How to build yourself a MAMP environment

I normally have a server somewhere standing here which I use as my development environment for all webbased stuff (with a focus on PHP/MySQL) so I had not yet the pleasure to install a *AMP system on my new Powerbook. But a few days ago I was at the University and simply wanted to do some minor testing, but couldn’t becasue my server was at home and behind some other machines and firewalls. So I decided to give it a try and install a MAMP system (MacOSX Apache MySQL PHP ;) ) on my laptop which should offer only the real basics. I don’t need SSL here because the whole thing should only be available from localhost. OK, there is for example XAMPP for MacOSX which is … kind of outdated. And since I don’t really fear the shell (actually I decided to get a Mac instead of giving Windows a try again after 5 years of Linux because I could have a full UNIX system in the background with all its shell magic ;) ) I decided to go with doing it using the source packages and not something someone else has compiled ;) In the following short article I will describe exactly what I did.

First of all: This tutorial will use quite a few libraries from the fink repository, so you’ll need to have fink installed to be able to proceed.

A small warning here: This is just my personal playground environment which is quite raw and without all the nice whistles and candy you can expect from a complete package (like it is provided on a decent webserver). So please don’t use this to setup your public webserver ;) It just includes what I currently need with probably more to be added later when at least this basic setup is working.

A bigger warning here: I take no responsibility when following this tutorial breaks your system or in any other way costs you time, money or anything else. This simply describes how I did it and doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for anyone else. You follow this tutorial at your own risk.


  • Apache (2.2.0)
  • PHP (5.1.1)
  • MySQL (5.0.16)
  • libpng
  • libjpeg
  • libtiff
  • zlib
  • FreeType

… not to forget the developer tools which you can find on your MacOSX Tiger discs.

Installing MySQL

This is definitely the easiest part of this whole endevour:

  1. Get the standard binary package for MacOSX 10.4
  2. Install it like you would any other app for Tiger. This package also includes an extension for the SystemPreferences which makes starting and shutting down the server much more comfortable ;)
  3. Well, nothing really left for the server part but it’s always nice to have a client so you could for example go with CocoaMySQL or the MySQL Administrator or install phpMyAdmin after installing PHP.

Installing Apache

Since Apache doesn’t provide binary packages for Unix/BSD we will have to compile it ourself. Sure, Apache (1.3.3) is bundled with Tiger, but we want to stay on the bleeding edge of releases, don’t we ;) So let’s get started.

From now on everything that we compile and install ourselves will we put in a separated directory so that it won’t mess with other already installed software. For this tutorial I’ve used /opt/wwwdev as the directory which will from now on house Apache, PHP and also the main htdocs directory for the httpd.

So let’s get the source code and start compiling ;)

sudo mkdir /opt/wwwdev
tar -xjf httpd-2.2.0.tar.bz2
cd httpd-2.2.0
./configure --prefix=/opt/wwwdev/ --enable-mods-shared=all \
&& make \
&& sudo make install
cd -

This will install Apache HTTPD 2.2.0 with all modules (where ./configure determined it was possible to build them) built in a way so that you can easily enable and disable each of them by just editing the httpd.conf file.

To start your httpd simply run sudo /opt/wwwdev/bin/apachectl start.

Installing PHP

PHP was by far the most annoying part of getting this basic MAMP installation working mostly because I wanted GD support and also at least limited FreeType support. For this little joy a few extra libraries are needed which mostly can be installed using fink .

sudo apt-get install libpng3 libpng3-shlibs libpng
sudo apt-get install libjpeg libjpeg-bin libjpeg-shlibs
sudo apt-get install libtiff-shlibs

I somehow couldn’t find the zlib in the fink repository so this will also has to be compiled manually:

tar -xjf zlib-1.2.3.tar.bz2
cd zlib-1.2.3.tar.bz2
./configure --prefix=/opt/wwwdev && make && sudo make install

The last requirement for our little dev setup is FreeType2. This is available in fink but I somehow couldn’t make PHP recognizing it. So let’s get back to the manual way here as well:

tar -xjf freetype-2.1.10.tar.bz2
cd freetype-2.1.10
./configure --prefix=/opt/wwwdev && make && make install
cd -

Now that all the dependencies should be installed, let’s get to PHP itself.

tar -xjf php-5.1.1.tar.bz2
cd php-5.1.1
./configure  --prefix=/opt/wwwdev/ --with-mysql=/usr/local/mysql \
    --with-apxs2=/opt/wwwdev/bin/apxs --with-gd --with-jpeg-dir=/sw/ \
    --with-png-dir=/sw/ --with-freetype-dir=/opt/wwwdev/ \
    --with-tiff-dir=/sw/ --enable-cli --enable-mbstring --enable-sockets \
    --with-xpm-dir=/usr/X11R6/ --with-zlib-dir=/opt/wwwdev/ \
&& make && sudo make install
cd -

Thanks to apxs make install will already enable mod_php in your httpd’s httpd.conf but it won’t bind the .php and .phps file extensions to the PHP module so we will have to do this manually. Therefor open /opt/wwwdev/conf/httpd.conf and add following 2 lines at the end of the config file:

AddType application/x-httpd-php .php 
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

Now, to check if PHP is really working create a info.php file in /opt/wwwdev/htdocs with your usual phpinfo() call in it:


And open it in your webbrowser:

open http://localhost/info.php

You should now see a nice listing of your PHP installation’s setup and not the code you put into the info.php file ;)

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