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Setting Up a Sugar Dev Instance to Test Your Customizations

by Roxana Dicu on September 13, 2019

3 minute read

We often get questions about how difficult is it to start developing and testing your own Sugar customizations. The answer? It’s not as difficult as it sounds. You can follow these five steps to set up your dev environment and get started in no time!

1. Download Your Copy of Sugar

Every quarter a new version of Sugar is released for SugarCloud, and each year there is a release for On-Premise Sugar customers. In order to access each version’s code, you can download releases directly from the SugarCloud Developer Builds space in the developer community.

Log into Sugar Image

Sugar login image

Additionally, you can get a copy of your Sugar instance by requesting to download backups of Sugar Cloud instances.

2.  Set Up the Local Dev Environment

Your next step is to set up the local development environment. Here are our tips for this step: 

  • SugarCloud uses LAMP Stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and it's best if you do too. If you’re using Windows it's recommended that you use a pre-built Vagrant box or Docker image to make sure the environment is consistent with the cloud.

  • Another tip is to enable File Scan. This will allow to detect blacklisted functions in your test environment and catch package scan problems quickly.

  • To enable Package Scan and its associated scans, copy and paste this setting to ./config_override.php: $sugar_config['moduleInstaller']['packageScan'] = true (see screenshot below).

Sugar package scan image

3. Use a New Git Repository

For every new project, product or customer you should always use a new Git repository. As for tracking customizations, there are two options. You can either sync custom fields between Sugar install and the Git workspace, or set up .gitignore to exclude Sugar core and generated files.

4.   Generate the Module Loadable Package (MLP)

We recommend you use some tooling to generate the MLP zip file. In general, it is best to use PHP script to generate the MLP and start with a Manifest template.

 Sugar Module Loader

5. Install MLP using Sugar’s Module Loader 

Once you log in as an admin you can navigate to the Module Loader in the and upload and install your package. To ease the process when you are installing extensions, sometimes a QRR is necessary to rebuild the cache. If you are upgrading a package make sure to uninstall the existing one before installing the new one. If you have any issues with the Module Loader, please contact Sugar support

 Sugar support image


These are the five steps that should help all Sugar users install a new package. For any other information on SugarCRM tips and tricks don’t hesitate to contact us here.