XAMPP is the title used for a compilation of free software. The name is an acronym, with each letter representing one of the five key components. The software packet contains the web server Apache, the relational database management system MySQL (or MariaDB), and the scripting languages Perl and PHP. The initial X stands for the operating systems that it works with: Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
- Apache: ihe open source web server Apache is the most widely used server worldwide for delivery of web content. The server application is made available as a free software by the Apache Software Foundation.
- MySQL/MariaDB: in MySQL, XAMPP contains one of the most popular relational database management systems in the world. In combination with the web server Apache and the scripting language PHP, MySQL offers data storage for web services. Current XAMPP versions have replaced MySQL with MariaDB (a community-developed fork of the MySQL project, made by the original developers).
- PHP: the server-side programming language PHP enables users to create dynamic websites or applications. PHP can be installed on all platforms and supports a number of diverse database systems.
- Perl: the scripting language Perl is used in system administration, web development, and network programming. Like PHP, Perl also enables users to program dynamic web applications.
Alongside these core components, this free-to-use Apache distribution contains some other useful tools, which vary depending on your operating system. These tools include the mail server Mercury, the database administration tool phpMyAdmin, the web analytics software solutions Webalizer, OpenSSL, and Apache Tomcat, and the FTP servers FileZilla or ProFTPd.
Our XAMPP tutorial will take you through the installation process for the software package on Windows. If you’re using Linux or Mac OS X, then the steps listed below for the installation process may differ.
Step 1: Download
XAMPP is a release made available by the non-profit project Apache Friends. Versions with PHP 5.5, 5.6, or 7 are available for download on the Apache Friends website.
Step 2: Run .exe file
Once the software bundle has been downloaded, you can start the installation by double clicking on the file with the ending .exe.
Step 3: Deactivate any antivirus software
Since an active antivirus program can negatively affect the installation process, it’s recommended to temporarily pause any antivirus software until all XAMPP components have successfully been installed.
Step 4: Deactivate UAC
User Account Control (UAC) can interfere with the XAMPP installation because it limits writing access to the C: drive, so we recommend you deactivate this too for the duration of the installation process. To find out how to turn off your UAC, head to the Microsoft Windows support pages.
Step 5: Start the setup wizard
After you’ve opened the .exe file (after deactivating your antivirus program(s) and taken note of the User Account Control, the start screen of the XAMPP setup wizard should appear automatically. Click on ‘Next’ to configure the installation settings.
Step 6: Choose software components install xampp
Under ‘Select Components’, you have the option to exclude individual components of the XAMPP software bundle from the installation. But for a full local test server, we recommend you install using the standard setup and all available components. After making your choice, click ‘Next’.
Step 7: Choose the installation directory
In this next step, you have the chance to choose where you’d like the XAMPP software packet to be installed. If you opt for the standard setup, then a folder with the name XAMPP will be created under C:\ for you. After you’ve chosen a location, click ‘Next’.
Step 8: Start the installation process
Once all the aforementioned preferences have been decided, click to start the installation. The setup wizard will unpack and install the selected components and save them to the designated directory. This process can take several minutes in total. You can follow the progress of this installation by keeping an eye on the green loading bar in the middle of the screen.
Step 9: Windows Firewall blocking
Your Firewall may interrupt the installation process to block the some components of the XAMPP. Use the corresponding check box to enable communication between the Apache server and your private network or work network. Remember that making your XAMPP server available for public networks isn’t recommended.
Step 10: Complete installation
Once all the components are unpacked and installed, you can close the setup wizard by clicking on ‘Finish’. Click to tick the corresponding check box and open the XAMPP Control Panel once the installation process is finished.