Support » Developing with WordPress » WordPress Development Virtual Appliance

  • Main idea:

    Use VMWare or Microsoft Virtualization software to emulate a server on your desktop/laptop, dedicated for developing WordPress/WPMU/bbPress themes and plugins. Easily test your themes or plugins across different versions.


    1. Latest versions (WordPress 2.1.1, WPMU 1.1.1, bbPress 0.8.1) pre-installed

    2. Easy to update subversion nightly available.(simply run ‘svn update’ in the SVN folders)

    3. Local testing. FTP/SFTP/SSH access provided. Nothing to worry about. Easy to recover from errors.

    4. Newbie friendly, all Web-based administration, backup/restore features, server configuration, reboots, and updates.

    Beta-testing now.

    For screenshots, download and quick guide, please visit

    Comments/feedbacks/feature requests are all welcome.

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  • Videos for setting up the Virtual Appliance are now posted. Check out the pages on the side:

    It only takes 1-minute to finish setting up passwords.
    and another minute to set up a working WordPress 2.1.1 or WordPress MU 1.1.1 installation.

    Take a look.

    I am hoping that more and more theme and plugin writers for WordPress can easily test the compatibility of their theme/plugin using this Virtual Appliance.

    Cool concept. Would need to have a hacked WP that could pull a wp-content directory off the hard-disk (assuming the disk image is read-only, and if not inaccessible format outside of the running appliance), as well as wp-config, in order to swap between sites being worked on.

    I can see this as a cool concept for having a quick-launch work environment…


    FTP/SFTP access to the appliance is available after the initial 1-minute setup. Transferring files to and from the appliance should be easy.

    As I understand, you mean that you would like to develop multiple WordPress sites and would like to swap between them, right?

    There are several ways to achieve this using the appliance.

    1: simply copy the appliance files into another folder, and put one site in each appliance. When you need to develop themes or plugins for one site, simply boot that appliance up. However, each appliance requires around 600MB space after decompression, so you need a bit of hard drive spaces. But wait, a 250GB hard drive is dirty cheap nowadays, right? 🙂

    2: after developing for one site, transfer the files out of the appliance, and remove the appliance from your disk. Decompress the original appliance file and you can start developing for a new site. Remember, the initial setup step takes less than 1 minute for the appliance, so it won’t take long to do this. It is useful if you are doing one site at a time.

    3: The same idea as step 2, but requires a bit of SSH technique. To remove the current WordPress files and revert to original files, simply remove the MySQL database and SSH into the box as root, and run the command:
    conary revert wordpress

    Here, no need of decompression and no need for the initial setup step.

    The Appliance is updated to 0.2 version.
    Now with WP 2.1.2 and WPMu 1.1.1 and bbPress 0.8.1.

    along with a few small bugfix.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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