Php – What’s the easiest way to test PHP in Windows XP Professional


I want to test some PHP on my local machine running Windows XP Professional. I'm familiar with coding PHP for upload, but not with running a web server.

What is the easiest way to set up a test environment? Step-by-step instructions would be great if you can give them.

(I see WAMP recommended in this thread – thoughts?)

Update – a year later

A little self-promotion: after using XAMPP for a long time, I began to want things it didn't include. (Support for PDO was a big one – every time I tried to enable pdo and mysqli simultaneously, something crashed.) I eventually worked through the process of installing Apache, PHP, MySQL, and PHPMyAdmin individually, and documented the process with screen shots on my blog.

Some of the configuration that I was able to do this way could have been done in XAMPP, but it was only because I had to set things up myself that I discovered new things (like being able to serve files out of c:\whatever instead of c:\program files\apache\htdocs).

On the whole, I'm happier with having installed these items separately. But XAMPP was a good (and easy) package to start with, and served me well while I used it.

Best Solution

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Xampp is the simplest. You can setup everything in a Step by Step and if you require further configuration (Virtual Server, extension) you have the normal php.ini and other file in the directory that you can edit yourself.

Here is the Step By Step installation for Windows.