macOS Update: While these instructions still work, there are new posts for recent versions of macOS, the latest being Install Apache, PHP, and MySQL on macOS Mojave.

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PHP Update: Mac OS X Sierra comes pre-installed with PHP version 5.6, however the latest version of PHP is 7.1. After you complete this post, you should upgrade PHP on Mac OS X.

Note: This post is for new installations. If you have installed Apache, PHP, and MySQL for Mac OS El Capitan, read my post on Updating Apache, PHP, and MySQL for Mac OS X Sierra.

Mac OS X runs atop UNIX. So most UNIX software installs easily on Mac OS X. Furthermore, Apache and PHP come packaged with Mac OS X. To create a local web server, all you need to do is configure Apache and install MySQL.

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I am aware of the web server software available for Mac OS X, notably MAMP. These get you started quickly. But they forego the learning experience and, as most developers report, can become difficult to manage.

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:

Enable Apache on Mac OS X

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 Mac OS X.

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

Uncomment the following line (remove #):

Restart Apache:

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

The default DocumentRoot for Mac OS X Sierra is /Library/WebServer/Documents. You can verify this from your Apache configuration.

Now create the phpinfo() page in your DocumentRoot:

Verify PHP by accessing http://localhost/phpinfo.php

Install MySQL on Mac OS X Sierra

Download and install the latest MySQL generally available release DMG for Mac OS X.

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.

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.

Connect PHP and MySQL

You need to ensure PHP and MySQL can communicate with one another. There are several options to do so. I do the following:

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Additional Configuration (optional)

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The default configuration for Apache 2.4 on Mac OS X 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 #):

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

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

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A database management system with a solid reputation for small and enterprise businesses

Developing sites and systems can be quite tricky especially if it requires you to store a lot of information from your users and visitors like usernames, passwords, etc. This calls for a structured collection of data or a database. Of course, when there's a database, you need to have a proper management system to help you organize and keep your data safe.
MySQL is one of the pioneering technologies when it comes to database management. Despite its years, it has successfully evolved its products and services to remain relevant. Find out why it's still the best option for you.

Fast, reliable, and scalable database management

The fact MySQL’s clientele includes tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and PayPal proves how it has been trusted even by the experts in the industry.

MySQL claims to be the king in open-source databases and there's a pretty good reason why. Many of its users happily report that this program has helped them develop various systems from content managers to web applications.

Ask any MySQL user and they can easily tell you that it's simple and easy to install. Installation requirements are minimal that you can use it on Windows and Linux with few resources without any problem. It provides adapters to integration to almost all types of programming languages. The MySQL query syntax is easier to learn in comparison to other database management software. Furthermore, it supports highly complex and advanced SQL queries.

Which one to get

MySQL Community Edition is the best option for small businesses and freelance developers. You can download it for free on the official website under the GPL license and is supported by a community of open source developers. It includes support for SQL and NoSQL, MySQL replication, group replication, InnoDB Cluster, Partitioning, and Router. You can also access the Transactional Data Dictionary for improved reliability. Utilize the MySQL Workbench for visual modeling, SQL development, and administration. All these you can get and more for absolutely no cost!

If you're looking to improve your database management for your business, MySQL Enterprise edition is for you. It includes the most comprehensive set of advanced features, management tools, and technical support. Reduce the risk of data loss by delivering online backups of your database through Enterprise Backup. InnoDB Cluster saves you from relying on external tools, scripts, etc by delivering an integrated, native, HA solution for your database. Yes, it comes with a steep price, but you're actually saving more money especially when you compare it to its competitors who offer the same service at a higher cost.


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Since MySQL has been in the business since 1995, it has developed a pretty solid community with a mix of tech experts and rookies. It's not difficult to seek help from their community page. You can even Google topics related to the program and find your answers through forums and blog posts. Concurrently, the application's official website also has its digital manual available to the public. There are also courses available online that offer to teach you how to use the software efficiently. Those who are signed up for the Enterprise MySQL edition, a 24/7 support is available for faster assistance.

Where can you run this program?

MySQL supports several platforms including Windows and Microsoft Windows Server. Its current version is compatible with Windows 10. You may also run this program on macOS 1.14 and macOS 10.13. Apart from these, Oracle Linux, Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Solaris, Canonical Ubuntu, SUSE, Debian, and FreeBSD users may also experience Oracle's database management software. Keep in mind that OS support may also vary depending on the MySQL edition you get.

Is there a better alternative?

Microsoft SQL Server is the pioneering tech company's take on database management. It's perfect for business of all sizes as it offers relational database management that allows you to access enterprise data through a structured query language. The BI Semantic model lets you extract and analyze data from heterogeneous sources. Its 'in-memory analytics' feature lets you perform queries even while the data is in the RAM for speedy access. This software is also scalable to fit the needs of independent developers and corporate database managers.

PostgreSQL is also a popular database management service provider. It is one of the most advanced open-source programs of its kind. Initially designed for UNIX-like platforms, it also has clients for various operating systems such as macOS, Solaris, and Windows. Its features include table inheritance, Nested transactions (savepoints), Multi-version concurrency control (MVCC), and Asynchronous replication. Like any open-source programs, PostgreSQL is available at no cost.

Our take

MySQL is a robust data management tool. Its popularity within the field is backed by its amazing features and excellent service. Those working on low-budget projects can also access their services for free. While the Enterprise Edition comes with a hefty price, it's an investment worth making especially for businesses that acquire sensitive data from their developers and for their end-users.

Should you download it?

Yes. If you’re looking into Beyond the huge price tag, MySQL Enterprise Edition can actually help your company money in the long run. It's one of the best and easiest database systems. No need to worry about support as there's a solid community that can come to your rescue or you can turn to their 24/7 customer service reps for immediate help. However, if you aren’t willing to shell out so much, you may opt for their Community version which you can download free of charge.


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  • Large database size needs improvement
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