Web Server Php For Mac

First part in a multi-part blog series for Mac developers

Web Server Php For Mac

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Part 1: macOS 10.15 Catalina Web Development Environment

Developing web applications on macOS is a real joy. There are plenty of options for setting up your development environments, including the ever-popular MAMP Pro that provides a nice UI on top of Apache, PHP and MySQL. However, there are times when MAMP Pro has slow downs, or out of date versions, or is simply behaving badly due to its restrictive system of configuration templates and non-standard builds.

It is times like these that people often look for an alternative approach, and luckily there is one, and it is relatively straight-forward to setup.

In this blog post, we will walk you through setting up and configuring Apache 2.4 and multiple PHP versions. In the second blog post in this two-post series, we will cover MySQL, Apache virtual hosts, APC caching, and Xdebug installation.

[Updated 12/02/2019] Updated to reflect the latest release of PHP 7.4 and the removal of PHP 7.1 from Official tap
[Updated 10/08/2019] Updated to reflect the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina
[Updated 01/10/2019] Updated to add back PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.0 from and external deprecated keg
[Updated 12/12/2018] Updated to reflect the latest release of PHP 7.3 and the removal of PHP 7.0 from Brew.

If you have followed this guide in the past with the Homebrew/php tap, and are looking to upgrade to the new Homebrew/core approach, then you should first clean-up your current installation by following our new Upgrading Homebrew.

This guide is intended for experienced web developers. If you are a beginner developer, you will be better served using MAMP or MAMP Pro.

If you don”t already have XCode installed, it”s best to first install the command line tools as these will be used by homebrew:

This process relies heavily on the macOS package manager called Homebrew. Using the brew command you can easily add powerful functionality to your mac, but first we have to install it. This is a simple process, but you need to launch your Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal) application and then enter:

Just follow the terminal prompts and enter your password where required. This may take a few minutes, but when complete, a quick way to ensure you have installed brew correctly, simply type:

You should probably also run the following command to ensure everything is configured correctly:

It will instruct you if you need to correct anything.

Catalina Required Libraries

When installing fresh on Catalina, I ran into a few libraries that were missing when completing all the steps below. To make things easier, please simply run these now:

The latest macOS 10.15 Catalina comes with Apache 2.4 pre-installed, however, it is no longer a simple task to use this version with Homebrew because Apple has removed some required scripts in this release. However, the solution is to install Apache 2.4 via Homebrew and then configure it to run on the standard ports (80/443).

If you already have the built-in Apache running, it will need to be shutdown first, and any auto-loading scripts removed. It really doesn”t hurt to just run all these commands in order – even if it”s a fresh installation:

Now we need to install the new version provided by Brew:

Without options, httpd won”t need to be built from source, so it installs pretty quickly. Upon completion you should see a message like:

Now we just need to configure things so that our new Apache server is auto-started

You now have installed Homebrew”s Apache, and configured it to auto-start with a privileged account. It should already be running, so you can try to reach your server in a browser by pointing it at http://localhost:8080, you should see a simple header that says “It works!”.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you get a message that the browser can”t connect to the server, first check to ensure the server is up.

You should see a few httpd processes if Apache is up and running.

Try to restart Apache with:

You can watch the Apache error log in a new Terminal tab/window during a restart to see if anything is invalid or causing a problem:

Apache is controlled via the apachectl command so some useful commands to use are:

The -k will force a restart immediately rather than asking politely to restart when apache is good and ready

Visual Studio Code

In past guides, I”ve always provided instructions to edit files using the default TextEdit application that comes pre-installed. However, this is not what I use myself as it”s a terrible editor and when testing my guide for Catalina, I kept running into problems with encoding, finding line numbers etc. The better solution is to simply install a better editor. So please install the amazingly versatile yet, 100% free, Visual Studio Code. It”s available on Mac, Windows, and Linux, but right now we only care about the mac version.

Go to the Visual Studio Code site and click Download for Mac

Once downloaded, drag the application to your preffered Applications location. Next, you want to install the command line tools, so follow the official step-by-step instructions so that you can use the code command from the Terminal.

Apache Configuration

Now that we have a working web server, we will want to do is make some configuration changes so it works better as a local development server.

In the latest version of Brew, you have to manually set the listen port from the default of 8080 to 80, so we will need to edit Apache”s configuration file.

If you followed the instructions above you should be able to use Visual Studio Code to edit your files using the code Terminal command. However, if you want to use the default TextEditor application to perform edits, you can use the open -e command followed by the path to the file.

Find the line that says

and change it to 80:

Next we”ll configure it to use the to change the document root for Apache. This is the folder where Apache looks to serve file from. By default, the document root is configured as /usr/local/var/www. As this is a development machine, let”s assume we want to change the document root to point to a folder in our own home directory.

