How can I start developing an already existent and installed OJS project?

I have started working on an already existing OJS project and would like to set up a dev environment.

I have SSH-d to the server and successfully resolved issues for the client, but would really like to have the opportunity to test their software. In order to make it work, I have conducted the following steps:

  1. I have created a git repository

  2. I have set up the new repository to be a remote of the project root folder

  3. Committed unchanged files

  4. Pushed

  5. Pulled the project on my end

  6. Added a line into hosts file to have a virtual host

  7. Set up Apache to recognize the site and to know what the folder is

  8. Downloaded a dump of the PostgreSQL database

  9. Created a PostgreSQL user and given privileges to it

  10. Imported the database

  11. Tested connecting to the database with the newly created user

  12. Downloaded unversioned files to their correct location via scp

  13. Loaded the page

The page asks me to install OJS. My expectation was not to have to install OJS, the project to work on already installed OJS and I would just like to make it work as it is on my dev environment. Is there a way to bypass the installation if I’m working on an already existent project, downloaded all the files, made the necessary privilege changes the installer asked me to make?

I have also tested using the installer, but it complains that it cannot connect to the database, even though I have tested the connection several times from command-line and it was successful.

The logs are complaining about AH00687: Negotiation: discovered file(s) matching request: /var/www/html/myproject/index (None could be negotiated)., referer:

among others. However, according to my expectations, none of this should happen. I think I should be able to download the project, set the database connection to where it should lead, set up the folder to upload to and should be able to work on the project afterwards.

If my expectation is wrong and an installation is indeed needed, then how should I proceed in general, if I would like to set up a local dev environment?

Note that the previous developer is not responsive, I cannot ask him about the project.