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Setting Up a Local Development Environment

Hello everyone! I’ve been hearing a lot of requests to explain what kind of IDE and environment we use for local development. In house, we all agreed to use Netbeans IDE ( This has great SVN support and works well with the Zend Framework. I will go over setting up a SocialEngine project below.

Depending whether or not your are a Mac or PC user you should check out these links to get you started in setting up a LAMP environment:

Mac Users:

Windows Users:

Setting up a SocialEngine Project

Step 1. Download your SE package (and all the plugins) from your account dashboard:

Step 2. Unzip the files into the folder of your web server. In my example, it will be in /Users/junghokim/Sites/se_example.

Step 3. Next install your SocialEngine package in your local server.

I installed phpMyAdmin on my server as well for easy database management.

Step 4. Once you have SE installed there, open Netbeans and create a new PHP project with existing sources

Step 5. Click on browse and navigate to your SocialEngine files and then click “Open” button -> “Finish”

Step 6. Once this is done, you should see your project like this:

Step 7. Now you can edit the files on a working copy! It is always exciting to see the cool stuff our clients do with our code. Here are some useful resources:

As always, please contact us if yo have any questions or concerns!


  1. Tony
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Im not sure what this is for…

  2. Ori
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    What about debugging? Are you able to debug with NetBeans and what do you use for that? Thanks!

  3. Jung
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    @Ori It depends what you are debugging. But if you are in development mode, we return detailed information on what is happening via FirePHP (

    @Tony This is basically to get your development environment set up. This way you can customize and tweak SocialEngine the way you like it without breaking your production site.

  4. Ori
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I am asking about server-side php debugging of my customizations with a debugger (with breakpoints, step-by-step running etc.). I am having problems debugging using Eclipse & XDebug and I wondered whether you are using a debugger and have a setup that works for you with NetBeans.

  5. Sunho
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    @Ori If you are asking about debugging on your live server, I don't know about that. But If you want to debug on your local environment,
    1) Enable XDebug (I think you've already done it)
    2) Install Netbeans and set up like this article.
    3) Just start debugging.

    I had problems with Eclipse like you, that's why I'm using Netbeans instead of Eclipse.

  6. Posted September 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Some xdebug configurating is required to allow debugging. Don't forget to add these line to your local php.ini:


    Also make sure that xdebug is loaded using phpinfo() function.
    Debugging on remote server is possible too I think. But it is not secure to open debugger port on live server.

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