Search for the term DocumentRoot, and you should see the following line:

Change this to point to your user directory where your_user is the name of your user account:

You also need to change the <Directory> tag reference right below the DocumentRoot line. This should also be changed to point to your new document root also:

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We removed the optional quotes around the directory paths as TextEdit will probably try to convert those to smart-quotes and that will result in a Syntax error when you try to restart Apache. Even if you edit around the quotes and leave them where they are, saving the document may result in their conversion and cause an error.

In that same <Directory> block you will find an AllowOverride setting, this should be changed as follows:

Also we should now enable mod_rewrite which is commented out by default. Search for mod_rewrite.so and uncomment the line by removing the leading #:

User & Group

Now we have the Apache configuration pointing to a Sites folder in our home directory. One problem still exists, however. By default, apache runs as the user daemon and group daemon. This will cause permission problems when trying to access files in our home directory. About a third of the way down the httpd.conf file there are two settings to set the User and Group Apache will run under. Change these to match your user account (replace your_user with your real username), with a group of staff:

Servername

Apache likes to have a server name in the configuration, but this is disabled by default, so search for:

and replace it with:

Sites Folder

Now, you need to create a Sites folder in the root of your home directory. You can do this in your terminal, or in Finder. In this new Sites folder create a simple index.html and put some dummy content in it like: <h1>My User Web Root</h1>.

Restart apache to ensure your configuration changes have taken effect:

If you receive an error upon restarting Apache, try removing the quotes around the DocumentRoot and Directory designations we set up earlier.

Pointing your browser to http://localhost should display your new message. If you have that working, we can move on!

If you have existing PHP installations via Brew, you need to first cleanup your setup with our Upgrading Homebrew guide before continuing with this section.

Up until the end of March 2018, all PHP related brews were handled by Homebrew/php tab, but that has been deprecated, so now we use what”s available in the Homebrew/core package. This should be a better maintained, but is a much less complete, set of packages.

Web Server Php For Mac

PHP 5.6, PHP 7.0, and PHP 7.1 have been deprecated and removed from Brew because they are out of support, and while it”s not recommended for production, there are legitimate reasons to test these unsupported versions in a development environment. These versions also need to “built from source” in order to use the latest versions of icu4c and openssl.

Remember only PHP 7.2 through 7.4 are officially supported by Brew so if you want to install PHP 5.6, PHP 7.0, or PHP 7.1 you will need to add this tap:

We will proceed by installing various verions of PHP and using a simple script to switch between them as we need. Feel free to exclude any versions you don”t want to install.

You no longer have to unlink each version between installing PHP versions as they are not linked by default

Also, you may have the need to tweak configuration settings of PHP to your needs. A common thing to change is the memory setting, or the date.timezone configuration. The php.ini files for each version of PHP are located in the following directories:

Let”s switch back to the first PHP version now:

At this point, I strongly recommend closing ALL your terminal tabs and windows. This will mean opening a new terminal to continue with the next step. This is strongly recommended because some really strange path issues can arise with existing terminals (trust me, I have seen it!).

Quick test that we”re in the correct version:

Apache PHP Setup – Part 1

You have successfully installed your PHP versions, but we need to tell Apache to use them. You will again need to edit the /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf file scroll to the bottom of the LoadModule entries.

If you have been following this guide correctly, the last entry should be your mod_rewrite module:

Below this add the following libphp modules:

We can only have one module processing PHP at a time, so for now, so we have left our [email protected] entry uncommented while all teh others are commented out. This will tell Apache to use PHP 5.6 to handle PHP requests. (We will add the ability to switch PHP versions later).

Also you must set the Directory Indexes for PHP explicitly, so search for this block:

and replace it with this:

Save the file and stop Apache then start again, now that we have installed PHP:

Validating PHP Installation

The best way to test if PHP is installed and running as expected is to make use of phpinfo(). This is not something you want to leave on a production machine, but it”s invaluable in a development environment.

Simply create a file called info.php in your Sites/ folder you created earlier with this one-liner.

Point your browser to http://localhost/info.php and you should see a shiny PHP information page:

If you see a similar phpinfo result, congratulations! You now have Apache and PHP running successfully. You can test the other PHP versions by commenting the LoadModule .. [email protected] .. entry and uncommenting one of the other ones. Then simply restart apache and reload the same page.

PHP Switcher Script

We hard-coded Apache to use PHP 5.6, but we really want to be able to switch between versions. Luckily, some industrious individuals have already done the hard work for us and written a very handy little PHP switcher script.

