MagentoU – 5 years ago today


Five years ago today I attended the MagentoU class at Magento HQ in Culver City, California. It was an intense week-long class taught by Ben Marks and Vinai Kopp. I learned a lot that week and met some really nice people! I framed the completion certificate and still have it hanging on my wall.

MagentoU Completion Certificate
March 11, 2011


I have a few more that I’ve added since then:

Yes, my office wall is orange. I have a few lanyards from Magento Imagine and Magento Innovate along with some MageShades.


Today, I’m spending my Saturday learning and tinkering with Magento2. I want be ready whenever the M2 Certification comes out (I’ve heard December 2016).

Facebook reminded me of this anniversary date so below are some of the pictures that I took during the 2011 MagentoU class. Time flies!

The hallway at Magento HQ had these pictures hanging on the wall.


More MagentoHQ hallway pictures including one of Bob Schwartz


First floor of MagentoHQ. There was a coin operated bull ride there for some reason.


Upstairs, looking down from the balcony


Random conference room


Looking down from the balcony. The blurry guy waving is Ben Marks


From the upstairs balcony a fake beach scene sits on top of the offices below complete with beach towels, coolers and chairs


The Magento logo. Why doesn’t Magento sell things like this? I’d love to have a Magento light on my wall.


Close-up of the coin-op bull ride. My phone camera wasn’t that great at the time so some of these turned out blurry


Vinai teaching class. I’m pretty sure he’s forgotten more about Magento than I’ll ever know


In class


Sign set up outside of class. The building where the classes were held was right next door to MagentoHQ. There was a print shop downstairs from the MagentoU class that was packing up. During class the room would change slightly throughout the day due to remodeling. Occasionally I’d turn around and think something like “that clock wasn’t hanging there this morning…” or “when did they paint that?” They were like decorating ninjas.


Day 2 or Day 3


View from the hotel


View from the hotel at night


<=> PHP7 and Magento (M)


I finally installed PHP7 this weekend and ran some Magento local dev sites. The speed increase is impressive! It’s so much faster that it should be a mandatory requirement.

There’s only a couple of minor quirks, like not having dl() support which killed a couple of the extensions that had copy-protection on one site.  There’s a couple of small things to do to make PHP7 work but it’s covered below.  If you’re ready to take the Magento/PHP7 plunge and are using Ubuntu then this is how you can do it.

First, you have to remove your php5 install.

Remove php5

Warning: This will remove php5 from your system completely. 

sudo apt-get purge php5-*

Add the PHP7 repository

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

sudo apt-get update

Install PHP7

sudo apt-get install php7.0

Install PHP7 components

sudo apt-get install php7.0-cli php7.0-common libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0 php7.0-mysql php7.0-fpm php7.0-curl php7.0-json php7.0-cgi php7.0-mcrypt

sudo service php7.0-fpm restart

sudo service apache2 restart

The Magento PHP7 Fix

Inchoo has this ready in an easy to install extension:

You may also need:

sudo apt-get install php7.0-intl php7.0-xsl php7.0-gd

(Thanks to Dave Moore for the tip)


Common problems with Magento after installing PHP7

If Apache is dumping plain text php instead of rendering it then be sure that you’ve installed libapache2-mod-php7.0.

sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php7.0

sudo service php7.0-fpm restart

sudo service apache2 restart

Getting a white page or error about mcrypt in Magento?

sudo apt-get install php7.0-mcrypt

sudo service php7.0-fpm restart

sudo service apache2 restart



Magento Certified Solution Specialist



I passed the Magento Certified Solution Specialist on July 9, 2015. If you’re thinking about taking this one then be sure to study your e-commerce terms and get very familiar with Magento’s admin.  This study guide helped me the most:  Thanks Demac Media!

Dr. Horrible’s Traceroute



Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog is great.  Someone set up a series of hops that can be seen with a traceroute.  Here’s the whole thing when it works:



Here is as far as it gets for me:

13 ( 89.856 ms 89.849 ms 91.998 ms
14 ( 98.748 ms 96.610 ms 98.771 ms
15 ( 106.758 ms 109.627 ms 111.734 ms
16 ( 115.985 ms 117.089 ms 116.059 ms
17 he.rides.across.the.nation ( 126.142 ms 127.243 ms 100.983 ms
18 the.thoroughbred.of.sin ( 110.806 ms 116.876 ms 114.169 ms
19 ( 121.451 ms 126.479 ms 121.535 ms
20 ( 127.869 ms 132.238 ms 132.122 ms
21 it.needs.evaluation ( 137.586 ms 137.481 ms 141.631 ms
22 ( 151.420 ms 151.885 ms 149.410 ms
23 a.heinous.crime ( 134.791 ms 135.484 ms

It timed out here but still very cool.

Magento Imagine 2015 – Monday


Lots of walking at Imagine.  This was for today according to my phone’s pedometer.

Goodnight. More of the same all day tomorrow!

Netgear A6100 WiFi USB Mini Adapter install for Ubuntu/Lubuntu



Operating System: Lubuntu 14.10

My laptop’s internal wireless adapter decided to start acting up a few weeks ago.  I tried to deal with it but the frequent disconnections were affecting my ability to work efficiently.  I needed an external wireless card but I wanted the smallest possible one that I could find.

I picked one up at my local Walmart for about $34. This thing is very small and fits extra snugly into the USB port.  So snug that it makes me think I’m going to pull the case off of it when removing it from the port.  It’s pretty solid though.  I don’t intend on ever removing it so it’s fine with me.

I run Lubuntu on my main laptop.  It’s a very fast OS without a lot of bells and whistles.  What it lacks in special effects it makes up for in speed.

When I plugged in the Mini Adapter nothing happened. It wasn’t showing up on the wireless monitor at all. The instructions I found on Google were easy to follow and worked right away with no problems so I wanted to share them here.


Start by plugging in the adapter.

Open a terminal and run:

sudo apt-get install –reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential

After it finishes, go to a system that has an internet connection and navigate to the following Github page:

Download the repo from the button labeled “Download ZIP” on the right-hand side of the page.  Copy the file to the system that the Mini Adapter is located.

Unzip the file you downloaded then cd to the folder it creates.

Run the following commands:

sudo make install
sudo modprobe 8812au

After everything completes, unplug then replug your USB card.

That’s all! Now you can connect to your network.

I’ve been running this adapter for a few days and it works perfectly.  It’s easily 5x-10x faster than my laptop’s failing built in wireless card. There were some areas of my house I couldn’t get a connection before but now it’s fast no matter where I am.

Thank you to the people that took the time to figure this out and share it with the community!

Contributor name: Hadaka




Zend Certified PHP Engineer

I passed the ZCPE test yesterday on Friday the 13th. I’ve been studying for this test since it was PHP 4 but never felt quite ready enough to attempt it. When I finally passed my Magento Certified Developer test in 2012 I decided to buckle down, study and learn as much as possible about everything php. My history of learning and developing with php goes back to the pre-Y2K bug years. Working with it as my full-time career and on my own time as a hobby made getting this certification important to me.

After the test I had hoped to see a score instead of just “PASSED” but it beats the alternative. It seemed like it went well because everything just clicked into place for me.

I’m not sure what to go for next. I have a LOT of learning to do before I even think about trying for the Zend Framework certifications. I have had my eye on the LPI Linux cert since it came out. Since Linux a large part of my daily life and pretty much everything in my home runs on it (Ubuntu, Crunchbang, Xubuntu, Fedora, etc.) it seems like a good choice. However, I do need to update my Magento MCD to MCD+. They have a couple of new ones now that look interesting.

Magento 1.9 + Gumby 2.6

A co-worker created something in his spare time that I think is pretty amazing. He told me several months ago that he was going to integrate Gumby with Magento’s Blank theme. At first I thought, “Sure, why not?” I didn’t realize he meant that he was going to replace every button and control on top of replacing every page, including the checkout, and make the whole thing Responsive. I would get the occasional late night IM from him asking for some debugging help.

It was common for him to say “ok I’m almost done with it…” followed 10 minutes later with “…but I just want to do a little more to it.”

The end-result of all of his hard work: a responsive, Gumby-enabled Magento theme that’s ready to be skinned. There’s pages that contain all of the various Gumby effects so you can see them inside Magento. He’s giving this back to the Magento community by making it a freely available public Github repo. His hope is that other people will contribute by making their own improvements.

Jason Tipton is a Magento Certified Front-End Developer who never stops learning. You should take the time to see what he’s accomplished with this. You can get it here:

He has it up and running on a subdomain of his blog at

How To Install The Magento2 Beta

The Magento 2 Beta is out! This version is a little more difficult to install than previous versions of Magento. These instructions may not work for everyone but I was able to successfully install Magento2 and the sample data on my local Ubuntu dev environment and on my sandbox located at:

I adapted some of the instructions from the blog post for installing Magento2 from Their instructions didn’t work for my exact configuration so my hope is that these modified steps will save some time for anyone with a setup similar to mine.

There’s some system requirements that you’ll need to meet prior to attempting to install Magento2. The complete list of them are here.

I don’t foresee anyone successfully installing this on a shared hosting environment unless it’s been configured with Magento2’s requirements in mind.

Here are my system specifications:

  • 5.6.21 MySQL Community Server
  • PHP 5.4.36 (cli) (built: Dec 24 2014 19:11:17)
    Copyright (c) 1997-2014 The PHP Group
    Zend Engine v2.4.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2014 Zend Technologies
    with the ionCube PHP Loader v4.6.1, Copyright (c) 2002-2014, by ionCube Ltd.
  • 4GB RAM
  • CENTOS 6.6 x86_64 virtuozzo – server
  • WHM 11.46.1 (build 4)

With the sample data installed my total Magento2 install is 4.8G which includes the .git repo.

If you use WHM, you can upgrade your mysql to version 5.6 by going to System > Mysql Upgrade, then select Mysql 5.6. I used the “Unattended Upgrade” with no problems to move from Mysql 5.4 to Mysql 5.6.

Here are the steps that I used to get Magento2 installed.  The end result was a  Magento2 install complete with the Luma theme and Sample Data. Unless otherwise specified, all of these command should be run from the cli using SSH preferably with root/sudo access.

Installing Magento2

1. Log in to WHM and create a new hosting account, domain and mysql database. Be sure to assign the mysql user all of the rights to the database you’ve created.

2. Log in to SSH as root.

3. Install Composer.

curl -sS | php 

4. Make composer accessible from anywhere so you don’t have to use the full “php composer.phar” command to run it.

mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer 

5. Change to the home folder for your newly created account. For demonstration purposes, I’ll be using my setup information.  My username for the account that I set up was m2seanbreeden. Substitute “m2seanbreeden” with your account username.

cd /home/m2seanbreeden/

6. Clone the Magento2 git repo.

git clone

6a (optional). I want to keep my Magento2 install up to date as the git repo is updated. I set up a symlink to make the magento2 folder that cloning the repo creates as my web root.

mv public_html public_html-BAK
ln -s magento2 public_html
chown m2seanbreeden:nobody public_html 

This backs up the original public_html that the system creates and adds a symlink to the magento2 folder called “public_html” so the web server can use it as the web root.  Finally, the chown sets the owner correctly to allow the web server to see the folder.

7. Run the Composer install.

cd public_html
composer install 

8. Fix all permissions.  If you’ve worked with Magento a while then this part should be familiar.

find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

9. Modify permissions of folders that Magento2 requires. This part will be a little different than you remember from earlier versions of Magento since the file structure has changed a bit.

chmod -R 777 app/etc pub/media pub/static vendor

Notice that media is now a subfolder of “pub”.

10. Update your memory_limit! If this setting is too low then you’ll get some unusual problems with your install like freezing at 2% or 96% with no error messages. You can change this globally in WHM or just add the following line to the very top of public_html/index.php:


Also set this same line at the top of dev/tools/Magento/Tools/SampleData/install.php

I actually set mine to 4096M to be safe.

11. Install Magento2 from a web browser. There is a command-line option that I attempted first but for some reason I couldn’t get the Demo data to install later on. The web install worked great.

Simply load a web browser and navigate to your Magento2 install. Follow the Setup Wizard until Magento2 is installed.

Installing the Sample Data

Installing the sample data and using the Luma Theme will provide a great jump-start to get familiar with Magento2.

1. Update composer.json to include the new Sample Data repository. You don’t have to directly edit this file.  Instead, run the following command to complete this action:

composer config repositories.magento composer

2. Next, run this to add the sample data and sample data media packages:

composer require magento/sample-data:0.42.0.beta1 magento/sample-data-media:0.42.0-beta1 –dev

3. To install the sample data:

php dev/tools/Magento/Tools/SampleData/install.php –admin_username=admin

“admin” will be the name of the admin user that you defined during the installation.

The install for this takes a while so be patient. If you interrupt any part of this or it crashes it’s best to start out with a clean database from step 1.

Deploying the Luma Theme

I still couldn’t see the Luma theme after I completed all of the steps above. My Magento2 install theme files were all 404s and the page was just plain text with no graphics. If you experience this then run this command from web root:

php dev/tools/Magento/Tools/View/deploy.php

After everything compiles flush the system cache with this command:

php dev/shell/cache.php –flush

All done!

Congratulations!  You should now see your Magento2 install with the Sample Data and Luma theme!

To see the end result of my install you can check it out here:

Thank you to for their instructions for installing Magento2. ( It didn’t work out of the box with my configuration but it definitely helped me fill in some blanks!