Setting up a Development Server


Text Editors for Windows/MacOS

When we start programming -- or even when we start coding web pages using HTML -- it will be important to use a good text editor with syntax coloring. Here are a couple of good ones:


XAMP is an integrated and full function setup for developing dynamic web applications in PhP. It includes a web server (Apache), database server (MySQL), and server-side programming language (PHP).

  • WAMP = Windows, Apache, MySQL, PhP
  • MAMP = Mac, Apache, MySQL, PhP
  • LAMP = Linux, Apache, MySQL, PhP

Installing EasyPHP on Windows

  • Follow the installation instructions on pp. 14-18 of the Nixon text.
  • Download EasyPHP from
  • Run the installer, following the prompts and the default setup.
  • Double click the EasyPHP icon in the System Tray to start, stop, and restart Apache, and MySQL.
  • Click restart if something goes wrong.

Some possible problems (See page 14-16 of Nixon

  • Port blockaqe: If EasyPHP reports that a port is blocked, this usually means that a firewall is preventing access or an antivirus program or Skype is blocking needed ports. EasyPHP needs access to ports 80 (Apache) and 3306 (MySQL).
    • The Fix: Investigate the setup for those programs and make sure they aren't using port 80 (for Apache) or port 3306 (for MySQL).
  • File permissions: For Windows Vista there may be a permissions problem.
    • The Fix: Right click the EasyPHP folder and select Properties. Select the Securities tab and Edit mode and maker sure all users have write access to this folder

Testing Your Installation

  • To test that your installation worked properly, enter either of the following URLs into your browser to bring up the EasyPHP home page:

Setting up a Web Folder

  • Create a folder named c:\web.
  • Click 'Add' under the Apache section of the EasyPHP home page and fill in the form using 'web' as the Alias and 'c:\web' as the path to your directory.
  • Click OK to accept the default settings.
  • You can create other aliases. For example if you have a cpsc110 directory with path c:\web\cpsc110, you can create an alias 'cpsc110' that will map directly to that directory.

Running Hello World

  • Using Notepad or some other text editor, save the following text in a file named 'c:\web\index.html'.
<html><head><title>A quick test</title></head>
<body>A quick test</body></html>

Installing MAMP on Macintosh

  • NOTE: This assumes you have Mac OS 10.4 or greater
  • Download MAMP (currently 1.8.2) from
  • You can also download from sourceforge:
  • Unzip the zip file to create a disk image and double click on the disk image.
  • Double click the virtual drive MAMP_1.8.2.dmg, which will start the installer.
  • Install MAMP into your Applications folder.
  • Open the MAMP folder in your Applications folder. The htdocs folder is where you will store your web documents.
  • Double click on the MAMP app to start/stop Apache and MySQL servers.

Testing the installation

  • Using TextEdit or some other text editor, save the following text in a file named 'index.html' in your MAMP/htdocs folder.
<html><head><title>A quick test</title></head>
<body>A quick test</body></html>

Other Points

  • By default MAMP uses ports 8888 and 8889 for Apache and MySQL respectively. To avoid having to type the port number each time you access a page, use the 'Preferences' button in the MAMP control panel and click on 'Set to default Apache and MySQL ports'. This will set your default ports to 80 and 3306 respectively.


  • These useful instructions are based on Chapter 2 of Robin Nixon's <a href="">Learning PhP, MySQL, and Javascript</a>, O'Reilly, 2009.