Recommend switching to Docker
I finally switched to using Docker for local development on macOS. While the following tutorial works for macOS Catalina, it has limitations. I recommend following my latest tutorial on installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP on macOS using Docker.
Note: This post assumes you followed installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL on Mac OS X Mojave and have since upgraded to macOS Catalina. If you did not follow the original post, you should follow installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL on macOS Catalina.
When Mac OS X upgrades it overwrites previous configuration files. However, before doing so it will make backups. For Catalina the original versions may have a suffix of
mojave or be copied to a backup folder on the Desktop. Most of the time, configuring your system after updating Mac OS X is simply a matter of comparing the new and old configurations.
This post will look at the differences in Apache, PHP, and MySQL between Mac OS X Mojave and macOS Catalina.
Mac OS X Mojave and macOS Catalina both come with Apache pre-installed. As noted above, your Apache configuration file is overwritten me when you upgrade to macOS Catalina.
There were a few differences in the configuration files. However, since both Mojave and Catalina run Apache 2.4, you could simply backup the configuration file from Catalina and overwrite it with your Mojave version.
sudo cp /etc/apache/httpd.conf /etc/apache/httpd.conf.catalinasudo mv /etc/apache/httpd.conf.mojave /etc/apache/httpd.conf
However, I encourage you to stay up-to-date. As such, you should take the time to update Catalina's Apache configuration. First, create a backup and compare the two configuration files for differences.
sudo cp /etc/apache/httpd.conf /etc/apache/httpd.conf.catalinadiff /etc/apache/httpd.conf.mojave /etc/apache/httpd.conf
Now edit the Apache configuration. Feel free to use a different editor if you are not familiar with vi.
sudo vi /etc/apache/httpd.conf
Uncomment the following line (remove
LoadModule php7_module libexec/apache2/libphp7.so
In addition, uncomment or add any lines you noticed from the
diff above that may be needed. For example, I uncommented the following lines:
LoadModule deflate_module libexec/apache2/mod_deflate.soLoadModule expires_module libexec/apache2/mod_expires.soLoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so
Finally, I cleaned up some of the backups that were created during the macOS Catalina upgrade. This will help avoid confusion in the future.
sudo rm /etc/apache2/httpd.conf.mojavesudo rm -rf /etc/apache2/original/
Note: These files were not changed between versions. However, if you changed them, you should compare the files before running the commands.
Mac OS X Mojave came with PHP version 7.1 pre-installed. This PHP version has reached its end of life. macOS Catalina comes with PHP 7.3 pre-installed. If you added any extensions to PHP you will need to recompile them.
Also, if you changed the core PHP INI file it will have been overwritten when upgrading to macOS Catalina. You can compare the two files by running the following command:
diff /etc/php.ini.default /etc/php.ini.default.mojave
Note: Your original file may note be named something else. You can see which PHP core files exist by running
I would encourage you not to change the PHP INI file directly. Instead, you should overwrite PHP configurations in a custom PHP INI file. This will prevent Mac OS X upgrades from overwriting your PHP configuration in the future. To determine the right path to add your custom PHP INI, run the following command:
php -i | grep additional
Note: It appears Catalina does not include the PHP Zip extension. This is a popular extension used by many packages. This was one of the reasons I switched to using Docker.
MySQL is not pre-installed with Mac OS X. It is something you downloaded when following the original post. As such, the macOS Catalina upgrade should not have changed your MySQL configuration.
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