I'm looking for a minimum of fuss here to get up and running.

Bonuses: - cross platform - portable (can be installed/run from a USB)

Clarification: I'm not looking to setup a full-fledged remote testing server, I just need something simple that I can load localhost in my computer's browser and check my latest changes.

  • This belongs on ServerFault. Jul 8, 2010 at 21:42
  • 3
    I disagree RandomBen, I believe it was the place to put it but with this new site, questions like this now also have a place here.
    – Nat Ryall
    Jul 8, 2010 at 22:12
  • 2
    it is vaguely on topic, since as a webmaster you might want some local stuff set up. Jul 9, 2010 at 8:21
  • @RandomBen What? I have set up dozens of local dev for different projects, languages, platforms yet have never had to build a server rack for development purposes. Isn't running a local dev environment considered a 'best practice' for web devs? How could this be considered 'off topic' when it's a fundamental workflow to web developers? Sep 27, 2015 at 18:31

3 Answers 3


Some options include:

  • XAMPP: (Cross Platform) Comes with Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl support out of the box and is portable but needs manual configuration if you defer from the default.
  • WAMP: (Windows) Comes with Apache, MySQL and PHP support out of the box and allows simple configuration through the tray icon. This also installs as a service so it's not portable.
  • MAMP: (Mac) Comes with Apache, MySQL and PHP support out of the box.
  • EasyPHP: (Windows) Comes with Apache, MySQL and PHP support out of the box and is portable.

XAMPP. It is also easy to do with PortableApps.com but you don't need PortableApps to do it on a removable drive.


Xampp is easy to install and you can choose to install it in portable form on a USB drive.

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