I spent nearly all of Saturday trying to install the program on my Ubuntu development apache2 server. I untarred the files on the server using ssh and set the appropriate permissions. I made sure I was using mcrypt and the other php 5.2.5 programs mentioned in the various instructions. I set up a mysql 5 database. I got to the stage in the setup program where you describe the paths to the server, I get the famous cannot find URL message, I tried several variations to the paths but with no success. I then ticked the ignore path validation box and tried the storefront which loaded ok and the links to the about page worked but selecting a product gave a whole load of errors. I could also not load the admin part at all.
I have removed Magento for the moment and I am going to try again this weekend my question is should the program install and work on a local server without an SSL certificate or do I need a self certificate?
As a comment, I believe a lot of people will install Magento on development servers both apache and IIS and it would save a lot of problems both for them and for you if you could improve the installation instructions after trying to install the program yourselves on basic local servers.
I have installed numerous LAMP and WAMP programs over the years and this has been one of the most frustrating for me, others will have different experiences but from the forum I can see the same problems re-occuring.
I am on my luch at present and most of the details I have written are from memory and I realise not very technical, I will try to give more details when I try again but for now I need to know if SSL is required for installation.