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localhost in XAMPP

XAMPP: The Web Development Powerhouse

What is it? XAMPP is a popular and free software stack that packages a web server (Apache), database (MariaDB) along with scripting languages (PHP and Perl) all into one easy installation.

Why use it? XAMPP comes with a convenient way to create a local development environment on your own computer perfect for testing out websites and web applications before putting them live on the internet.

Prerequisites

XAMPP Installed: Make sure you’ve downloaded XAMPP from the Apache Friends website (https://www.apachefriends.org/index.html) and installed it on your computer.

Steps

Launch the XAMPP Control Panel: Find the XAMPP control panel shortcut and open it.

Start Apache and MySQL: Locate the Apache and MySQL modules within the control panel. Click the Start button next to each of them. If they’re already running, they’ll likely have a green status indicator.

Open Your Web Browser: Use any browser like Chrome, Firefox or Edge.

Access Localhost: In the address bar of your browser type http://localhost/ and press Enter.

What Happens Now?

Success: If everything’s configured correctly you should see the XAMPP splash screen or dashboard. This means your local web server is up and running. From here you can start placing your website files in XAMPP’s htdocs folder.

Troubleshooting: If you can’t access localhost:

Double check that Apache and MySQL are running in the XAMPP control panel.

Make sure your firewall isn’t blocking XAMPP.

Consider if other software on your computer is using port 80 (the default for web servers) because it can cause conflict with XAMPP

Key Things

You don’t open localhost like a typical program. Instead you start the XAMPP components to create a local server environment that your browser can then access.

Placing HTML, PHP and other website files in the htdocs folder inside your XAMPP installation directory will let you view and test them on your local server.

Localhost: Your Home Base

The Concept: In web development localhost refers to your own computer. It’s the virtual address used to access web resources running locally on your machine.

The IP Address: Think of localhost as having the IP address 127.0.0.1. When you type localhost in your browser’s address bar it directs traffic right back to your own system.

XAMPP’s Role

The Server: When you start XAMPP it launches the Apache web server which then “listens” for connections coming to localhost.

The Files: You place your web projects (HTML, PHP, etc.) in a specific folder within your XAMPP installation, usually called htdocs.

Putting it Together: Visiting http://localhost/ in your browser will tell the Apache server to look in that htdocs folder and try to load a website you have built.

Accessing XAMPP’s Built In Features

XAMPP comes with useful tools and interfaces:

phpMyAdmin: A web based tool for managing your local databases. Access it by going to “http://localhost/phpmyadmin/”.

XAMPP control panel: This management panel lets you easily start and stop the various XAMPP components (Apache, MariaDB etc.).

Troubleshooting Tips

XAMPP is Running: Make sure you’ve launched the XAMPP control panel and that Apache and MySQL are listed as running.

Firewall: Your computer’s firewall might be interfering. Temporarily disable it for testing purposes or make sure it’s allowing connections to XAMPP.

Port Conflicts: If another program on your machine uses port 80 (the standard web port), XAMPP might have trouble. You can change Apache’s port in the XAMPP configuration files.

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