Create a PHP, MySQL and Apache development environment

In this tutorial we’ll install PHP, MySQL and an Apache web server locally.

Create a PHP, MySQL and Apache development environment

If you want to add and retrieve data from databases you need to have a web server. On this web server should be installed the database software and a scripting language to interact with the databases. This combination of a web server, database software and scripting language can work either on a web host or on your own/local computer.

In this tutorial you will learn how to install the combination of an Apache web server, the MySQL database software and the PHP scripting language locally.

In my experience the easiest method to install PHP, MySQL and Apache for a local Windows platform is with one of the Bitname stacks (for Mac users: tutorial how to install Apache, PHP and MySQL on a Mac).

1. Download and run WAMP stack

Visit the Bitnami site and download the WAMP stack installer.

Double-click on the download package to start the installaton.

2. Additional components?

We only need to install phpMyAdmin. When asked which components you want to install you can uncheck all except the last (phpMyAdmin).

Next you’ll be asked to select a folder for the installation. Do not install inside the Windows Programs folder because then you will not be allowed to edit any files inside this folder. And you definitely will want to edit files in this development environment.

Then you’ll be asked if you want to learn more about cloud hosting. You can uncheck this because we’ll install WAMP on your local machine.

3. Create MySQL ‘root’ account

Remember the password you insert during this step. Later on you will need it to log in to phpMyAdmin with ‘root’ as user and the password you insert during this step.

Afterwards you can add other users in phpMyAdmin. However – to create databases and tables – you will need to log in as the ‘root’ user because other users do not have that privilege.

When you finish the installation the WAMP stack will start the MySQL Database and the Apache web Server. You’ll get a Welcome screen. Click on the tab ‘Manage Servers’ to check if both are running.

To open phpMyAdmin go to the Welcome tab and click on the button ‘Open phpMyAdmin’. This will open the login screen where you need to insert ‘root’ and your password. We will look into what you can do with phpMyAdmin in another tutorial.

Start the WAMP stack

On the next occasion when you want to work with your local development environment locate the Bitnami WAMP stack between the other programs on your machine.

Then click on ‘wampstack manager tool’.

The working directory (where you need to insert your PHP scripts) will be yourfolder/apache2/htdocs (e.g. “C:/Bitnami/”).

To check if everything is working correctly create a file “phpinfo.php” and insert this code into it:

Save/place this php file into your working directory.

Open your browser and insert “localhost/phpinfo.php” into the address field of the browser.

This should result in a page with a lot of information (PHP version, system, build date, etc.).

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