Install and configure XAMPP for the desktop

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install and configure XAMPP for the desktop. To sum it up in one sentence: XAMPP, which stands for Cross-Platform (X) Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl, is a popular, free and open source web server package that you can use to install a web server onto your desktop.


XAMPP allows you to develop PHP and Perl-based server-side scripting applications without the need for a remote web server, offering you the opportunity to work faster, develop stuff more securely, and work on your apps without an internet connection.

In this tutorial – you’ll see exactly how XAMPP can do splendid things to your development cycles.

We’re going to use a simple xampple (sorry, I had to get that out of the way, been thinking about saying that for a long time): we’re going to install XAMPP and WordPress with some test data to have WordPress right on our desktop.

This tutorial is for Windows Vista, so you’ll have to tweak the steps involved depending on your operating system. Here’s what you’ll be doing in this tutorial:


  • Downloading and Installing XAMPP
  • Starting up your Apache and MySQL services

This tutorial covers installing XAMPP in Windows Vista, so you’ll have to tweak the steps a little bit if you’re using a different operating system.

Obtaining XAMPP and choosing a version

1 Obtain a copy of XAMPP for Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X at the apache friends XAMPP web page.

2 Choose the package you want: for normal web development, just go with the Basic Package.

The Basic Package comes with a host of useful applications, libraries, and extensions such as phpMyAdmin (which we’ll use to set up WordPress later on) and eAccelerator (a popular PHP caching application to optimize and improve PHP script performance). For this tutorial, choose the Installer version.

Download it (Save File) onto your computer.

3 Open up the executable (for Windows users, it’s called xampp-win32-1.7.1-installer.exe).

download XAMP server


The following figure shows the first dialog box; it asks you to select which language you want to use.

select language for the xamp server

The next dialog you’ll see is the first page of the XAMPP Setup Wizard.

xampp setup wizerd

4 Pick a destination for the installation.

Note: XAMPP suggests not to install it in the Program Files folder (i.e. C:\Program Files\xampp), so just install it in the root of your drive (C:\xampp)

choose location for xampp install

5 Configure your options in the XAMPP Options dialog box. For this tutorial, just go with the default installation options.

xampp installations options

That’s it for the installation, quick and painless wasn’t it? Let’s fire up Apache and MySQL.

Starting up your Apache and MySQL services

6 After the installation, you should’ve been presented with an option that asks you to open the XAMPP Control Panel. If you didn’t get that option, do one of the following:

  • Navigate to it using the Windows interface

Start > All Programs > Apache Friends > XAMPP > XAMPP Control Panel

  • Open the XAMPP Control Panel directly

If you didn’t select the “Create Shortcut” option in the installation, then navigate to the XAMPP installation folder and open the file called xampp-control.exe.

XAMPP Control Panel


7 The XAMPP Control Panel should look like the following figure:

XAMPP Control Panel application

8 Click the Start button beside Apache. If you’re on Windows, you’ll get a Windows Firewall warning: choose Unblock.

9 If all goes well, you should see the XAMPP Control Panel log updated with “Apache Started”, and “Running” with a green background right beside the Apache service.

10 Start the MySQL service using the same method as step 8.

running XAMPP Control Panel


Testing to see if it works

11 With your Apache and MySQL services started, open up a web browser and navigate to localhost using the following path:


12 You should see the following screen:

install and configure xampp


Congratulations, you now have your very own locally hosted (localhost) web server!


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