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WAMP with PHP for 64-bit W7

Posted on 2013-02-01
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Last Modified: 2013-02-14
Hi Experts,
I'm considering jumping into PHP development and am looking for a complete WAMP solution for 64-bit W7 (having Perl and/or Python would be a nice bonus, but I'm primarily interested in PHP). I've done a fair amount of web research, and I don't want to sound like a jerk when I say this, but I'm not looking for folks to Google "WAMP" and send me the links – I've already done a lot of that (although I'd be glad to receive links to in-depth, top-drawer articles on the subject...I've seen just a few of those). What I'm really hoping to do is tap the collective wisdom of EE experts who have substantial, hands-on expertise in the WAMP game and can point me in the right direction...experts who have truly been around the block on this. I'm especially interested in feedback on EasyPHP versus XAMPP, two of the leading candidates based on the research I've done. But thoughts on other packages are equally welcome...and they do not have to be free...I'm happy to pay for getting the right development platform in place. Thanks much, Joe
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Question by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Frosty555 earned 125 total points
ID: 38845566
I have no experience with EasyPHP, but I've always used XAMPP for Windows and I don't see how you could possibly do any better than that - free or commercial.

XAMPP is a nice collection of totally standards compliant packages just like you'd normally have with any decent linux web hosting provider - Apache, MySQL, PHP, FTP (FileZilla), TomCat, Perl, phpMyAdmin, and a nice Windows based control panel to turn on and off various services and quickly point you at the paths to the config files.

Configuration wise, it is very much like Linux - the config files are pretty much the same, the folder layout is pretty much the same and everything is under C:\XAMPP.

The only catch is it isn't really very secure out of the box - it is designed to be a development environment so it's open and accessible, it is not a production server. It's fine running on your local PC accessed via http://localhost, but you wouldn't want to expose it to the Internet without some hardening.

If you're looking for a really easy development environment that will mirror pretty much exactly what it will be like when your project is online with a real web host, XAMPP is pretty much the way to go.

http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-windows.html
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by:Damjan
Damjan earned 125 total points
ID: 38845680
I can recommend XAMPP which is very simple to install and use.

I have a high traffic web website (Wordpress blog with many plugins, autlobloging, etc). Because of high server load (cpu, memory) I have had many problems with my hosting provider (shared hosting, major company), so I had to leave. Then I decieded to set up XAMPP on my W7 64bit machine (core2duo E6750, 4GB RAM). I was sceptical about that, but currently I'm hosting many PHP websites and 3 databases (each ~100MB) for more than 1 year.
Till today I haven't experience any problems with XAMPP, althougt i  have configured only the basics, becouse i did not have time for any research.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38845790
Thanks to Frosty555 and damjanholsedl – that's exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for from the EE experts who have "been there, done that!" I'm going to leave this open for a while in the hopes of some other folks jumping in...perhaps we'll get an EasyPHP advocate...or something else. Thanks again, Joe
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 125 total points
ID: 38845839
I have WAMP, XAMPP, and Apache/PHP on three different machines along with PHP on IIS on several others in my own network here.  I would not connect 'live' to the internet with any of them.  I also have or maintain several versions of PHP/MySQL on several varieties of Linux and Windows hosting.  There are some packages that do not install a complete web server, just something that will run PHP.  I would avoid anything like that.  Your interaction with the web server can be important at times.

In general, they all work the same though WAMP and XAMPP are organized a little differently.  In the details, you might need to check to see if the extension you want to use is actually available on the hosting you want to use.  Shared hosting doesn't allow you to add extensions to PHP.  You're stuck with what they offer.

Also, if you decide to use files outside your 'web root', most sharing hosting will not allow that at all.  Some also 'chroot' your web site which prevents you from using full paths on the host like "C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\index.php" or "/home/joeblo/public_html/index.php".  In either case you could use 'index.php' because that is 'relative link' inside your web root.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38845844
One other note.  PHP on most web hosting is 32-bit.  And most web servers are too.  There is no particular advantage to 64-bit PHP at the moment if your sites will end up on commercial hosting.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38846106
Dave,
I appreciate your comments,  some of which are over my head at this point, but I'm sure they'll prove to be very helpful as I get up to speed on the WAMP environment and PHP development. Thanks, Joe
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38846110
The simple version is that if you are developing code to be used on web hosting, make sure they support the features that you are using.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38846116
Got it! Tks!
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by:Lukasz Chmielewski
Lukasz Chmielewski earned 125 total points
ID: 38846523
For a local development platform, please consider Zend Server CE
http://www.zend.com/products/server-ce/
it is easier to maintain than the *ampp environments. And much faster- trust me, I've used all of them.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38847146
Roads,
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll take a look at it, but one question for you: what are your thoughts on Zend Server CE versus Zend Server? Thanks, Joe
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by:Lukasz Chmielewski
ID: 38847189
I do not have an experience with Zend Server (paid version) but I "guess" it has more features than the free one. My point is that the Zend has more to offer than the (with all the respect) custom made Apache + PHP + MySQL packages.
I focused on speed and ease of use. Most of the configuration issues can be solved by one click in ZS/CE and not by rewriting the .conf files in Apache in *AMP environments.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38847382
Roads,
I found a features matrix comparing the Zend editions:
http://www.zend.com/en/products/server/editions

The two items that raise a red flag for me are PHP hot fixes and security updates. How do you deal with this? Do you simply install a new version of CE every so often? Thanks again, Joe
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38847436
"hot fixes and security updates" are Rarely done on commercial hosting.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38851660
Dave,
I was thinking about the local dev environment for those two issues, not the commercial hosting environment. Being a WAMP newbie, is my thinking off-base on this? Thanks, Joe
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38851922
As I said somewhere, I tend to make my local dev environment match what's on my hosting. After all, you are developing for the web, not just your local machine, right?

Anything you install that is 64-bit is way ahead of any hosting that I know of.  They're all 32-bit as far as I know.  Godaddy for example just upgraded their older hosting accounts from PHP 4.4 to PHP 5.2.  They wanted to go to PHP 5.3 but that broke too many web sites.  I have only seen one question about PHP 5.4 so far and none of the hosting I use has it yet.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38852342
Dave,
Thanks for the explanation. Regards, Joe
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 38890234
It's been 10 days with no additional comments, so I'm going to close it out. Thanks to Frosty555, damjanholsedl, DaveBaldwin, and Roads_Roads for your input. Based on the feedback here, I'll probably give both XAMPP and Zend a spin (I'm surprised there were no comments on EasyPHP). Thanks again! Regards, Joe
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