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, just what the heck do these mean? 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

You sharp ones should already have the answer. “AMP” is simply a server stack consisting of Apache, MySQL, and PHP. The only difference between “WAMP LAMP MAMP XAMPP” is the supported operating system. For you guys who are still lost at “what is a server stack” – Read on for more!






WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, XAMPP are just web server stacks. But what is a “server stack”? What is Apache, MySQL, PHP? This section will walk through a little more.



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 collection of software that we install on the server. The server stack is also considered a part of the server infrastructure, critical to the operations.



Yes, a “server stack” is nothing but a suite of software that we install on a server. In the case of “AMP”, we are referring to a “web server stack”. A server that is specialized in dealing with the Internet and websites:

Component Role Link
Windows, Linux, Mac Operating system. Don’t think this needs any explanation. NA
Apache HTTP web server. To handle HTTP requests, serve web pages. Click Here
MySQL Database. To store and process data. Click Here
PHP Scripting language. Click Here




But of course, an “AMP” stack is just a general collection. We can install as many components and run as many other services as required:

Component Role Example
FTP File transfer protocol. Allow users to directly connect and manage their files. Link
SSH Secure shell. Allow users to directly connect and access the command line. Link
SMTP/POP To send and receive email. Link
Socket Allow persistent connections. Link



An “AMP” stack should be crystal clear by now. So what is this “odd one out” XAMPP?

  • XAMPP stands for Cross-Platform (X), Apache, MariaDB, PHP, and Perl.
  • It is simply a package that makes the installation of an AMP stack easy. Just download the respective Windows/Linux/Mac XAMPP package and run the installer. Don’t need to manually download and configure each component.
  • As you can see, XAMPP uses “MariaDB” instead of “MySQL”. Long story short, the original developers were afraid MySQL might turn into a “paid database” when Oracle took over. So they came out with another version called “MariaDB”.
  • Perl is just another programming language.




That’s all for the AMP stack, and here is a small section on some extras and links that may be useful to you.



Of course, XAMPP is not the only “AMP” stack installer. Here are a few more 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



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. 😆




Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end. I hope that it has helped you to better understand, and if you want to share anything with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and happy coding!

3 thoughts 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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