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If you’ve ever worked on a website, you’d know how important it is to have a local server running on your machine. This becomes way more important if your project involves PHP.

Having a local server on your machine lets you test and debug web development code in a much more convenient and quick manner as compared to uploading it on a web server. In this article, we compare four of the most commonly used local servers to find out which one’s the best for you to deploy.


XAMPP stands for X-OS, Apache, MariaDB, PHP and Perl. It is one of the most lightweight and easy to use local server setup that you can find on the internet. X-OS here stands for the cross-platform features of the server. It comes in two versions — lite and full.

XAMPP vs LAMP vs WAMP vs MAMP: Which one should you use?

XAMPP also comes with a bunch of extra modules such as OpenSSL, WordPress, phpMyAdmin, and so on. You might even find a bunch of essential tools such as the FileZilla FTP client among many others. All these modules and tools help it handle dynamic websites like a cakewalk.

However, the best feature of XAMPP is the ability to start/stop the entire stack with a single command. Upon installation, you’re given a window from which you can easily control the stack. You can also activate or deactivate individual elements.

Also read: Should you trust HTTPS? HTTP vs HTTPS


LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP. It’s a lightweight local server stack exclusively for the Linux OS.

XAMPP vs LAMP vs WAMP vs MAMP: Which one should you use?

Most Linux users (including myself) use LAMP because of the sheer convenience and ease that it offers. You can install it using the apt-get command on Linux and can have a local server running on your machine in no time.

The setup is super simple, as well. All you have to do is follow alongwith the setup wizard on the terminal, and you’re good to go. Super useful for CLI elitists.

Also read: How to Zip and Unzip a file in Linux?


WAMP is the same thing as LAMP, except that it runs on Windows. As you can guess, the term stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP.

XAMPP vs LAMP vs WAMP vs MAMP: Which one should you use?

Since it runs on Windows, it offers a pretty nice and easy to use frontend that the user can use to interact. It can view all elements in a single browser window and can be restricted to either localhost or open to anyone on the network.

Apart from this, it can handle dynamic websites pretty quickly as well and is quite easy to use with PHP. It is available for both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows.

Also read: How to restore USB drive after making it bootable?


If you can’t guess yet, MAMP is precisely the same thing as above, except for Mac OS. It supports Apache, MySQL and PHP and can be pretty useful should you decide to code and test websites on your Mac.

XAMPP vs LAMP vs WAMP vs MAMP: Which one should you use?

MAMP, however, will give you everything you need to run WordPress out of the box. Also, the fact that it supports PHP and MySQL helps in case you decide to run it with any other Content Management Scripts.

So which one to pick?

Needless to say, you should pick the one according to the OS that you’re using. However, considering the robust cross-platform features that XAMPP provides, it can also be a great option.

In the end, the decision comes down to numerous factors such as purpose, compatibility and basically what you’re trying to achieve with the stack.

Also read: 9 reasons why developers tend to choose Linux over Windows

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: