What is WAMP LAMP MAMP XAMPP (Plus Their Differences)

Welcome, and you are probably here because of the confusion between WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, and XAMPP. Techies sure like to abbreviate everything, and just what the heck are all of these? For a quick answer:

  • WAMP – Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP
  • LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
  • MAMP – Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP
  • XAMPP – Cross-platform (X), Apache, MariaDB, PHP, Perl

Yes, you sharp ones should have noticed now – “AMP” is a server stack consisting of Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The only difference between these packages is the supported operating systems. But just what in the world is a server stack? Read on to find out more!

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Web Server Stack WAMP LAMP MAMP XAMPP Download Links
The End

 

 

THE WEB SERVER STACK

WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, and XAMPP, in a nutshell, are actually web server stacks – This section will explain more about what it is.

 

WHAT IS A SERVER STACK?

According to WhatIs.com:

A server stack is the collection of software that forms the operational infrastructure on a given machine. In a computing context, a stack is an ordered pile.

In simple terms, a server stack is just a whole collection of software that you install on the server. The software then becomes a part of the server infrastructure that is essential to the operations.

 

WHAT ARE COMMONLY INSTALLED ON A WEB SERVER?

So in the case of a “webserver stack”, it is a suite of software that turns a computer into a server capable of serving web pages. There is various software available out there in the market, but here is what we typically install on a web server:

Component Role
Web Server HTTP server, or simply, handles the web pages.
Database Server Processes transactions and holds various data.
Scripting Language The “backbone scripts” that do data crunching and processing.
Mail Server Delivery and receiving of email.

 

THE INFOGRAPHIC

What is a server stack? (Click to enlarge)

 

 

WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, XAMPP

From the above common components that we install on a web server, some of you sharp ninjas should have already figured out the mysteries of the Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

 

WINDOWS, LINUX, MAC

I don’t think these require any further introduction… They are operating systems.

 

APACHE

Apache is an open-source web server that handles HTTP requests and serves out web pages accordingly.

 

MYSQL

MySQL is an open-source database server offered by Oracle.

 

PHP

PHP (short for Hypertext Preprocessor) is a programming language that is mostly web-oriented.

 

IN SUMMARY

LAMP, WAMP, MAMP – They are really just referring to an Apache-MySQL-PHP web server stack on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Mystery solved. 😆 But wait… XAMPP is a little bit different from the rest.

 

 

XAMPP

To set up a web server stack, we will normally have to install Apache, MySQL, and then PHP individually. There are quite a lot of tutorials on how to do this online, but thankfully, someone compiled all of it into a single installation package called XAMPP – Available on Windows, Linux and Mac.

  • XAMPP stands for Cross-Platform (X), Apache, MariaDB, PHP, and Perl.
  • What is MariaDB? Basically, some history here. MySQL used to be open-source, then Oracle took over it. The original developers of MySQL had some concerns over a company taking over it, and thus created a “spin-off” called MariaDB.
  • MariaDB is still highly compatible with MySQL.
  • Perl is yet another programming language.
  • XAMPP is one of the more popular choices out there if you want to set up a web server fast.

 

DOWNLOAD LINKS & MORE

Finally, this is a small section for you guys who want to set up your own server stack – Here are the links to download the compiled AMP packages, so you don’t have to individually install each component.

 

THE INSTALLER PACKAGES

Of course, the world is huge and there are a couple of other people who have compiled similar packages like XAMPP. Here are the few popular ones that I know of:

Name Supported OS Link
XAMPP Windows, Linux, Mac Click Here
WAMP Server Windows Click Here
MAMP Server Windows, Mac Click Here
AMPPS Windows, Linux, Mac Click Here

 

INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS AND ALTERNATIVES?

One last point to make here – Please take note Apache-MySQL-PHP is not the only possible web server stack. There are many other technologies out there:

Component Examples & Links
Web Server Microsoft IIS, NGINX, LiteSpeed
Database Server MSSQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite
Server-side Language ASP, Python, Ruby
Mail Server Mercury, Sendmail

So yep, if you have a Windows, IIS, MSSQL, PHP stack, you can call it a WIMP. 😆

 

 

THE END

Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope this has explained the mysteries of WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, and XAMPP. But to install the individual Apache, MySQL, PHP yourself, or to download the installer package – Which is better? Personally, I have always used XAMPP, and that has saved me a lot of time trying to configure stuff correctly.

That said, there is nothing wrong if you want to try out the other packages, or learn the hard way of installing everything yourself. If you have anything to share with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck!

1 thought on “What is WAMP LAMP MAMP XAMPP (Plus Their Differences)”

  1. Have used Mamp and Wamp on windows,
    Glad to see an alternative promoted, looking forward to trying Xampp for windows and I’m glad to see reviews like this where the most obviously named (Wamp) might not be the best. Looking forward to trying something new, thanks for the in-depth review!

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