How to Install ShopSite on a Unix Server

To install ShopSite on Unix servers, all you need is your favorite Web browser and ftp or telnet access to your server.

Downloading the software:

First, you should download the latest version of ShopSite. Information on downloading should have been e-mailed to you when you purchased ShopSite. If you have not received this e-mail, contact the vendor who sold you the software.

Download the zipped ShopSite file and the "store.auth" file from the server as instructed in the purchase information.

Telnet Access: If you have telnet access to the server ShopSite will be installed on you can download the zipped file directly into your Web site's directory where CGIs can execute from and unzip it there.

FTP access: If you can only access your server via ftp, use an ftp client application and download the zip file to your PC's hard drive. Now unzip the file. Note: you may have to download a separate utility like Winzip, Pkunzip for Windows or Stuffit Expander for the Mac if you do not already have an unzip utility on your computer. A good place to find these utilities is Now upload the individual files to the directory where CGIs can execute on your server.

You should also have received instructions on how to download a file named "store.auth" either via e-mail or from the person that sold you ShopSite Manager. This file should be transferred to the same directory as the above files before trying to install. The store.auth file is a "key" needed for installation and running ShopSite.

Before you install

View the readme.txt or readme.unix file that came with the ShopSite zip.

Make sure you are installing the correct version of ShopSite for your server's operating system (OS). Currently, ShopSite runs on the Linux (all the various flavors), BSD (BSDI and Free BSD) and Solaris/SPARC platforms. Make sure you downloaded the correct version for your Server's OS. (ShopSite for Windows NT is also available as well as beta versions for Irix and Solaris/Intel platforms).

Be sure your Web server software is working correctly. If your Web server is not working, ShopSite cannot be installed. If you do not have a Web server a good one is Apache. It is free. ShopSite works with all NCSA compatible Web servers such as Netscape and Microsoft's IIS.

You will need to have at least version 5.003 of Perl if you are installing ShopSite Manager or Pro. You can download the latest version at Perl's Web site. You will have to compile Perl for your server. It seems complicated, but just keep hitting "return" to accept the default configurations, and the whole process should go smoothly. Perl is also free.

For more information on the system requirements, click here.


The browser-based install involves the following steps:

Often a successful install may involve several tries. As long as you are able to decipher what is causing the errors, making the changes is relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, if you do not have telnet access to your server, some errors may be the result of server configurations that can only be addressed by your server's administrator. Some common install errors are:


If your install doesn't work, pay attention to the error message you receive. It may point you in the right direction. If that fails you, try checking the following:

- Your directory structure.

- Is your Web server configured correctly?

- Was the "store.auth" file in the same directory as the install_shopsite program? If so, it should have created a new file called "yourstoreid.auth" in your store's data directory. In our example, at /usr/local/etc/httpd/data/converters there would be a file called converters.auth. Is the URL and store ID the same one you told the salesperson when your original store.auth file was generated? If you changed your mind, you'll need a new store.auth file.

- Are file permissions set correctly for all of the directories that you specified? Not having file permissions and ownership correctly set is the number one problem users run into. Specifically, the user under which CGIs are executed needs to be able to write in those directories.

- You can also search our knowledgebase to see if the problem you are having has been previously reported and if a solution has been posted or suggested.

Installing on a Virtual Server

Installation on a virtual server adds another level of complexity. A virtual server may show the complete file system and paths from your telnet or ftp client but only show a part of the file system when you browse from the Web. Click here for more information about installing on a virtual server.


Once ShopSite is installed run the software from your browser by going to the URL that you installed the back office CGIs into and execute the start.cgi. After entering your username and password, you will see the main Back Office page. Click on the "?" in the upper right hand corner of the screen. A new browser window should appear with the ShopSite online help page. This is your launch pad for learning to use ShopSite Manager. Select the Quickstart Guide link and read the guide for a broad overview of the software and a walk-through of setting up a new store. After that, look through the other help documents. If you have a specific question, type it into the search field, using natural language. For example, if you are wondering how to make pull-down menus in the shopping cart, type in "how do I make pull-down menus?" into the search field.

Also, you can click on the question mark icon on any page in the back office for specific help for that page. If you have questions or problems, at the very least, click on the question mark and try the search before contacting the person who sold you the software for technical support.

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