Getting started with AMP stack on Mac OS X Lion

The other day, I got myself a Macbook Pro which runs OS X Lion. Coming from the Linux world where everything is available at finger tips via package managers, I was at first lost. I tried MAMP and Zend Server CE. I had some issues with Zend Server CE and custom virtual hosts – mostly because I couldn’t figure out which bits to be changed. MAMP worked out pretty well. But I wanted to use the native builds of the AMP stack. I know about macports and homebrew but wanted to do things myself!

(1) Mac OS X ships with built in apache. I enabled “Web Sharing” from System Preference > Sharing. It turned on viewing of my ~/Sites directory at http://localhost/~masnun/. It works but not pretty helpful.

(2) I edited /etc/apache2/httpd.conf to change the document root to ~/Sites. Now I could see my home page on localhost.

(3) I tried creating virtual hosts at ~/VirtualHosts – this worked with MAMP but with the built in Apache, it can not load the virtualhosts from that location because of permission issues. So instead, I reinstated the default location for vhosts inside the “extra” directory. I appended all my virtualhosts in one file. It works!

(4) “NameVirtualHosts *” and a separate virtual host for localhost is must.

(5) Mac OS X has a built in PHP. I just created the default php configuration file at /etc/php.ini

(6) I downloaded MySQL from their website. Installed the packages and imported my existing databases.

(7) PHP by default expects the mysql unix socket to be in /var/mysql/mysql.sock but the package from mysql creates the socket at /tmp/mysql.sock. So I had to edit the socket for mysql, pdo-mysql and mysqli. I needed to change them all because WP uses mysql, phpmyadmin uses mysqli and ZF uses pdo.

(8) I ran the pear installer (as a phar file inside /usr/lib/php) to install pear and pecl.

(9) To install mcrypt extension, I downloaded libmcrypt and source of PHP 5.3.10. I changed directory to PHP’s mcrypt extension directory. Ran “phpize”, “make” and “sudo make install”. Copied the generated extension to my custom extensions directory.

(10) Restarted apache at every step. It’s now working fine 🙂


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