xAMP on the Mac

I’ve been trying to learn a bit about Drupal recently. It looks like we might be getting some Drupal projects at work, so it seemed like a good idea.

To get a working setup for Drupal on my Mac, I wanted to get all the pieces in place — Apache, PHP, and MySQL, basically. Apache is, of course, already there, and I already had that turned on, so no problem.

PHP was already installed, but apparently got turned off during the 10.7 upgrade. All you need to do to turn it on is edit httpd.conf, and uncomment one line, per this SO page.

For MySQL, there’s an installer that works pretty smoothly, per this page. One odd thing I stumbled across at one point is that you usually need to refer to your local server as ‘’ rather than ‘localhost’. Long story, but something worth noting. Also, if you’re not sure how to set the root password, take a look at this SO page.

I tested to make sure that MySQL was working from PHP using this litle test script:


$db = mysql_connect("", "root", "password");

if (!$db) {
    die('Could not connect' . mysql_error());
    echo 'Connected successfully';

I can’t remember exactly where I found that, but it’s a pretty basic script.

I then got a little ambitious and decided to try to get phpMyAdmin working. I made a couple of simple mistakes here, including not quite understanding that config.inc.php needed to be in the root phpMyAdmin folder and not in the config subfolder.

Also, the warning from phpMyAdmin about mcrypt not being installed was bugging me, so I decided to try and fix that. That turned out to be kind of complicated. I followed these instructions, and they worked, but only on my second try. I must have gotten something wrong on the first try. Also, I found another page with similar instructions, so referencing that may help if anything on the first page seems confusing.

In the end, I think I really should have just gone with MAMP, but of course I was doing this as a learning exercise, so it was valuable to go through all this, even if it took a lot longer than was probably necessary.

And I still don’t have Drupal installed. Maybe tomorrow!

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