There’s a decent learning curve to installing an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add MySQL, PHP and Perl. There may be some developers out there that get a hard on about opening up the terminal and compiling source to get their development LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) environment set up on their local machine, but I’m not one of them. Here are the three fastest paths I’ve used to get LAMP up and running so I can get to what I love best : developing.
XAMPP XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. Comes in 3 flavors: Linux, Windows and OS X. There’s still a bit of terminal action going on here (from what I saw on the OS X version), but their instructions are easy to find and easy to follow. For those that need Perl and PHP and all the other goodies, It’s
MAMP The abbreviation MAMP stands for: Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP. It’s what I personally use on my powerbook and it’s great because for basic wireframing, I only need access to basic PHP functionality like includes. No need to install the developer tools, just copy into the application folder and you’re set. The cocoa interface is easy to follow and you can set it up to use any folder on your drive as a web server, which is nice because I prefer to keep all my projects separated.
Yellow Tip Webserver - The YellowTip Web Server was developed to make available a highly professional and easily installable package of Apache2, PHP4, MySQL4, phpMyAdmin and Zend Optimizer for the Windows platform. During the installation process you can chose which components you wish to install and all components are installed in a single directory, which can be used immediately. For Windows users, this is a bit more friendly than XAMPP, but might not be for your if you need PHP 5 functionality.
Remember folks, these are great for development and educational purposes only. If you need something to launch your site, you’re going to need a little terminal action.