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Apache on WIN32

By Brian Moon
on July 30, 2000

One of the most commonly asked questions on the PHP3 mailing list is “How do
I set up PHP on my Windows machine?” Well, hopefully, I can help answer this
question. When done properly, using Windows to develop PHP3 sites can be very
advantageous. This tutorial is meant to show you how to use Apache and
Windows for developing. It in no way tries to show how to set up a production web server
using Windows and Apache.
Installing Apache
First you need a web server. I recommend Apache. I know they say
it is not entirely stable on Windows, but really what Windows app is? It
is the easiest to set up and can do some neat things with virtual directories to
make your life easier. So, go to http://www.apache.org/dist/ and get the latest
Win32 build. There is a link at the top of the page for world wide
mirrors. Mirrors are good, use them. The file will be called
something like apache_1_3_6_win32.exe. Download that and run it.
Apache has done a good job on their installation.
It is very easy. It will ask you for an install directory. don’t make it
too hard to get to, because you will want to
play with your configuration files and drilling down
through 5 folders is no fun. For this example, I will use 'c:apache'.
Assuming you get no errors during install, Apache is probably ready. You
will want to read the readme files. There are several. There is one
for Win32 specifically which is somewhat misnamed readme-NT.txt. It
applies to both Windows 9* and NT.
Installing PHP3
Ok, if you search the PHP3 mailing list on this you may get confused.
First you need to install the latest PHP for windows. If you want you can
compile PHP on windows, but I will not cover that as it is not necessary for a
simple development workstation. Go to your favorite PHP mirror and go to
the downloads section. Select ‘Source code and Windows
distribution’. The direct URL is
. Download
the ‘Windows binary’. It is my understanding that the PHP3 guys are
working on a better install. However, for now you will have to simply
unzip the zip file. Unzip the file to a directory of your choice.
For this we will use 'c:php306'. I recommend using the version number in
the folder name. This will enable you to try new versions without
killing an old working one.