XAMPPfor Windows



XAMPP: Free full-fledged development environment

XAMPP is a free solution stack for website developers that includes a web server, database server, and scripting engines. XAMPP lets you install the Apache web server, MariaDB database, Perl, and PHP scripting languages in one installation. While XAMPP is ideal for educational purposes, the single installer is not recommended for production environments.

AMPPS, LAMP, MAMP, and WAMPServer are alternatives to XAMPP. Each of the applications gives you Apache, MySQL, and PHP. MySQL is now considered to be MariaDB since the database was bought by Oracle. While WAMPServer only offers PHP, the rest of the apps deliver the Perl and Python languages in addition to PHP.

What is XAMPP used for?

XAMPP is used for learning web development. The software stack delivers the necessary tools to deploy a website. Both new and professional web developers can benefit from experimenting with XAMPP. The package is mainly beneficial to new developers since creating a production server is discouraged. Developers that want to establish live websites are encouraged to individually install the components outside of XAMPP. 

However, you can still use XAMPP to practice your skills. With this app, you can control the configurations when manually setting up your production environment.  The package includes each full-fledged element that is needed to develop websites.

Is XAMPP legal?

XAMPP is safe to use, developed by Apache Friends. The X in the acronym stands for cross-platform which functions with Mac, Linux, and Microsoft Windows PC operating systems. The AMPP portion translates to Apache, MariaDB, Perl, and PHP. Additional servers and programming languages can be installed during the installation process.

Other servers the app supports are FileZilla FTP Server, Mercury Mail Server, and Tomcat in addition to the Apache and MySQL servers. Additional programming languages include phpMyAdmin, Webalizer, and Fake Sendmail. 

XAMPP is an open-source project. You can manipulate the source code with the terms of the GNU General Public License to improve your user experience. The Bitnami Module is a catalog of open-source software add-ons that are associated with XAMPP. The Bitnami Module lets you easily install Drupal, Joomla!, Moodle, WordPress, etc.

Is XAMPP a database?

XAMPP installs the MariaDB database, which is also known as MySQL. The user interface is designed as a Control Panel. A vertical menu bar is available on the right side with buttons. The ‘Config’ button will let you change your installation settings. You can adjust the ‘Service and Port Settings’ in the window.

The port and service settings do not need to be changed unless you make your website live on the internet. Your servers will be listed in the tabs. Each server has a separate port and service name. The ‘Netstat’ option shows you all the programs that are running on your operating system. You can get shell access by tapping the ‘Shell’ icon.

The ‘Explorer’ button lets you easily open the XAMPP folder on your PC. A ‘Help’ button is available as well. Additionally, XAMPP has a large community of users that you can connect with within the online forum. You can click on ‘Quit’ to end the session. Your installed modules will be listed in the center portion of the UI.

Each of the components has ‘Start’, ‘Admin’, ‘Config’, and ‘Logs’ actions. The ‘Config’ command next to the modules is not the same as the ‘Configuration of Control Panel’ button in the menu bar. You can configure your servers with the ‘Config’ command next to the modules. A context menu will appear to let you pick your preferred files to configure.

Do I need XAMPP on my PC?

XAMPP is a top choice for web development, but it's good to know about other options too. Let’s compare XAMPP with two others—WAMPServer and MAMP—so you can decide which one fits your needs best.

WAMPServer: A Strong Competitor

WAMPServer is like an all-in-one package for Windows users:

  • Everything in One Place: WAMPServer packs in Apache web server, MySQL database, PHP scripting language, and PHPMyAdmin all in one. This makes setup and configuration super easy.
  • Easy Interface: No need to deal with complex files. WAMPServer uses menus that are easy to understand, perfect for developers who aren’t server pros.
  • Works Well with Windows: WAMPServer is built for Windows, so it fits right into your Windows computer.

MAMP: A Simple Option

MAMP is a free local server that’s great, especially for Windows users:

  • Quick Setup: MAMP is small and sets up fast without causing trouble for your existing files or programs.
  • Test Without Changes: You can test your code without making direct changes to your live website. This prevents accidents.
  • MAMP Cloud for Backup: MAMP Cloud, available in the Pro version or separately, helps you back up your data easily. This is handy if something goes wrong with your files.

In the end, while XAMPP is fantastic, your choice between XAMPP, WAMPServer, and MAMP depends on what you like and need for your web development journey.

Our take

XAMPP lets you build a website to host on your PC. The content in your XAMPP destination folder can be viewed in a web browser. You can type ‘localhost’ followed by the specific file into the address bar and new items can be added to the folder. The Apache distribution server lets you explore the folder like a website.

However, proceed with caution as the security of your website can become compromised when you set the site live. For this reason, XAMPP is a popular option to learn how to build sites. Additionally, the developers release software updates often.

Should you download it?

Yes, if you are looking to learn web development, XAMPP is an easy platform to use.


  • Updated often
  • Cross platform
  • Clean user interface
  • Easy to install add-ons
  • Full suite of development tools
  • Used to learn web development


  • Not optimal for production servers

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

XAMPPfor Windows


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