There’s a decent learning curve to installing an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add MySQL, PHP and Perl. There may be some developers out there that get a hard on about opening up the terminal and compiling source to get their development LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) environment set up on their local machine, but I’m not one of them. Here are the three fastest paths I’ve used to get LAMP up and running so I can get to what I love best : developing.

  • XAMPP XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. Comes in 3 flavors: Linux, Windows and OS X. There’s still a bit of terminal action going on here (from what I saw on the OS X version), but their instructions are easy to find and easy to follow. For those that need Perl and PHP and all the other goodies, It’s

  • MAMP The abbreviation MAMP stands for: Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP. It’s what I personally use on my powerbook and it’s great because for basic wireframing, I only need access to basic PHP functionality like includes. No need to install the developer tools, just copy into the application folder and you’re set. The cocoa interface is easy to follow and you can set it up to use any folder on your drive as a web server, which is nice because I prefer to keep all my projects separated.

  • Yellow Tip Webserver - The YellowTip Web Server was developed to make available a highly professional and easily installable package of Apache2, PHP4, MySQL4, phpMyAdmin and Zend Optimizer for the Windows platform. During the installation process you can chose which components you wish to install and all components are installed in a single directory, which can be used immediately. For Windows users, this is a bit more friendly than XAMPP, but might not be for your if you need PHP 5 functionality.

Remember folks, these are great for development and educational purposes only. If you need something to launch your site, you’re going to need a little terminal action.

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Kevin Hale

Development Environment Made Easy by Kevin Hale

This entry was posted 5 years ago and was filed under Notebooks.
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  1. Yannick · 5 years ago

    Nice to know about some of the other options. I had heard of XAMPP but not the other two. I personally use WAMP Server.

  2. Josh B. · 5 years ago

    I am a big fan of WAMP server over XAMPP — the install is quite nice (XAMPP has trouble installing into a drive’s root folder) and I prefer WAMP’s systray utility over XAMPP’s monitor interface. PHP5 too.

  3. Josh B. · 5 years ago

    Ack! Too slow.

  4. Brajeshwar · 5 years ago

    I am a fan of WAMP too but I have been thinking of changing lanes lately! Will try Yellow Tip Webserver.

  5. James Broad · 5 years ago

    XAMPP Has been my friend, installed on XP and OSX with minimal or no problems!

  6. Si · 5 years ago

    I’ve been using Apache2Triad for the last year or so. It installs all the basics for Apache (PHP, MySQL etc) onto a Windows machine with minimal fuss.

    Not sure it’s entirely what you’re after but hey, it won’t hurt to share with others. :)

  7. Colin D. Devroe · 5 years ago

    I used MAMP for my iMac, which is my local testing server.

  8. Aaron Blohowiak · 5 years ago

    Where’s the Rails?

    InstantRails for Windows -> php, mysql, ruby, rails, apache

    Locomotive for Mac OS X -> ruby, rails, mysql connector (the basic install package from sets it up on osx just fine)

  9. CM Harrington · 5 years ago

    Sure, MySQL is easy to use, and plenty fast, but PostgreSQL is simply a better platform, as it supports features that are closer to the actual SQL specification. For example, porting from PostgreSQL to Oracle is much easier than from MySQL.

    Not to start a flamewar, but I’d like to see more packages that included PostgreSQL as an option, rather than just MySQL.

    How many other visitors on PT are using PostgreSQL as an alternative to MySQL? (raise hands)

  10. Damien Davison · 5 years ago

    I find Apache2Triad handy too, it may be kind of bulky and lacking perfection but it also includes PostgreSQL, and a few other things which are useful and (minus performance) disappear into the background.

  11. Vilius · 5 years ago

    If you know a little russian, i recomend visiting

    This guy has an excelent project called D.e.n.w.e.r whitch is abbr for russian “Gentlemans Toolkit for Web Development”.

    Install is very easy although there are a lot of unknown symbols in cmd window, but as in usual install procedure Yes, Yes, Enter, c:\www, ect.

    Then you have system with unique approach to have domains on your pc (writes/reads from hosts), special disk (made with subst) and unix like folders structure (/home, /usr, /tmp, ect)

    If you need i can try to translate some of texts, just to give others to try this product, i’m using it already 3 years for all of my projects. After project is ready i only need to copy to webserver, no additional config is needed (because it allows you to create identical system at your pc like the one at hosting server).

  12. Sally Carson · 5 years ago

    Thanks, this was helpful. I’d love it if you guys did some additional write-ups on how to get a development environment going for non-programmers. I’m a web designer looking to teach myself PHP / MySQL, but a lot of the documentation I’ve found makes assumptions about my familiarity with the shell. I have yet to find a hand-holding step by step that gets me up and running. Thanks again for this write-up!

  13. Sachin Sagar · 5 years ago

    I used to use EasyPHP. But later I need to use the extension php_soap for PHP5. Since PHP4.xxxx does not come by default for PHP5, its a tedious process to install in PHP4 on Windows. So, I did find WAMP and its great. PHP5 and MySQL 5.0 Ain’t it great?

  14. FFred · 5 years ago

    I believe for developper, the best plateform to host website in locally is LAMP.

    Cause, if you have some common lib, you can use symbolic link for exemple. Also, it’s too closer for your online hosting.

    Well, this choice is for me the best solution, no harder to apply and quite cheap.

  15. ShAH · 4 years ago

    Everyone needs a hug.