If you want to play around with PHP and MySQL the chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of LAMP, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. There are ways to get this setup running with very little work, but if you’re already running Windows there are WAMP packages available that make it just as easy, if not easier.
A great example of this is The Uniform Server. All you have to do to get Apache, MySQL, and PHP running on your Windows machine is download and extract the files. There are executables at the root of the extracted folder allowing you to start this as a program or as a service, and once you start it up a simple click of the Start Both button in the GUI will give you a working WAMP setup.
What is really cool about this is that all of the necessary files are all self-contained in a single folder. That means if you really want to you can throw them on a USB drive and have a portable web server that you can start up on just about any Windows machine. When it comes to web development work that kind of versatility is pretty awesome.
At the time I tried this out I was using version 8.5.4 of The Uniform Server, which runs the following:
- Apache 2.4.2
- MySQL 5.5.24-community
- PHP 5.4.3
- phpMyAdmin 3.5.1
- eAccelerator 1.0-svn427
- APC 3.1.10
- OpenSSL 1.0.1
- Go-Pear 1.1.6
- msmtp 1.4.27 – Mail client for PHP
- Cron – Scheduler
- DtDNS – IP address updater
- db_backup – Database back-up
- ActivePerl via Installer
Don’t forget to checkout the plug-ins page if you’re looking to do even more with your WAMP set up. They have one plug-in there that I really like called The UniTray that will let you manage the server from the Windows System Tray.
The Uniform Server (Windows only; Freeware)