Choosing the right flavour for web development

I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop running XP that I’m ‘recycling’ to use for web development to while away the many hours I spend on trains! I want to be able to run a LAMP setup to locally serve development web sites and ocassionally access an ethernet network and wireless. I’m familiar with running MAMP servers but I’m new to Linux. Which flavour would be best for this setup?

Hello David,

Pretty much any linux distribution under the sun will come with support for running a LAMP setup. Personally, for ease of use, I’d reccomend Ubuntu 9.10. Once you have it installed, just issue the following command:
"sudo aptitude install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5 mysql-server mysql-client "

That will pull in a load of ‘dependencies’, things those packages require to work, but that should install apache2, MySQL, and PHP for you :slight_smile:

Great, sound easy. I’ll give it a try this evening.

Thanks for your prompt help and advice.

Just for clarity… Don’t include the quotation marks in the above command.
So open a terminal and enter:

sudo aptitude install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5 mysql-server mysql-client

Just in case you get as far as hosting, don’t use this combination under a heavy load. Apache and ModPHP will overload and will crash from time to time … instead look into Lighttpd with FastCGI - this is pretty solid, much faster and much more fault tolerant. (albeit maybe a little more interesting when it comes to configuration, but not much …!)

(lightty is used by YouTube, MySpace, PirateBay, Phbb8, eBuyer, Meebo, Sourceforge etc etc… )

Apache is brilliant at serving static files, but not so good at dynamic content. Saying that, the vast, vast majority of our servers here run Apache / ModPHP without a problem (and we have hundreds of servers), most of them running many websites (we host thousands of websites). :slight_smile:

For development work, especially when you’re starting, apache is easy to get into, and the config files tend to make sense. It’s very, very well documented. It’s still the most popular web-server on the internet, thrashing IIS (Microsoft’s web-server) :slight_smile:

I would agree with everything you’ve said. Note however that I ran Apache for years (and years …) and as soon as I loaded mod_apache it started to crash every few weeks for no apparent reason, and I was never able to solve the issue.

Since I’ve moved to lighttpd, I’ve not had it crash once and Apache has resumed 100% reliability on it’s remaining tasks … :slight_smile:

(and if you look at the benchmarks, lighttpd / FCGI, it “kills” Apache with mod_php … :wink: )

Just a quick thanks to everyone for your help and advice, which helped me on my way to successfully installing Apache, PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin over the weekend.

It was very simple and, to my surprise, I have to say was a lot easier than getting Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server running!