We will install the sphp script into brew”s standard /usr/local/bin:

Check Your Path

Homebrew should have added its preferred /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/sbin to your path as part of its installation process. Quickly test this by typing:

If you don”t see this, you might need to add these manually to your path. Depending on your shell your using, you may need to add this line to ~/.profile, ~/.bash_profile, or ~/.zshrc. We will assume you are using the default bash shell, so add this line to a your .profile (create it if it doesn”t exist) file at the root of your user directory:

Mac

Testing the PHP Switching

After you have completed these steps, you should be able to switch your PHP version by using the command sphp followed by a two digit value for the PHP version:

You will probably have to enter your administrator password, and it should give you some feedback:

Test to see if your Apache is now running PHP 7.1 by again pointing your browser to http://localhost/info.php. With a little luck, you should see something like this:

Upgrading your system to PHP 7.4

If you have already installed this setup prior to December 2019, where PHP 7.3 was the latest, you can easily update your setup to support the new PHP 7.4 version with a few steps:

  1. Update to latest PHP 7.4 with brew update && brew upgrade

  2. This will upgrade the default php package from 7.3 to 7.4. You then need to re-install PHP 7.3 with: brew install [email protected]

  3. Update the PHP switcher script (sphp) with the latest version that adds support for PHP 7.4 by re-running the commands:

  4. Add a new entry in your httpd.conf for the PHP 7.4″s libphp below the 7.3 entry:

  5. Next you have to create a symbolic link for /usr/local/opt/[email protected] as brew installs PHP 7.4 as /usr/local/opt/php:

That”s it, just sphp 7.4 to Switch to PHP 7.4 and you should be good to go!

Updating PHP and other Brew Packages

Brew makes it super easy to update PHP and the other packages you install. The first step is to update Brew so that it gets a list of available updates:

This will spit out a list of available updates, and any deleted formulas. To upgrade the packages simply type:

You will need to switch to each of your installed PHP versions and run update again to get updates for each PHP version and ensure you are running the version of PHP you intend.

Activating Specific/Latest PHP Versions

Due to the way our PHP linking is set up, only one version of PHP is linked at a time, only the current active version of PHP will be updated to the latest version. You can see the current active version by typing:

And you can see the specific versions of a PHP package by typing:

OK, that wraps up Part 1 of this 3 part series You now have a fully functional Apache 2.4 installation with a quick-and-easy way to toggle between PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4. Check out Part 2 to find out how to setup your environment with MySQL, Virtual Hosts, APC caching, YAML, and Xdebug. Also take a gander at Part 3 to find out how to setup SSL for your Apache Virtual Hosts.

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I mainly do web development on my 15 in Macbook Pro. Mac runs on base Unix foundation so mainly you could install almost all Linux/Unix software on Mac very easily.

Mac OS X comes by default with ApacheWeb Server and PHP. In this tutorial we will go over steps on how to enable those on Mac.

Webserver Php

Php

Let’s get started:

Enable Apache Web Server

Step-1

Open terminal App and run below command:

Step-2

Open browser and check with URL: http://localhost

Enable PHP Module and verify Perl module

Step-1

Open Terminal App. Mac OS X comes by default with Perl library. Just type below commands to check Perl and PHP Setup.

Terminal Commands
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/usr/bin/perl
bash3.2# pwd
total120
rwrr1root wheel13077Sep92014magic
drwxrxrx14root wheel476Sep92014extra
rwrr1root wheel20786Sep92014httpd.conf
rwrr1root wheel20786Jun913:55httpd.conf.bak
bash3.2# vi httpd.conf

Step-2

Open file httpd.conf file. You may use any Text Editor also.

Web Server Php For Mac Download

Uncomment the following line (remove #): LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so

Step-3

Restart Apache Web Server:

Step-4

Server

  • Find DocumentRoot from httpd.conf file. In my case it’s /Users/crunchify/Documents/Blogs/MAMP as I’m using MAMP on my Mac.
  • You may have diff folder something like /Library/WebServer/Documents/.
  • Create below file crunchify-php-on-mac.php under your DocumentRoot folder.
  • If you don’t see folder Web Server then just create it 🙂
crunchify-php-on-mac.php
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<head>
</head>
<?phpecho“<p>Hello World – PHP Testcase on Mac OS X by Crunchify.com..</p><br>Have a fun. Enjoy.”;?>
</html>

Step-5

Now visit this URL: http://localhost/crunchify-php-on-mac.php and you should see php file loaded successfully on browser.

How to Kill Apache httpd process on Mac?

Just incase if you need to kill apache httpd process on Mac then you could use below commands.

Web Server Php For Mac Shortcut

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sudo launchctl unload/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist

Web Server Php For Mac Os

Enjoy and Happy coding…

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