Zen Cart - Free Shopping Cart Solution

Zen Cart Shopping Cart Software

Free Shopping Cart Solution For Small And Medium Businesses

Materialize your business ideas with open source eCommerce platform. Easy to use and feature-packed solution, ideal for small and medium size businesses.


Zen Cart is 100% free shopping cart solution. It’s user-friendly, robust, and easy to set up at any server. Zen Cart is customizable and allows developers to modify it to suit their business needs. It’s best for small and medium merchants and entrepreneurs who quickly want to set up an online store. Further, this free open source shopping cart comes with impressive features and supports integration with other services. Moreover, Zen Cart enables companies to keep their data private by installing it on their server.

Zen Cart is a free PHP shopping cart based on the popular osCommerce shopping cart platform. It is continuously maintained and developed by its community of developers, designers, and testers. This open source eCommerce software supports out-of-the-box popular payment and shipping services. Also, developers can quickly integrate with other services depending on their business needs. Moreover, there are tons of free and paid modules available at the marketplace. Business owners can use them for enhancing store functionality.

Zen Cart is built on open source technologies such as PHP, and MySQL. The license for this free shopping cart solution is GPL2.

System Requirements

Zen Cart is PHP and MySQL based open source shopping cart software. Current requirements for Zen Cart include:

  • PHP 5.6 or greater
  • MySQL 5.1 or greater
  • Web Server (Apache / Nginx)


Zen Cart provides all the modern features and some of the key features are:

  • Free and open source
  • User management
  • Inventory management
  • Multiple Language Support
  • Multiple Currency Support
  • Supports unlimited categories and products
  • Advance template system
  • Mobile ready
  • Customizable
  • Supports popular payment gateways
  • Access control
  • Coupons and gift certificates
  • Low-stock notifications
  • Product reviews


Install OpenCart on Ubuntu

Nginx is the most popular and secure web server. In order to install Nginx, use the following command

 sudo apt install nginx 

Once the Nginx is install, configure the domain and restart the Nginx by using the following command

 sudo service nginx restart 

Next, need to install database Server, use the following command to install MySql server

 sudo apt-get update;  sudo apt-get install mysql-server; mysql_secure_installation 

Once, the database server is installed, use the following command to restart MySql server

 sudo service mysql restart 

Install PHP for processing

 sudo apt-get install php-fpm php-mysql

Now, you have installed all the required software and the next step is to login to mysql server and create zencart database. Use following command to create database. Change with your database name.


Create a database user called "" with new password. and granted user full access to the database by running the following commands. Change with your desired database user and with your desired password.

 CREATE USER ''@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY ''; 

Run the commands below to download and extract the downloaded file and move it into a zencart root directory.

cd /tmp && wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/zencart/CURRENT%20-%20Zen%20Cart%201.5.x%20Series/zen-cart-v1.5.5e-03082017.zip
unzip zen-cart-v1.5.5e-03082017.zip
sudo mv zen-cart-v1.5.5e-03082017 /var/www/html/zencart

Set correct permissions for Zen Cart.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/zencart/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/zencart/

Create Nginx configuration file for Zen Cart.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/zencart

Copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace example.com with your own domain.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/zencart;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;
    server_name  example.com;

    location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?main_page=$uri&$args;       

    location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {
        include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.1-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include fastcgi_params;


Create symlink for zencart file.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/zencart /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Restart Nginx.

sudo systemctl restart nginx

Open your site in browser and follow installation wizard.