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XAMPP - A web server software for easy web design

1.  What is XAMPP ?
XAMPP = X(Cross-Platform) + Apache HTTP Server + MySQL + PHP + Perl.
It is free and open source virtual web server software package, allow website designers and programmers to test their work on their own computers without any access to the Internet web server. Also cross-platform means can be installed on various types of OS machines (like- Window, Linux and OS X).

XAMPP facilitate development-testing of PHP web sites on local machine itself. Specially good for students and new learners.   It does not require any Domains or Hosting space on internet. The web sites developed and tested on XAMPP further can be copy or relocate to an appropriate hosting server. This way XAMPP helps in reducing designing cost of a site.

XAMPP package is developed by Apache Friends (https://www.apachefriends.org).

2.  How to install XAMPP Server on computer?
  • Download XAMPP Server package setup file from Apache Friends website (corresponds to OS platform).
  • Run Installer with default settings.
  • Chose an installation directory (C:\xampp –as default in window).
  • XAMPP Control Panel appears at the end of installation.
3.  Starting XAMPP Server
  • Click  Start Menu > XAMPP > XAMPP Control Panel
  • First start Apache Server, then MySQL.
  • Open browser and type "localhost" or "127.0.0.1" in address bar, XAMPP Server screen should appear. This shows XAMPP Server is ON.
  • On XAMPP screen select your language (first time only), it takes to the XAMPP Server Home Page.
  • Minimize and work.
4.  Different folders under XAMPP root directory
  • htdocs : This folder contains all web site related stuffs and called "Document Root" directory. For every new web site it is better to create a folder inside htdocs folder to avoid conflict from other site running within it.
    • For example, you can create a folder called myschool inside htdocs folder and then put index.php inside that. Then you can access it via the URL http://localhost/myschool
    • apache: It contains different configuration files like
      • Apache Conf File(httpd.conf) at location C:\xampp\apache\conf\httpd.conf
      • PHP Conf File (php.ini) at location C:\xampp\php\php.ini
      • Other Apache configuration settings have been moved to sub configuration files under C:\xampp\apache\conf\extra.
      • mysql: It contains MySQL Conf File (my.cnf) at location C:\xampp\mysql\bin\my.cnf   
           All of these files may be opened on notepad for editing.
           How to Changing the Document Root directory read here >>

      5.  Working with XAMPP
            In XAMPP there are three ways to work on website designing:
      1. Bitnami Package : Various website building scripts are available on https://bitnami.com which can be directly downloaded and installed like any other executable files. Installed script will be available under Applications tab on http://localhost/xampp/ or XAMPP dashboard.
      2. Softaculous Package : Unlike Bitnami software package, where website building scripts directly installed and run on XAMPP, Softaculous is a script installer software package – which includes more than 400 web applications (free or paid) ready to install. After installing Softaculous on XAMPP, individual scripts can be installed as per requirement.
      3. Manual Code Writing: One can also able to develop a website manually by writing HTML and PHP code directly on notepad and saving it into “htdocs” folder. MySql database can be managed through phpMyAdmin page on XAMPP dashboard.
      6.  Software similar to XAMPP
      • WampServer
      • MAMP
      • Easyphp
      • The Uniform Server
      • AMPPS
      • WPN-XM
      • Wnmp
      • Usb Webserver

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