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XAMPP: A Running website in minutes



XAMPP
Have you ever considered setting up a website from home? Or have you dreamt of running your blog, you own photo gallery, or the family wiki or any other web based application on your own server or laptop? The good news is that you can, even if you have no real experience in such 'chores'. You can have a bare-bones webserver complete with a built in database and waiting to house your website, blog, photo gallery, music center, collaboration tool or custom tool in minutes. Yes, in minutes with a couple of clicks of your mouse.

If you are a web developer how often have you cursed under your breath trying to configure Apache or worse trying to get Apache working with perk, PHP and MySQL? Well, the folks at ApacheFriends.org have a solution for you that can rid you of those woes. They have created XAMPP to make this sort of installation a breeze.

Just download and install Xampp, carefully following their instructions and most of your work is done. You also have a nice little dashboard to start and stop your website or your database. The folks at PortableApps.com have a 'portable' version of XAMPP that can be run from a thumb drive. The great thing about this version is that you can take it with you and have it run from any computer. This version comes complete with a file server and an optional Tomcat install to host your Java web applications.

So why would you need a web server? Here are a few reasons:

  • Install  Mediawiki, the software tool used to build Wikipedia. Use it as a collaborative wiki or to build your own encyclopedia.
  • Install gallery2 and run your own Flickr-like photogallery on your own computer.
  • Organize your music with Jinzora.
  • Install an office collaborative platform, Feng Office.
  • Install a professional looking website with almost no prior experience using Drupal or Joomla.
  • Host your own blog using Wordpress
If you go through the exercise of installing one of the above mentioned applications, you'll realize that installing the others is almost an identical process.

Developers could simply use XAMPP as a sandbox to test out their own custom applications. Whatever your motivation may be, XAMPP gives you a webserver in minutes.

Here is Lifehacker's great how-to on how to install XAMPP portable with Mediawiki on a thumb drive.

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