June 2014 / PhreeBooksR36RC3mint-logoXAMPP2
Author – Charles


XAMPP is available for:
Linux – called LAMPP

DISCLAIMER – you follow these instructions at your own risk.

I am going to describe a three-part process to temporarily install PhreeBooks in RAM on any newish PC or Mac (<5yrs) running pretty much any operating system with >= 2GB of RAM.

The key to this is running a ‘Live-CD‘ Operating System in your RAM – in this case Linux Mint (other ‘lightweight’ Live-CD distro’s e.g. Puppy Linux may well work also – I haven’t tried them). As the Live-CD OS runs entirely in RAM (in theory not touching your hard-drive) it makes no difference what OS is already installed on the computer.

Please bear in mind that, by using the XAMPP versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, you can alternatively install PhreeBooks on XAMPP directly (and more permanently) to your hard-drive. No messing around with a Live-CD. In fact, the ‘direct to hard-drive’ install would be the ‘normal’ test install.

This HowTo will be split into 3 parts:

  1. Getting and running Linux Mint (Live-CD)
  2. Installing XAMPP for Linux (LAMPP ) localhost server
  3. Installing PhreeBooks

If you choose to skip the Linux MInt part and install XAMPP + PhreeBooks onto your hard-drive, parts 2 and 3 will still be useful.

 The benefits of this 3-step process are:

  • this is a temporary install – nothing should be installed on your HDD and when you power-down your computer everything disappears (Linux Mint + LAMPP + PhreeBooks).
  • It should work on almost all newish computers (<5yrs) – PC’s and Mac’s
  • once you have gotten an instance of PhreeBooks up-and-running you will be much more confident about installing it in a more permanent way. You will understand the process.
  • It will help if you decide to only use steps 2 and 3.
  • It’s interesting and fun.


Part 1 – Linux Mint (Live-CD)

WARNING: If you choose to ‘Install Linux Mint’ to your hard-disc, your stored data will be overwritten and erased. 

Why Live-CD?  Because it works in RAM and is temporary. Actually Mint has grown and now requires a DVD to fit the .iso image.

Why Linux Mint? Because it is very popular and very well supported. It has been suggested by many as a credible alternative to Windows-XP. Linux Mint is also recognised as being amongst the most universally hardware-compatible Live-CD’s available – for this reason it is popular to install on laptops.

Use whichever one of the Linux Mint releases suits you best:mint

  • Download Linux Mint-17 (Qiana)  –  Long Term Support release (LTS), supported until April 2019
  • linuxmint-17-xfce-dvd-64bit.iso
  • Start up your DVD burning software and insert your DVD
  • Burn image of the .iso file to DVD with the slowest speed (normally 4x)
  • You will be running Linux Mint in RAM. DO NOT INSTALL Linux Mint.

There are many articles covering running Linux Mint Live-CD:

You will probably need to change the ‘boot order‘ in your computer BIOS (sounds hair-raising, but isn’t) – simple to reset back when finished (make a note of the original ‘boot order’ before changing). This determines where the computer looks first for the Operating System.


Part 2 -XAMPP for Linux (LAMPP)

XAMPP project website

  • download xampp-linux-x64-1.8.3-4-installer.run
  • open Xfce Terminal (command line)
  • cd /home/mint/Downloads;dir     …   move to Download directory; see what’s there
  • sudo chmod 755 xampp-linux-x64-1.8.3-4-installer.run     …   change file permissions
  • sudo ./xampp-linux-x64-1.8.3-4-installer.run     …   run the installer
  • click ‘Next >’ a number of times and then ‘Finish’
  • LAMPP is installed to /opt/lampp


  • sudo /opt/lampp/lampp start     …   start LAMP
  • browse to  http://localhost     ... select your languagexampp-welcome

  • sudo /opt/lampp/lampp security     …   set suitable passwords and make a note of them.
  • check the ‘Security‘ in the orange ‘XAMPP for Linux‘ pagesecurity

Part 3 – Download & Install PhreeBooks

3.1 – Create PhreeBooks Database:

  • First read about database requirements.
  • On the orange ‘XAMPP for Linux’ page click on phpMyAdmin     …   database creation/management
  • User = root, Password = whatever you entered earlier (“set suitable passwords”)
  • Databases > Create database, name = phreebooks, collation = utf8_general_ci  > Create
  • Select phreebooks database (click on it in column on left)
  • Privileges > Users > Add User, user name = pb, host = localhost, password = suitable  > Go

 3.2 – Download PhreeBooks:

  • Sourceforge latest release            GitHub latest PhreeBooks-master     …   Save File
  • open Xfce Terminal (command line)
  • cd /home/mint/Downloads;dir     …   move to Download directory; see what’s there
  • unzip PhreeBooksR36RC3.zip;dir     …   unzip it 🙂
  • mv PhreeBooksR36RC3 pb;dir     …   change the name to something manageable (pb)
  • sudo su –     …   give yourself root permissions
  • tar cf – pb|(cd /opt/lampp/htdocs;tar xvf -)     …   tar copy pb files to the htdocs directory
  • close Xfce Terminal

3.3 – Install PhreeBooks:

  • browse to http://localhost/pb     …  Welcome to PhreeBooks Accountingpb
    • Both /includes and /my_files need to be writable.
    • sudo chmod -R 0777 /opt/lampp/htdocs/pb/includes
    • sudo chmod -R 0777 /opt/lampp/htdocs/pb/my_files

Under normal circumstances 0777 permissions would be tightened up immediately after install (see SMEserver HowTo for a guide).

Fill out details of company, database details and install.

  •  finally check that database tables  journal_item  and  journal_main  are type InnoDB

Please post any queries, comments or suggestions for improvement to the Forum.
Also, if you used all or part of the above HowTo, please post to the Forum and let us know how it went.

Useful Resources: