osCommerce 2.2 Errors on copying a store to a new server

Recently I’ve been setting up a test server within the LAN (to be able to use Quickbooks Web Connector without an SSL licence) and have had to resolve several errors relating to setting up a copy of an osCommerce 2.2 store.

Some issues relating to .htaccess files:
– these are used particularly in shared hosting to set specific system options that you might better set as server options on your own server
– a new LAMP installation typically defaults to not processing .htaccess files, so they are ignored
– when copying a store with URL rewriting enabled, the page links within the store are set to the rewritten URLs, but the server rewriting rules for the store are contained in the .htaccess file in the catalog directory and being ignored by default
– enabling the .htaccess files causes both the catalog and admin sides of the store to fail with Internal Error 500s
– the catalog side fails because other default server settings do not allow the .htaccess files to override server settings so you have to set AllowOverride to On for the URL rewriting
– the admin side fails because the password protection settings for the directory refer to paths and files on the old server

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