Control Panel Overview (v4)


The jDownloads Control Panel is similar to the jD3.9 versions.  The view following a new install is typically as shown below. 
This article gives an overview and references other articles as appropriate for more in depth details on specific topics.
The main jDownloads configuration is accessed using the Options buttonbutton options which is situated at the top right of the Control Panel and all the other main pages.  This is the standard Joomla! method for accessing a Component's configuration.
Further details on configuring jDownloads are given in the Options & Configuration (opens in a new window/tab) section of the documentation.

There are five basic sections on the control panel.  Some are self explanatory.
  1. There is an Overall Status indication.
  2. The left hand side is a set of links to the other parts of jDownloads (except configuration which uses the Options button).
  3. The central part is the Information Area, which uses the jDownload jDownloads admin stats module. It provides various views such as Statistics, Latest Downloads, and so on.  The default view is the Statistics page.
  4. This is a special section that shows possible problems with the installation as noted later.
  5. The bottom of the main page has the Monitoring and Checking Download Area.  Using this allows directories and files to be converted into Categories and Downloads respectively.
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The following notes describe each of these in more detail.

Options (configuration)

The button options button at the top right hand side of the Control Panel gives access to the main jDownloads options.

As the picture opposite shows there are multiple tabs for the various sections for setting the jDownloads options.

As noted above there are more details on each of these sections in the Options & Configuration (opens in a new window/tab) part of the Documentation.

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Overall Status

This section is very simple and it just shows, as the name suggests, the overall status of jDownloads.
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Shoud there be a change such as setting the Front End to Maintenance mode in the Options then the status would become as indicated opposite.
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Backend Access to Other Parts

As well as the Options settings, there are ten other principal parts of jDownloads as noted below together with the 'Terms of Use'.
  • button categories - Categories and sub categories form a tree like structure of directories that hold the actual downloadable files together with numerous associated information in the database.
  • button downloads - a Download consists of various information such as Title, Status, associated images and previews, and other information plus the actual downloadable file.
  • button files - these are files uploaded into a special directory in the jDownloads section that may be made into Downloads.
  • button licences -this section is a library of available licences that may optionally be part of the information associated with a Download.
  • button layouts - these are cutomisable views of how the Categories and Downloads are shown in the front end.
  • button logs - this link gives access to the various log files maintained by jDownloads.
  • button usergroups - this section allows selecting what information and questions will be requested when Downloads are created or edited in the front end. It also allows setting what limits apply as to when and how much a user may download.
  • button fields - this allows user creation, editting and populating of Joomla! Fields associated with a Download.
  • button fieldgroups - allows creation and editting of Joomla! Field Groups to be used in jDownloads
  • button tools - a collection of useful utilities.
  • button terms - the legal bits!
There are several articles in the jDownloads documentation covering the differerent parts.

Information Area

This area allows a quick access to multiple sets of information.  It uses the Admin Stats Module (opens in a new window/tab).
  • Statistics - theses give an overview of the number of Categories, Downloads, Featured and Tags, and the number as either published or unpublished state.
  • Quick look at Latest, Popular, Featured, Most Rated and Top Rated Downloads.
  • Monitoring, Restore and Installation Logs.
  • Relevant Server settings.
Two of the many possible views are shown as examples below.

Monitoring log example

The image opposite is a typical monitoring log taken after running a Full Scan after uploading a number of Directories and Files into the jDownloads area.
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Server Info Example

The picture opposite shows some relevant server settings.

Note the details shown opposite are from an XAMPP based test site so limits such as max execution time are much larger than those of a conventional website server
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Special Checks

Some of the checks are fatal but others are just advisory.  The information is updated each time you visit the Control Panel.

This is a fatal error as the front end will not work properly and give all sorts of strange problems!

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It is recommended you create a List all Categories menu item.

This may be a hidden menu - see

This is also a fatal error but jDownloads automatically corrects it!admin stats message01
This message is an Information item reminding you that you have some Joomla! override for jDownloads.

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This is important to note if you start getting unexpected errors.

Basically the override will be using code based on a previous version.  In many situations this is OK but sometimes the override code may need 'revising'.

Check Downloads feature

One of the many ways of adding multiple directories and files to create Categories and Downloads automatically is to use the 'Check Downloads' feature.
This assumes that you have uploaded the directories and files into the jDownloads 'region' whose default root directory is called 'jdownloads' and whose default location is in the joomla root directory: <joomla-root>/jdownloads.  This region is often refered to as the Download Area.  The directories and files could have been uploaded using with say an FTP utility such as FileZilla, or by using your c-panel file manager or similar.

As shown opposite, there are five options for checking the Download area.  These are designed to allow the checking process to be carried out in stages if appropriate.  Such a situation arrises when there are a large number of directories and files to be converted into Categories and Downloads respectively.  This is because creating the database entries may take a noticeable time and there is a possibility that the time allowed in the php.ini file may not be sufficient.  Hence the need to do in two steps. control panel03A
Further you may set up the Monitoring function to do a test run to see if there are any problems.  Note: The default setup for the Check Download Area is to do a  'test run'.  Should you need to change this setting then go to Options (top right on Control Panel) and choose the Monitoring tab. Then ensure entry 'Use Test Run First' is set to Yes or No as appropriate.

At the completion of a monitoring run a View Details button that will show the 'log' of the items added.  It is advised that you examine these details to confirm all is well.

Actually it is nearly always advisable to do a test run as if it completes successfully then you will be offered the option to make the changes permanent.

For more detailed notes please see the article  Monitoring and Checking the Download Area. (opens in a new tab/window)

ColinM November 2018, updated September 2020

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