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XAMPP! for an instant Apache / PHP / MySQL dev environment

01/21/08

Permalink 10:21:54 pm by guy, Categories: Software Development, Linux, Windows, B2Evolution, PHP , Tags: apache, mysql, php, xampp

I recently discovered the XAMPP Project on SourceForge.  This is a very impressive tool that allows you to quickly and easily install a very nicely packaged environment on a Linux OR Windows machine that includes MySQL, Apache, PHP, and Perl.  The install package (I only tried the Windows version) is available in zip or installer versions.  I tried the installer version and it was completely painless.  By default it doesn’t install anything as a service or in an autorun mode.  It claims not to need to put any config into the registry so if you do the zip install you can get rid of it later by simply deleting the directory.

Once it is installed you get a nice little control panel that allows you to selectively start (or as an option install as a service) MySQL, PHP, and Filezilla (FTP server), as well as Mercury mail server which I’m not really familiar with.  Each one can be independantly stopped and started.  I’m not going to get too much more into it, but try it yourself.

It makes an excellent PHP development environment.  I used it to create a dev environment for my blog.  I had been wanting to upgrade my blog to the latest version of B2Evolution.  In the past I’ve just done it on the production server (I know! I know!).  This time I was able to quickly download and install XAMPP (probably about 15 minutes all told), restore a copy of my blog’s database to MySQL (another 5-10 minutes), copy the B2Evolution PHP distribution to the C:\xampp\htdocs directory (2 minutes), and then browse to http://localhost/blogs .  Immediately, up pops the B2Evolution install page and I’m off and running.

Previous to stumbling onto this distribution I had decided that it wasn’t worth the effort to manually install MySQL, Apache, and PHP separately on Windows.

As a bonus, XAMPP appears to be very up to date with the versions of each of the components.  Here are the current versions as listed in the README:

###### ApacheFriends XAMPP (basic package) version 1.6.5 ######

Apache 2.2.6
MySQL 5.0.51
PHP 5.2.5 + PHP 4.4.7 + PEAR
PHP-Switch win32 1.0
XAMPP Control Version 2.5 from www.nat32.com
XAMPP Security 1.0
SQLite 2.8.15
OpenSSL 0.9.8g
phpMyAdmin 2.11.3
ADOdb 4.96
Mercury Mail Transport System v4.52
FileZilla FTP Server 0.9.24
Webalizer 2.01-10
Zend Optimizer 3.3.0
eAccelerator 0.9.5.2 for PHP 5.2.5  (comment out in the php.ini)

* System Requirements:

  + 64 MB RAM (RECOMMENDED)
  + 200 MB free fixed disk
  + Windows 98, ME
  + Windows NT, 2000, XP (RECOMMENDED)

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I'm a generalist, at least if I'm honest. In my job I am primarily a developer, but also a sysadmin, and (as little as possible) technical support. I know a little about a lot of things, a lot about some things, and everything about nothing. Here I will post random learnings...

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