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Installing XAMPP on a Windows system

From: Dynamic Dreamweaver Websites: Creating and Validating Forms

Video: Installing XAMPP on a Windows system

We are now going to install our testing environment for working throughout this course. And this is a very common testing environment. Because of that, instead of having to install all of the separate pieces for this environment, what we can do is install on the Windows side, a product called XAMPP. This is an open source product and it is downloadable from the web. There is one catch at the moment right now.

Installing XAMPP on a Windows system

We are now going to install our testing environment for working throughout this course. And this is a very common testing environment. Because of that, instead of having to install all of the separate pieces for this environment, what we can do is install on the Windows side, a product called XAMPP. This is an open source product and it is downloadable from the web. There is one catch at the moment right now.

At this point in time, when this course is being recorded, the present XAMPP version is 1.7.4. On Windows 7, there is a little bug in 1.7.4. So, when you go to install XAMPP, if you download 1.7.4 version, you will have an issue. It's a known bug, and there will be a new release of XAMPP. XAMPP new releases come out periodically. So what I've done is provided you the prior version at this link to download, if you're using Windows 7.

If you're on an earlier version of Windows, it should not be an issue. Go ahead and get the 1.7.4 version. As far as the exact version, don't be concerned if your version is a different one that comes out, let's say it's 1.7.7. All of the features we need within XAMPP have been in it for a long time. So even if you have an older version, it won't be a problem. In our setup here, when we install 1.7.3, the difference between these two is at the end of the installation of 1.7.3, there are some command prompts you need to answer. So I'm going to install 1.7.3.

I am on Windows 7. I'm also going to walk you through those command prompts, they're fairly simple, but when you get to the end, I want to make sure you know how to do that piece as well. 1.7.4 has eliminated the need to do those command line prompts. So they've made XAMPP a little bit easier to install between these two versions. So, I do have this available. We'll go ahead and download it, and install it. So I'm going to install 1.7.3.

I'll click Run. I can close up this piece, and here is our XAMPP install. I'm going to just use everything default. So I click Install, I have to approve this in Vista or Windows 7 in the User Account Control. And you will be amazed at how many files this installs. Now, it looks like it's pretty intense, but the part we need to work on is really not too complicated.

What we get is a Control panel to turn the web server and the database on and off. And it's totally up to you to control those. But you can see, all these different files being installed. MySQL is the name of the database. There's Perl, there's PHP. There's all different pieces within this XAMPP install. We won't be using most of them. We want the PHP portion, and if you need a database, the MySQL portion. And there's also the Apache web server that's going to be installed. So you can see, it's extracting all of these files. What we will end up with on our system is, in our C Drive, our main drive, we're going to have a single folder called XAMPP.

So it's pretty simple, even though, this looks pretty intense. So once we get to the Control panel at the end, we will be talking about the Control panel separately so you can see how to work within that environment and how to administer your site. So, XAMPP is pretty intensive. Aren't you glad you don't have to install all of these individually? When I first started on the web, that's what we had to do and then get all these individual pieces recognizing one another.

So the set up process was far worse then actually creating the web pages. Now, we're in the Apache piece, you may have seen the word Apache scrolling by and Apache is the web server we're working in. It is a Unix server. It is one of the most popular web servers out on the web. So, we are just about done here, as you can see. And XAMPP will come up, and here is our command line prompt that I was mentioning. Should I add shortcuts? Yes, I definitely want shortcuts.

You can see that's the letter y. So I just hit Enter. Should I proceed and locate the paths correctly? Yes, please proceed. So the y is default there. I'll hit Enter. And this is the part that tends to confuse people, and the default is not what we want. What we want is portable XAMPP. That will give us a separate control console, so I'll hit Y, the letter Y, and hit Enter. And what XAMPP did is send this outside of the Windows operating system, and that gives us a little bit better control. XAMPP is ready to use.

Press Enter to continue. Okay. Enter. This is going to pull in the time zone where you are installing XAMPP, so I just tend to gather the default here. So we'll hit Return, and what I want to do is start the Control panel number 1. So I'll hit 1 and Enter. And there's my Control panel. Now, we can exit out of this just by hitting the letter x. So I will hit the letter x and Return, and we're done with that piece.

And what we have left is the XAMPP Control panel. Now, this is how you start the web server. This is how you start the database piece. So what we've done here is worked with XAMPP and installed it. Let's click the Start button to turn it on. There is one issue you can have if Apache does not want to start for you. There is a Skype issue that can occur, and Skype can block the port for Apache to run. So if that happens to you, what you want to do is go out to your Skype settings. And there's one thing you need to modify in your Skype settings. So let me show you that interface.

I'll stop this. And we'll take a look at Skype. Once I've stopped it, it takes a second. And you can see running is gone. I will show you the Skype setting. Most people use Skype nowadays, so I will include this. If you open up, go to tools, Options, within Skype, and click on the Advanced Settings. Within the Advanced Settings area is a section called Connection. And the piece that get's in the way of starting Apache if you have Skype installed is this one right here. So, in the Connection area, what you do is, just uncheck that. And that's all there is to it.

So just this little check box can interfere with Apache starting. So go ahead and uncheck that, save it in Skype and Apache should start with no issue. So just be aware of that. If you're not using Skype don't worry about it. Apache should start without any issues. So, I'll go ahead and start Apache. I'm going to click the Admin button, and what you should see, if this installed correctly is this interface. And I'm going to click English, and this lets me know that it has successfully installed.

So, we just installed XAMPP. You can see it's really not too difficult to do as long as you know that to do in those last few screens. So we now have XAMPP installed. We have Apache, PHP, and the MySQL database installed should we need it. We've set up our testing environment. That's all there is to it.

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