Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LAMP stacks on Xubuntu 11.10

Recently I've been evaluating several php applications written for the LAMP stack. To do this, I decided to install a LAMP stack on my pc, which is running on xubuntu 11.10. There is more than 1 way to achieve this end. Here are my observations on 3 methods.

  • XAMPP, from http://www.apachefriends.org/, includes everything in one package.
  • lamp_server, a package from the Ubuntu repository.
  • Individually install all the pieces from the Ubuntu repository.

XAMPP
It's hard to beat xampp for ease of install. Just extract the archive into /opt. It comes with a handy
lamppcommand line tool to start and stop all the services. However, I started spending a lot of time resolving side issues. It wasn't compatible with MySQL Administrator. The package includes phpMyAdmin. Overall, it's ok, but I run into issues and end up at the mysql command line. And I found that another package I installed was starting up another apache web server instance, causing conflicts. I also found that I had to tweak the php.ini file to suppress error messages, or the packages I was evaluating would not render correctly.




lamp_server
To install this, you need a terminal:

sudo apt-get install lamp_server^

This gave me grief. The install failed when setting the MySQL root user password. When I tried to uninstall the package, it failed with an unresolved dependency on mono_document. I've realized that I'm not actually going to use mono for now, so I uninstalled that package, and again entered:


sudo apt-get remove lamp_server^

This time, it didn't fail. But I noticed that it wasn't ending, either. I looked more closely, and realized that it was removing everything. I aborted, but it was too late. I couldn't even re-boot, the os was damaged.


After
re-installing a clean copy of Xubuntu 11.10, I decided to
install the standard Ubuntu packages individually:


sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client
sudo apt-get install apache2
sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql

At this point, I am now up and running with a supported lamp stack.MySQL Administrator works correctly and I don't have to depend on phpMyAdmin. The apache server is started and stopped automatically. I also did not have to tweak the php error message display level. To me, this has a production feel to it, and this is the correct installation for me to evaluate existing software.

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