Ever heard of LAMP? That’s Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Getting a LAMP server up and running in Debian is a piece o’ cake. No compiling from source and the like. Just select the correct packages and lo! You have a working LAMP server! (configuring Apache was a nightmare but that’s not the point 🙂 )
It so happened that I was working on a project the other day and my teammates weren’t comfortable with the whole Linux thing. So they decided to use WAMP instead (that’s just LAMP with Linux replaced by Windows). Great idea, but who was gonna configure it? I was a Tux user, after all!
Turned out it didn’t matter what kind of user I was… I am *always* the one who has to get things up and running. Sigh. So off I went, searching for a tutorial on how to set up a WAMP server. I started off with a Google search for “WAMP”. Surprisingly… one search was all that it took…
The first result was about Apache, MySQL and PHP packed together into a single program called WampServer that ran on Windows. Here’s what their site had to say:
“WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database. It also comes with PHPMyAdmin and SQLiteManager to easily manage your databases.”
Wow that sounds good. Not only WAMP, but you get PHPMyAdmin and SQLiteManager for free! I decided to give it a shot…
The installation went on smoothly. Nothing special. No configuration files and such. Once installed, the program resides as an icon in the TaskBar. Clicking it brings up a menu like so:
As you can see, you can configure, start and stop all services from here. Let’s click on Localhost item. If all goes well, you should see the following page in your browser:
The web root directory is [Your Installation path for WAMPServer (folder:wamp)]\www. Alternatively, you can click the “www Directory” menu item. You have to put your PHP files in there to make them work.
MySQL databases can be handled using either the MySQL console (Yeah, that’s included too) or PHPMyAdmin (the latter being considerably easier to use). In addition to that, there’s support for SQLite through SQLiteManager.
It’s possible to use more than one version of a particular component (Apache for eg.) so that you can exactly emulate any server configuration you want. Different versions are available as add-ons in their site. After installing, select the version you want through a simple menu item.
And the best part is that it allows customization of almost every component to the smallest detail. Want to enable the PHP_BZ2 extension? No problem! Just select it from the menu! All that without editing any config files or worse, recompiling…!
All in all, it’s a great piece of software for both newbies and power users alike. Coupled with software like Dreamweaver, it can make life a lot easier. Check it out:
So there you go… I’m happily coding my PHP site using Dreamweaver and WampServer… not in Linux, but Windoze! All credit to my Windows-addict friends!