Define test environments

Create a new directory servers under your tests directory. It will house the following XML files to describe server configurations.


The database credentials are expected to be in a file named database.xml in the tests/servers directory.

    <mysql version="latest" name="joomla_test" user="sqladmin" password="sqladmin" rootPassword="root"/>
    <postgresql version="latest" name="joomla_test" user="sqladmin" password="sqladmin"/>


Defines version and credentials for a MySQL (compatible) database server.

version The version of MySQL to use. Currently, only latest is supported.
name The name of the database.
user The name of the database user.
password The database user’s password.
rootPassword The database root password.


Defines version and credentials for a PostgreSQL database server.

version The version of PostgreSQL to use. Currently, only latest is supported.
name The name of the database.
user The name of the database user.
password The database user’s password.


<environment name="env-name">
    <joomla version="3" sampleData="data"/>
    <database driver="mysql" name="joomla3" prefix="j3m_"/>
    <server type="nginx" offset="UTC"/>
    <cache enabled="0" time="15" handler="file"/>
    <debug system="1" language="1"/>
    <meta description="Test installation" keywords="" showVersion="0" showTitle="1" showAuthor="1"/>
    <sef enabled="0" rewrite="0" suffix="0" unicode="0"/>
    <feeds limit="10" email="author"/>
    <session lifetime="15" handler="database"/>
name The name for this environment. For the default environment, it is always default.

Common settings to all test servers are kept in an environment named default and stored in default.xml. An average environment definition will contain just the server, joomla, and database elements.


Defines the Joomla version and the sample data.

version This setting determines the Joomla version to be installed in this environment. It can be any Joomla version since 1.0.0. The version can be fully qualified, e.g., 3.4.2, but 3.4, 3, latest, master, or staging can also be used.
sampleData Which sample data to install, if any. The file sample_<value>.sql must exist for the selected Joomla version and database driver.


The hostname of the database server is determined by the selected driver. The corresponding container is automatically linked to the Joomla installation.

driver This determines the type of the database being used by this Joomla installation. Currently, mysql, mysqli, pdomysql, and postgresql are supported.
name The name of the database carrying the Joomla site’s data tables.
prefix The prefix applied to the name of the database tables used by this Joomla installation. For Joomla v1.5.x and v1.6.x this is “jos_” by default, and should another Joomla site have to share the same database, the database tables would be kept separate by setting up this second site with a different prefix – e.g. “jos2”. With Joomla v1.7.x the same result is achieved by using a prefix that is a randomly generated alphabetic code and underscore – e.g. “vduea”.


Define the server settings.

type The engine to use. Valid values are nginx and apache.
offset The time zone.


Defines the Joomla! cache settings. These values are written to the configuration.php file.

enabled This setting controls whether or not site caching is enabled. When enabled, web pages are held for a period of time in cache storage and are retrieved from there rather than being re-created each time required.
handler This setting defines the mechanism used to manage the cache storage.
time This parameter defines the maximum time for which web pages are held in the cache storage before being updated with the current version. The default is 15 minutes.


Defines the Joomla! debug settings. These values are written to the configuration.php file.

system If set to “1”, Joomla will add debug information on every page, below the normal web page area. This information will include various forms of diagnostic information, including the full database queries used in generating the page. The default setting is “No”. The mix and format of diagnostic information presented by the debug function may be altered by editing the parameters of the Debug - System plug-in (Extensions > Plug-in Manager).
language If set to “1”, Joomla will activate features designed to help debug language translations for a Joomla site. This includes the addition of language translation information to page debug information (requires system also set to “1”), and markers to show translated content within the web pages themselves. For further information, refer to Debugging a translation.


Defines the Joomla! meta settings. These values are written to the configuration.php file.

description Text added here appears in web page headers as the “description” metadata entry.
keywords Words and phrases (separated by commas) added here appear in web page headers as the “keywords” metadata entry.
showVersion Whether or not to expose the Joomla version in the metadata.
showTitle (Only present in Joomla v1.6.x and later.) Appends the site name to page titles in the <title> tag of each web page header. Joomla v1.6.x introduced this feature as an option to either include the site name text before the page title (e.g. Site Name – Page Name) or omit it. With Joomla v1.7.x the options also include inserting the site name after the page name (e.g. Page Name – Site Name) as well as before.
showAuthor When this parameter is set to “1” an “author” metadata entry is added to the page header when appropriate, using the content item’s author name as the metadata text.


Defines the Joomla! SEF settings. These values are written to the configuration.php file.

enabled Joomla’s internal representation of URLs tends to be lengthy and also difficult to interpret by humans and search engine spiders. This is a typical example of the internal URL for a page displaying a content item: If this option is set to “1”, the URL is modified into a shorter and more meaningful form: The identifying text in the URL (in this case “getting_started”) is derived from the Alias text set up for each Category, content item, and Menu item.
rewrite When this parameter is set to “1”, Joomla will use the mod_rewrite function of Apache web servers to eliminate the index.php part of the URL. Thus when this is operating the “search engine friendly” URL shown above will become:
Note: This parameter is set to “0” by default. It should not be set to “1” unless the web server uses Apache software and has been set up so that mod_rewrite is installed and will work with your web site. Also for this function to work, the htaccess.txt file installed in the root directory of the web site (or preferably a copy of it) should be renamed to .htaccess. As an incorrectly configured .htaccess file can easily cause major server errors, so do not modify the .htaccess file unless you understand how it works.
suffix When set to “1”, Joomla will add .html to the end of the most site URLs thus simulating static file-based web content. The URLs shown above will then become: or
unicode (Only present in Joomla v1.6.x and later.) When saving edited content, the former setting attempts to convert, where appropriate, any alias text into the corresponding Latin characters. When set to “1”, Joomla leaves any non-Latin characters in the alias text unchanged. Changing this parameter does not retroactively change aliases, it just changes the behaviour of automatic alias generation for future content editing and creation.


Defines the Joomla! feeds settings. These values are written to the configuration.php file.

limit The number of content items to be shown in any RSS newsfeeds set up on the web site. By default, this is set to 10, although unless the site is very active a smaller number may be better.
email Atom and RSS newsfeeds generated from site content by the Joomla “Syndicate feeds” (“Syndication” in Joomla v1.5.x) site module may include an e-mail address as part of the author’s identity. This parameter determines the source of that email address: the “author” setting will use the email address held on the site for content author, “site” will use the “From email” address set up under the Server tab for emails generated automatically by the web site.


Defines the Joomla! session settings. These values are written to the configuration.php file.

lifetime This parameter determines how long a before user is automatically logged off for being inactive. The default setting is 15 minutes, although it can be useful to temporarily lengthen this parameter on development sites to avoid having to repeatedly log back in.
handler Selects the mechanism used to hold session information between one page request and the next one from the same user. The options are “database” (the default) and “none”. The former stores session information as entries in a table in the site’s Joomla database, the latter uses the session handling mechanism built in to PHP.


Latest Joomla!2.5 on Apache with MySQLi and sample data

<environment name="j25-mysqli">
    <joomla version="2.5" sampleData="data"/>
    <server type="apache"/>
    <database driver="mysqli" name="joomla25" prefix="j2m_"/>

Latest Joomla!3 on Nginx with PostgreSQL, no sample data

<environment name="j3-postgresql">
    <joomla version="3"/>
    <server type="nginx"/>
    <database driver="postgresql" prefix="j3p_"/>