XAMPP is the new FoxServ

As I'm in the process of setting up my new machine, I thought I'd take a look at what's been happening in the area of one-click Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc. installers. I find having the servers I use installed on my development machine to be an invaluable productivity boost but wouldn't like to go through the process of manually installing all the various modules.

Until now, I had been using FoxServ -- a free distribution that was, at one point, being updated rather regularly. I was, however, dismayed to find that the latest version hadn't been updated since 2003 (around when I last changed computers.) Googling around, I came upon XAMPP by a group called Apache Friends.

XAMPP looks like a wonderful distribution that has pretty much everything under the sun (Tomcat is also available as an addon but I prefer to install that myself as its such a painless install in any case -- just unzip, set JAVA_HOME if not already set, and you're set!) Installing it couldn't be easier. I downloaded the executable installer: One click (ok, a double-click but who's counting?) and I had the whole package installed in under a minute. Everything appears to be working and it even comes with its own status scripts, etc. for you to test it out. Highly recommended! :)

Update 2005-4-17: One minor annoyance with the single-click installer is that you cannot install XAMPP into a folder of your choice. The limitations are that it can only install into a second-level folder (eg. d:\web\XAMPP) and that the second-level foler is always named XAMPP (you can rename this but you will have to modify configuration settings in the modules by hand whenever they use absolute paths.) If you'd rather have finer control without the hassle, download the ZIPped distribution, unzip that in a folder of your choice, rename the XAMPP folder if you wish and then run setup_xampp.bat.