. But the configuration is very similar for Joomla and Drupal. Wherever you see "WordPress", you can probably substitute Joomla, Drupal, or even one of the other CMSs that TurnKey offers as downloads.
Root password: This is the "master password" for your system, rather like the Administrator password on Windows. As long as you remember this password, you can fix anything else.
MySQL password: MySQL is the database program. Use this password when creating or manipulating your databases directly.
WordPress admin password and email: This is pretty cool. TurnKey lets you take care of setting up the WordPress admin account right here. You enter your password, then your email.
Initialize Web services: TurnKey offers a backup service, but we don't need this for now. Press
Security Updates: If you're online, go ahead and
Install. You'll see more text fly by: might be a good time for coffee. Although you're only running this on your own computer, not setting up a live site, it's still better to do security updates than skip them. You never know.
After the updates are applied, you'll get a screen that looks something like this:
WORDPRESS appliance services Web: http://10.0.0.15 https://10.0.0.15
It will have some other information, but for now, the
Web numbers are what matter. Your numbers may be different, since they are set by your router.
These are the IP addresses that you'll type into your browser to access WordPress.
Now what? That's it. You can minimize this window and leave it alone. It's running the web server.
Make sure you minimize the window, not close it. When you close it, WordPress will close. If you do want to close it, press ENTER (
Advanced Menu) and then select
Access Your CMS in the Browser
Payoff time! Open your favorite web browser, and type in the
Web: IP address you saw on the screen. For example,
I suggest using
https, which will encrypt your connection. Most browsers will warn,
This is an untrusted connection, but don't worry. Just click whatever you have to so that the browser lets you proceed. It's perfectly safe.
And there it is! WordPress! Or Joomla! Or Drupal! Right there in your browser.
Yes, that was a bit complicated. But look what you can do now. Anything. You can try any plugin or module or theme you like. It's all safe in your own local sandbox.
If everything breaks, just delete your broken virtual disk image, extract the original from the zipfile, and start over. No risk.
So go play!