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Too Easy WAMP Setup

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Setting up a development sever can be tricky business, especially if you have no prior experience. A development server provides you with a place to develop and test your websites and scripts. In this article we are going to go through the setup of an Apache (external link) web server with PHP (external link) and MySQL (external link) on a Windows XP computer (WAMP).

Apache

First, you have to install the basic web server; in this case we are going to use Apache. To download Apache go to its download page (external link). You will need to download the latest stable release of the Win32 Binary (MSI Installer). At the time of this writing the latest stable release is version 2.0.54. After the file has downloaded run the installer.

Upon opening, you will be greeted by a friendly welcome screen. Select next to continue the installation. Read the terms and conditions and accept them. The succeeding page tells you about Apache, although it is not really essential to read. Select next and you will be taken to a screen where there are a few settings:

  • Network Domain (localhost)
  • Server Name (localhost)
  • Administrator Email Address (your email)

The next two radio buttons set up a slightly more important setting - whether to start Apache automatically (labeled "for All Users') or to require a manual startup (labeled "only for the Current User"). You should configure it to start up automatically, unless you will not be using it often; in which you would want to manually start it. Leave the rest of the settings in the installation as their default. Apache should now be installed.

In your taskbar you should now see a small Apache logo (a pinkish feather with a play button); double click on it. If Apache is running properly, and you selected for it to start automatically, there will be a green light next to the Apache2 service in the list. If you selected to start Apache manually then you will need to press "Start." Otherwise, you need to go back and check that you have installed Apache correctly.

MySQL

Next you need to setup MySQL. This needs to be done before you install PHP in order for everything to work correctly. Go to the MySQL download page (external link) to download the latest stable version of MySQL. Under Windows downloads, there are three files; you need to download the one titled "Windows (x86)." After you have picked a mirror and downloaded the file, run the installer.

When you open the installer you will be greeted with the confirmation that the installer is preparing for the installation. Next, click next until you come to a page asking what type of installation you want - typical, complete, or custom. Choose typical and continue. MySQL will install itself. The next step is to configure MySQL.

After the installation, you will be asked if you want to create an account for MySQL.com (external link); this is not required to run MySQL. Next, you will be asked if you want to start the configuration utility. Keep the check box ticked and select finish. The configuration utility will launch and you will only need to continue selecting next until it is complete. The default values are suitable for a development server. Eventually, you will get to a page asking for you to modify the root password, for security. Type a password in the box and press next. Press execute to finish the installation. You are done setting up MySQL.

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