Magento to OpenMage Migration

After the official end of life of Magento in last June, I recommended two ways of continuing with Magento 1 to my clients: either use MageOne to take care of providing security patches and updates for the latest Magento Open Source version Or use the community-driven OpenMage fork of Magento. In this post we will see how I did the migration of my own website from Magento to OpenMage.

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While I moved this blog to the future-proven platform Hugo a while ago, I finally also migrated my Magento 1 based website vianetz.com to OpenMage 19.4.
Astonishingly the process went extremely smooth, so here is how I did it.

Why OpenMage?

OpenMage is community-driven fork of Magento Open Source 1, which means the power and knowledge of the Magento community is used to continue the support for Magento 1 after Adobe has dropped it.

OpenMage offers 2 development branches at the moment: 19.x and 20.x:

  • The 19.x branch is a LTS (Long Term Support) version that tries to offer maximum compatibility with the outdated Magento 1.x version.
  • The new 20.x branch will be a more independant project which might contain new features or changes that are not backwards compatible to Magento

As in the first step we are doing the migration from Magento 1, I am trying to use the backwards compatibility option as much as possible, so I will switch to the OpenMage 19.x branch.

Why continue to support Magento 1 at all?

Perhaps it might sound unreasonable to stay on Magento 1 while Magento 2 has been out in the wild since a while, but depending on the use case there are good reasons to stay on Magento 1.

Magento 1 is an established and broadly distributed E-Commerce platform since 2008, that means most of the general bugs have been fixed already sooner or later. In addition while the admin interface may look a little bit outdated (by the way: OpenMage ships with a more modern admin theme), everything is extremely fast and interactive (something Magento 2 seems to be struggling with ;-).

Also many of my clients have put enormous development efforts and money into their Magento 1 application that would be more or less lost during a replatforming to Magento 2 or any other shop platform.

Of course it should be noted while there are a lot of benefits for continuing with Magento 1, the most important downside is the overall support of extension vendors for Magento 1 and the provision of new security fixes and feature updates. While OpenMage addresses the latter, the future will show when and how extension vendors will continue to support Magento 1.
I for myself have decided to support my Magento 1 extensions as long as there is any need for it.

So now let’s get into action!


  • Take a database dump for safety reasons
  • Upgrade Magento to latest Open Source version (if not done already)
  • Apply all available security updates in the correct steps (if not done already)

Do the Migration from Magento to OpenMage

OpenMage mentions 2 migration methods on their website: using a script and a Git-based approach. Depending on my current workflow and project setup, I chose to use a third one: simply adding the OpenMage sources as composer dependency (as mentioned on the installation notes):

    "require": {
      "aydin-hassan/magento-core-composer-installer": "*",
      "openmage/magento-lts": "^19.4.8"
    "extra": {
      "magento-core-package-type": "magento-source",
      "magento-root-dir": "htdocs",
      "magento-deploystrategy": "absoluteSymlink",
      "magento-force": true,
      "magento-core-deploy": {
        "excludes": [
            ".htaccess", "index.php"

This way my Git repository no longer contains the Magento core code and everything is pulled at deployment time using the great composer tool.

As I took care of making all customizations the offical “Magento way”, there was absolutely nothing I had to change after the migration to OpenMage!
The only thing I did change was the configuration setting System -> Configuration -> Admin -> Theme -> Use Legacy Theme to maintain a certain taste of Magento 1 in the backend ;-)

By the way, there is interesting stuff on the roadmap of OpenMage: OpenMage Roadmap

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