Acronyms such as AMP, LAMP, MAMP, and WAMP often come up when talking about computers and servers? What are these and how do I use them?
What is AMP/LAMP/MAMP/WAMP?
All these acronyms are referring to software packages that make it easy to set up servers with the most common server software. The acronym can be broken down like this:
[Operating System]: Linux (L), Macintosh (M), or Windows (W) Sometimes this letter is omitted when talking about these software bundles in general.,
Apache web server (A)
PHP (and most often now also Python and Perl) (P)
Apache is commonly used to host HTTP files, MySQL for databases, and PHP/Python/Perl for Programming language used for creating dynamic webpages.
Most webdesigners, website authoring programs (such as Dreamweaver), and content management software (such as WordPress and Drupal) uses these technologies.
How do I get these packages on my computer?
First you need to find one online. They are free and most of the time open-source, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that works for you. A very good software that is avalible for Linux, Windows, Solaris, and MacOS is XAMPP. XAMPP contains all of the software mentioned above, including Perl but not Python. What XAMPP’s strength is compared to some other AMP packages is its easy-to-use web interface. XAMPP also includes phpMyAdmin and OpenSSL to make setting up the server easy for even those with less technical backgrounds.
There are also a number of other packages avalible. A good list can be found on Wikipedia. Due to its avalible on most operating systems and for explanation purposes we’ll continue to use XAMPP as an example.
XAMPP can be downloaded from Apache Friends. The download page for XAMPP can be found [here]. An installation file is avalible for Windows, APT can be used for Linux, and the XAMPP program be dragged into OS X’s Application folder.
Once installed XAMPP will allow you to host web pages and files from you computer. You can access your page by typing in localhost on your computer’s web browser, the local IP-Address on any other computers on your network, or the external-IP address anywhere else on the internet. If you want to access your website from the outside world make sure that the proper ports (such as port 80 for HTTP) are forwarded to your server on your router. Any software firewalls will have to be configured to allow incoming traffic on the proper ports as well. You will also probably want to buy a domain name for your web server.