Apache, PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin
We will see this time how to install AppServ, allowing us to have our PC ready to work with Apache, PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin. This will create a platform to develop and test our applications locally, before uploading them to our hosting server.
A while ago we saw how to install IIS (Internet Information Server) in this tutorial:
The tutorial above helped us to have our Windows XP Professional ready to run ASP or ASP.NET, and then we learnt how to run PHP on IIS in this other tutorial:
Although both tutorials accomplished their goals step by step, many users asked for an easier way of having the PC ready to program Websites with PHP technology.
There are many packages. We have discussed them in the forum, highlighting those we considered were the best. Since I’ve been working on Web Development for a long time, none of the packages discussed convinced me as I consider that Appserv is the best option.
Appserv installs all the components that are required for Web development in the same way that other packages do. However, it is my preference because I write code in several languages and Appserv is the only one that hasn’t caused me any trouble to run ISS, .Net, ASP and PHP at the same time. It also sets up everything in identical fashion as the hosting server where applications will finally run. That is my personal view about AppServ.
What is Appserv?
It is a software that allows the installation of the following packages in our Windows environment:
- Apache Web Server (version 2.2.3)
- PHP language (version 5 o 4, en my case I installed 5.1.6)
- MySQL database (versión 5.0.24)
- phpMyAdmin database management application (versión 220.127.116.11)
This is what includes the current version AppServ 2.5.7. It is obvious, but worth remembering, that since it is formed by 4 applications (apache, php, mysql, phpmyadmin), each one continues to publish new versions that we can install separately or wait for the next version of AppServ. In general, we don’t need to hurry because our PC will be used for development and testing of applications.
Where can we download AppServ for free?
Fortunately this software is free, so we won’t have excuses to avoid working on PHP and MySQL. It can be downloaded from the official website:
Appserv is a small software. We can always download the latest version from the link above.
How to install AppServ
This is the best part. The installation is very easy to do, is simply a matter of double clicking in the installer that we have downloaded from the Web and then clicking Next several times until the software is installed. But a good tutorial does not make sense if the process is so easy, therefore to justify my time, we are going review step by step those screens where it is enough to click “Next”.
1) We double click in the icon of the installer that we have downloaded. A similar window similar to the image below will popup, remember that the version may be newer when you try ;), but the process will be the same as what I am about to explain. We must click (Next).
2) The licensing agreement appears, we must agree (I Agree)
3) At this stage we must choose in which part of the hard disk and which folder we are going to install AppServ. I don’t like to think much therefore I always use the default directory, that is: c:\AppServ, as it is shown in the image. Then we click Next
4) Now we must choose the components that we are going to install (remember that in all these steps is enough to click Next), as you can see four of the elements available appear checked (apache, mysql, php, phpmyadmin) although you can uncheck some of them. It is better to install all the components to have a complete testing and Web development computer. We click Next.
5) At this point you must indicate the name of the server and the email of the system’s administrator. In my case I use localhost, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and port 80. Remember that you can click Next and leave what the installation suggests without any problems.
6) MySQL configuration. We must pay attention in this step since we have to indicate the Password for the main data base user, we write it 2 times! And please, remember it (do not write it down under the keyboard like my auntie). The rest is left as in the following image.
Therefore the user will be root, the default value (soon you can create more users, as many as you want), and the Password the value that you just finish writing. These values will be used to open the data base from your PHP programs, that is why it is important to remember them 😉 We click Next.
7) To finish the installation, as it is shown in the image, we can choose if when we finish the Apache server and the MySQL database server will start to run. We check them and Finish. That’s it, we are done.
At this stage, if go to your internet browser (hopefully it is FireFox, 😉 ), you can enter http://localhost and see a screen as the one shown in the image. Your screen might be different if you got a newer version of AppServ.
In the Standard configuration that uses c:\AppServ, the location that is the equivalent to http://localhost is c:\AppServ\www. Therefore if you create a “test” folder, it will be c:\AppServ\www\test, and inside will be a file called test.php with the following content:
This file is executed in your browser calling in the following way:
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