I have installed Apache, PHP, and MySQL on Mac OS X since Leopard. Each time doing so by hand. Each version of Mac OS X having some minor difference. This post serves as much for my own record as to outline how to install Apache, MySQL, and PHP for a local development environment on Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
I am aware of the several packages available, notably MAMP. These packages help get you started quickly. But they forego the learning experience and, as most developers report, eventually break. Personally, the choice to do it myself has proven invaluable.
It is important to remember Mac OS X runs atop UNIX. So all of these technologies install easily on Mac OS X. Furthermore, Apache and PHP are included by default. In the end, you only install MySQL then simply turn everything on.
First, open Terminal and switch to
root to avoid permission issues while running these commands.
sudo su -
Enable Apache on Mac OS X
Note: Prior to Mountain Lion this was an option for Web Sharing in System Prefrences → Sharing.
Verify It works! by accessing http://localhost
Enable PHP for Apache
First, make a backup of the default Apache configuration. This is good practice and serves as a comparison against future versions of Mac OS X.
cd /etc/apache2/ cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.bak
Now edit the Apache configuration. Feel free to use TextEdit if you are not familiar with vi.
Uncomment the following line (remove
LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so
- Download the MySQL DMG for Mac OS X
- Install MySQL
- Install Preference Pane
- Open System Preferences → MySQL
- Ensure the MySQL Server is running
- Optionally, you can enable MySQL to start automatically. I do.
The README also suggests creating aliases for
mysqladmin. However there are other commands that are helpful such as
mysqldump. Instead, I updated my path to include
Note: You will need to open a new Terminal window or run the command above for your path to update.
I also run
mysql_secure_install. While this isn’t necessary, it’s good practice.
Connect PHP and MySQL
You need to ensure PHP and MySQL can communicate with one another. There are several options to do so. I do the following:
cd /var mkdir mysql cd mysql ln -s /tmp/mysql.sock mysql.sock
You could stop here. PHP, MySQL, and Apache are all running. However, all of your sites would have URLs like http://localhost/somesite/ pointing to /Library/WebServer/Documents/somesite. Not ideal for a local development environment.
To run sites individually you need to enable VirtualHosts. To do so, we’ll edit the Apache Configuration again.
Uncomment the following line:
Now Apache will load httpd-vhosts.conf. Let’s edit this file.
Here is an example of VirtualHosts I’ve created.
<VirtualHost *:80> DocumentRoot "/Library/WebServer/Documents" </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost *:80> DocumentRoot "/Users/Jason/Documents/workspace/dev" ServerName jason.local ErrorLog "/private/var/log/apache2/jason.local-error_log" CustomLog "/private/var/log/apache2/jason.local-access_log" common <Directory "/Users/Jason/Documents/workspace/dev"> AllowOverride All Order allow,deny Allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost>
VirtualHost points to
/Library/WebServer/Documents. The first
VirtualHost is important as it behaves like the default Apache configuration and used when no others match.
VirtualHost points to my dev workspace and I can access it directly from http://jason.local. For ease of development, I also configured some custom logs.
Note: I use the extension local. This avoids conflicts with any real extensions and serves as a reminder I’m in my local environment.
In order to access http://jason.local, you need to edit your hosts file.
Add the following line to the bottom:
I run the following to clear the local DNS cache:
Now you can access http://jason.local.
Note: You will need to create a new
VirtualHost and edit your hosts file each time you make a new local site.
A note about permissions
You may receive 403 Forbidden when you visit your local site. This is likely a permissions issue. Simply put, the Apache user (
_www) needs to have access to read, and sometimes write, your web directory.
If you are not familiar with permissions, read more. For now though, the easiest thing to do is ensure your web directory has permissions of
755. You can change permissions with the command:
chmod 755 some_directory/
In my case, all my files were under my local
~/Documents directory. Which by default is only readable by me. So I had to change permissions for my web directory all the way up to
~/Documents to resolve the 403 Forbidden issue.
Note: There are many ways to solve permission issues. I have provided this as the easiest solution, not the best.
Unless you want to administer MySQL from the command line, I recommend installing PHPMyAdmin. I won’t go into the details. Read the installation guide for more information. I install utility applications in the default directory. That way I can access them under, in this case, http://localhost/phpmyadmin.
cd /Library/WebServer/Documents/ tar -xvf ~/Downloads/phpMyAdmin-220.127.116.11-english.tar.gz mv phpMyAdmin-18.104.22.168-english/ phpmyadmin cd phpmyadmin mv config.sample.inc.php config.inc.php
A local development environment is a mandatory part of the Software Development Process. Given the ease at which you can install Apache, PHP, and MySQL on Mac OS X there really no excuse.