Recommend switching to Docker
I finally switched to using Docker for local development on macOS. While the following tutorial works for macOS Mojave, it will not for future versions of macOS. I recommend following my latest tutorial on installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP on macOS using Docker.
Note: This post is for new installations. If you have installed Apache, PHP, and MySQL for Mac OS Sierra, read my post on Updating Apache, PHP, and MySQL for macOS Mojave.
I am aware of the web server software available for macOS, notably MAMP, as well as package managers like
brew. These get you started quickly. But they forego the learning experience and, as most developers report, can become difficult to manage.
The thing is macOS runs atop UNIX. So most UNIX software installs easily on macOS. Furthermore, Apache and PHP come preinstalled with macOS. To create a local web server, all you need to do is configure Apache and install MySQL.
First, open the Terminal app and switch to the
root user so you can run the commands in this post without any permission issues:
sudo su -
Enable Apache on macOS
Verify It works! by accessing http://localhost
Enable PHP for Apache
First, make a backup of the default Apache configuration. This is good practice and serves as a comparison against future versions of macOS.
cd /etc/apache2/ cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.mojave
Now edit the Apache configuration. Feel free to use a different editor if you are not familiar with vi.
Uncomment the following line (remove
LoadModule php7_module libexec/apache2/libphp7.so
You can verify PHP is enabled by creating a
phpinfo() page in your
DocumentRoot for macOS Mojave is
/Library/WebServer/Documents. You can verify this from your Apache configuration.
grep DocumentRoot httpd.conf
Now create the
phpinfo() page in your
echo '<?php phpinfo();' > /Library/WebServer/Documents/phpinfo.php
Verify PHP by accessing http://localhost/phpinfo.php
Install MySQL on macOS Mojave
Download and install the latest MySQL generally available release DMG for macOS. While MySQL 8 is the latest version, many of my projects still use MySQL 5.7. So I still prefer installing the older version.
When the install completes it will provide you with a temporary password. Copy this password before closing the installer. You will use it again in a few steps.
The README suggests creating aliases for
mysqladmin. However there are other commands that are helpful such as
mysqldump. Instead, you can update your path to include
Note: You will need to open a new Terminal window or run the command above for your path to update.
Finally, you should run
mysql_secure_installation. While this isn't necessary, it's good practice to secure your database. This is also where you can change that nasty temporary password to something more manageable for local development.
Connect PHP and MySQL
You need to ensure PHP and MySQL can communicate with one another. There are several options to do so. I like the following as it doesn't require changing lots of configuration:
mkdir /var/mysql ln -s /tmp/mysql.sock /var/mysql/mysql.sock
Additional Configuration (optional)
The default configuration for Apache 2.4 on macOS seemed pretty lean. For example, common modules like
mod_rewrite were disabled. You may consider enabling this now to avoid forgetting they are disabled in the future.
I edited my Apache Configuration:
I uncommented the following lines (remove
LoadModule deflate_module libexec/apache2/mod_deflate.so LoadModule expires_module libexec/apache2/mod_expires.so LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so
If you develop multiple projects and would like each to have a unique url, you can configure Apache VirtualHosts for macOS.
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