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Using Apache and PHP on Mac OS X

Are you a Mac user? Are you working on the Mac OS X platform and want to use Apache and PHP? Well, Joel has some surprises for you as well as a list of steps one must follow to configure both on your machine.

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By: Joel Philip
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March 18, 2003

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Are you a Mac user? Are you working on the Mac OS X platform and want to use Apache and PHP? Well, Joel has some surprises for you as well as a list of steps one must follow to configure both on your machine.

If you’re running Mac OS X it has some surprises for you. Seems, PHP and the Apache Web Server have been installed on your machine without your knowledge. Well, its no secret but running them both is somewhat of a mystery and the trick is to flush them out of their hiding spots.

Generally on a Mac there are Icons that represent programs and documents that you double-click to execute their existence. With PHP and Apache, they run in the background with no sign of an Icon in sight.

To start Apache Web Server, you must go into the “System Preferences Control panel located on the “Apple Menu”.
Click on the Icon labeled "Sharing". Then locate the tab labeled  "File & Web". You will want to click the button labeled “Start” in the  "Web Sharing " section. This starts up Web sharing which starts the Apache Web Server.
Apache Web Server is now running. Easy, huh? "How can I tell?” you ask. Simple. Start up your web browser of choice. In the web address or URL part of your browser, type: "localhost" (without the double-quotes)
If everything is Okay, your browser will display the following:
"If you can see this, it means that the installation of the Apache Web server software on this system was successful. You may now add content to this directory and replace this page."
It worked! Hooray.
To access the pages of this directory, double-click on your hard drive and locate the "Library" directory. From there locate the "WebServer" directory and then the "Documents" directory where these web pages reside.
Note: If its not running, you either do not have web sharing enabled or   something is wrong with Apache's files. It should work right out of the box.

Since Mac OS X is a multi-user system, every person has their own account and with that brings it’s own set of web pages. To access your personal web pages you must type the following in the browser address:

To access your personal web pages, locate your account name directory under   "Users" And locate the directory labeled "Sites".
/Users/yourname/Sites/your web pages are here <---
Now that you have Apache running, it would be great to write your own PHP scripts and run them locally on your Mac. This is the most difficult part and if you get past this, everything is downhill with ease.
By default, PHP is disabled along with other features of the Apache Web Server, but we are going to concentrate on enabling PHP.
There is a file called "httpd.conf". The Official name for this file is: "Apache HTTP Server Configuration file". This is our mission. You are going to "uncomment" four lines of the "httpd.conf" file. This requires us to use a text editor to do the job.
Using the Terminal.app, Start the Terminal.app located in the "/Applications/Utilities/" directory, then change the directory to the "httpd" directory using the following command:
cd /etc/httpd
Next step is to use "root" privileges, start up the text editor named "Pico" and edit the "httpd.conf" file.
Use the following command in the Terminal.app:
sudo pico httpd.conf
Type the root password and you are ready to go.
Locate the 4 lines:
#LoadModule php4_module
#AddModule mod_php4.c
#AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
#AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

Use your arrow keys to navigate the document and remove only the pound signs "#". The best way to navigate is to use the DOWN arrow key and stay to the left Side of the document. To remove the pound sign, hit the right arrow to the right Of the sign and then hit the DELETE key.

Warning: Only remove the pound signs!! Keep the lines of code where they are and do not relocate them!! You have been warned!

The changed lines should look like this:
LoadModule php4_module
AddModule mod_php4.c
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

Save the file by hitting the CTRL + X keys. Pico will ask you if you want to save the document, just hit the Y key to say “YES”. By uncommenting the lines you will load PHP as a module and help the Apache Web Server Serve any PHP file types. You can also create PHP files with another extension simply by adding another Type to the list in the "httpd.conf" file.
What if I wanted all of my PHP files to end with the. bozo extension? Simple, just add this line to the "httpd.conf" file situated next to the AddType  section.
AddType application/x-httpd-php .bozo
After you save the file and restart the Apache Web Server, any PHP file saved with that .bozo extension would display your PHP coding just like a normal PHP file. Now close and save the file. We have to restart the Apache Web Server for everything to take effect. If Apache is running, turn it off by clicking the "Web Sharing On" button that says, "Stop" located in the "Sharing" Section of the System Preferences.

To restart Apache click on the "Web Sharing On" button. Apache will now be running. We will be writing a small PHP script that will give us information about the PHP installation.
Here is your first piece of PHP code, create an ascii text file and save it as "phpinfo.php", then place it in the Sites directory:

Type the following URL in your web browser:

It will display a large colorful web page with all of PHP's statistics on your machine. For more information on what the page means visit the PHP web site:
So now you can run your own Apache Web Server with PHP enabled from the convenince of your own Mac. Life is good. If you have MySQL installed for Mac OS X, then youre ready to roll with a fully functional web environment to serve dynamic content.

Written by Joel Philip – Copyright 2003

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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