Installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL on macOS Mojave

Main Thread 4 min read

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.

Running Commands

First, open the Terminal app and switch to the root user so you can run the commands in this post without any permission issues:

1sudo su -

Enable Apache on macOS

1apachectl start

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.

1cd /etc/apache2/
2cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.mojave

Now edit the Apache configuration. Feel free to use a different editor if you are not familiar with vi.

1vi httpd.conf

Uncomment the following line (remove #):

1LoadModule php7_module libexec/apache2/

Restart Apache:

1apachectl restart

You can verify PHP is enabled by creating a phpinfo() page in your DocumentRoot.

The default DocumentRoot for macOS Mojave is /Library/WebServer/Documents. You can verify this from your Apache configuration.

1grep DocumentRoot httpd.conf

Now create the phpinfo() page in your DocumentRoot:

1echo '<?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 mysql and mysqladmin. However there are other commands that are helpful such as mysqldump. Instead, you can update your path to include /usr/local/mysql/bin.

1export PATH=/usr/local/mysql/bin:$PATH

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:

1mkdir /var/mysql
2ln -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:

1vi /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

I uncommented the following lines (remove #):

1LoadModule deflate_module libexec/apache2/
2LoadModule expires_module libexec/apache2/
3LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/

If you develop multiple projects and would like each to have a unique url, you can configure Apache VirtualHosts for macOS.

If you would like to install PHPMyAdmin, return to my original post on installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL on macOS.

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