If you like doing web development, and especially need PHP, you probably want to install a piece of software that enables you to install the PHP and apache packages for you. You do you a basic apache install on your computer, but installing an configuring it to run properly is a bit fiddly. I have tried and failed. Thank fully there is two vary good pieces of software that streamline the process for you. These are XAMPP and MAMP. This post is going to be a review and head to head battle about them. I have posted about them before, but this is going to be an extension of that.


XAMPP stands for X (for the four operating system supported) A (Apache) M (MySQL) P (PHP) P (Perl). Like both the two app’s it supports the core functions of PHP and Apache which, as a web developer, is needed.

Overall it runs very quickly, although it does take a couple of seconds to support. Installation of files is easy, you just drag and drop into the htdocs folder and you are ready to go. The built in support for phpmyadmin is good through the use of a customer XAMPP interface. It runs like clock work and hasn’t yet crashed on me. It does take a while to get used to how to place and organise files. The only problem that I have is that the .htaccess file support doesn’t work at all. Any changes or additions causes the program to fail. Other than that it works fine.


MAMP stands for M (Mac OS X) A (Apache) M (MySQL) P (PHP, Perl or Python). Like XAMPP it supports web development very easily. You install the program, drag and drop the files into the required folder in applications and you are ready to go.

MAMP, works in exactly the same way as XAMPP, although it does have its slight differences. For example the running page, shown above, is a lot simpler. It also has a cool traffic light system that can easily show you what is happening. It also has a couple more advance features such as assigning ports, PHP optimization and changing the start directory. As well as this it also has a cool widget for starting and stopping the program.

XAMP does have its downsides. It doesn’t seem to run as smooth as XAMPP. For example it shows the port number in the address bar, it starts and stops slowers. As well as this it just doesn’t run as quick. It is a good program though. But I would recommend XAMPP for any serious development work.

Hopefully you can see the difference between the two. They served as examples of the different types of programs that can be used for web development. I prefer XAMPP although you might see different. There are a couple of other programs that serve this purpose, but these two are by far the best.

P.S Sorry there was no post yesterday, things got caught up and I was unable to post.

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11 Responses to “XAMPP vs MAMP”

  1. 1

    Any luck messing with Xampp and .htaccess files?

    I tried installing cakePHP into Xampp’s /htdocs/ and can’t get .htaccess files to show up, no matter what i do.

    Comment By tim on July 9th, at 7:17 pm

  2. 2

    Not really. I have found the MAMP is better.

    Comment By admin on July 9th, at 7:49 pm

  3. 3

    yup…MAMP is much better than XAMPP…:)

    Comment By cedrain on August 12th, at 7:25 am

  4. 4

    Hi all, I am facing some difficulties with XAMPP, I need to activate .htaccess files, but so far I can’t do that!
    I am downloading MAMP to see if I can’t work with this files.

    I am on Leopard 10.5.5 and .htaccess shows up for me on Finder for example, but when I tried to access a page via localhost, error 500 shows up to me!

    So, MAMP works fine with .htaccess?

    Comment By Jaison on October 27th, at 7:39 am

  5. 5

    @Jaison, I am not 100% sure how to solve your problem. It should allow them by itself. You may have to check the documentation.

    Comment By admin on October 27th, at 4:12 pm

  6. 6

    I will only say that mamp is more stable. I’ve tried both and i find xampp hard to use…

    However, I must xampp is best for windows platform so far.

    Comment By A Reader on May 16th, at 3:38 pm

  7. 7

    i installed mamp but when i type localhost ina browseri get Unable To Connect. what am i doing wrong?

    Comment By solo on July 4th, at 5:42 pm

  8. 8

    @Solo, make sure its switched on and running.

    Comment By admin on July 7th, at 10:42 am

  9. 9

    I use both. I find mamp difficult in that moving to mamp pro puts important files all over the hard drive and adding any additional php modules is difficult. It has not been updated for a very long time and they do not reply to questions of when it will be updated. XAMPP works well with Leopard and has updated apache, php and msql.

    Comment By Dan on August 7th, at 7:54 pm

  10. 10

    I was on the payment page for MAMP Pro but thought I should read up peoples views of MAMP in general. On MAMP’s forum, readers have talked about the lack of support, new versions and missing libaries! Don’t think I will go for MAMP Pro now but maybe use a mixture of MAMP Basic & XAMPP!

    Comment By web design hastings on August 19th, at 1:41 pm

  11. 11

    I used to use MAMP PRO because it was so easy to support multi-development of my sites and if something was botched, I could re-install and recover quickly.

    After upgrading to Snow Leopard, wanting to play with Ruby and Ruby on Rails, wanting to add in other features, MAMP became impossible to work with. Actually, not entirely impossible, but I reached a point where I was mucking with MAMP enough that the benefits of saving time were diminished to the point of being moot.

    Setting up the built in Apache, PHP and updating MySQL had a few challenges. The biggest one for me was the issue with the MySQL binaries were not created with a Snow Leopard environment in mind.

    I found the problem soultion here: http://macosx.com/forums/software-programming-web-scripting/310208-snow-leopard-php-mysql-cant-connect.html

    In case the info is moved, here are the details:

    Edit the /etc/php.ini file. Everywhere you find


    change to


    then restart the web server.

    Now I just put my dev sites in my Sites folder.


    Comment By jmcbade on November 11th, at 4:34 pm