Magento is gaining popularity in the ecommerce arena. The installation process is supposed to be painless and quick, still, there is a problem when installing Magento when you already have Zend Framework in your PHP include_path, which is the case in all our hosting accounts:

Magento comes with its own version of Zend Framework, and if you have ZF in your PHP include_path already, the installation will fail with a very strange error like:

[30-Jul-2009 18:05:02] PHP Fatal error:  Function __autoload(b514i6_xp_2pia3m5o191rxqn3) threw an exception of type ‘Exception’ in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 420

This error happens right after the database configuration screen, which in our case it showed incomplete and after entering the hostname it throws an error of a missing index db_prefix and a PHP fatal error like the one shown above.

In order to fix this problem, you need to remove the Zend Framework directory that’s outside of Magento from the include_path. In our servers, you can do this by adding the following line to httpdocs/.htaccess:

php_value include_path /var/www/vhosts/

Make sure you replace with your domain.

Once you make this modification, reload the database configuration screen and you will see the complete screen. The installation after this goes smoothly.