Posted 05.24.2011

Turning your Mac into a server


Most of you are probably thinking, “What in the world?”

MAMP stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP. (Windows can do something similar with WAMP)

NOTE: This post assumes that you at least know what MySQL and PHP are. If not, I wrote a post called Technology Alphabet Soup where I tried to explain a lot of the jargon.

So, what does MAMP do? Well, it let’s you set up MySQL and PHP on your Mac so you can develop sites locally, on your Mac, instead of having to work off the server. This is a more efficient workflow because (1) you don’t have to have an Internet connection to work and (2) you don’t have to wait for files to upload in order to test your work.

Go to to download MAMP.

You can download MAMP Pro ($59), which has some great features, but the free version will also get the job done.

Install the program just like you’d install any other Mac software.

Launch the

You can go ahead and launch the demo version of MAMP Pro regardless.

OK, the security warning.

The demo should last for 30 days.

Once you click through and get this screen, everything should be up and running.

Now, if you click on the MySQL tab, you can click on “Launch phpMyAdmin.” — MAMP installs phpMyAdmin by default! Nice!

Notice, it will automatically launch a web browser where you can now create, edit, and delete databases.

Notice the web address: http://localhost:8888/phpMyAdmin/?lang=en-iso-8859-1&language=English Any sites that you create are going to use http://localhost:8888/

So, if you go to your Applications folder > MAMP > htdocs > all your site files will go there.

If you’re following along with the CodeIgniter tutorials, you can create a folder called awesome for your site files.

Now, you can add all your site files that I gave you and you can view them at http://localhost:8888/awesome/

Congrats! You’ve got MAMP up and running. Your Mac works like a server.

…one more thing… when you start working with databases, you’ll need a MySQL password. You can set this up by clicking on the Change MySQL root password button.

From there, it should be pretty straightforward.


  • Mark Llobrera

    Good writeup. I am always surprised at how many people don’t realize that MAMP exists, and that it’s free. The first time someone showed me MAMP I wondered how I’d gotten by without it.

    At my office we do all development on MAMP Pro locally before it goes to public staging servers for review. I definitely think the Pro version is worth it if you’re working on more than a couple of sites.