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Need advice from you coding gurus

edited March 2009 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I am currently working my way through a book on html and css... I bought a book on learning php and MySQL.. I plan on going through that next, after the css book.. It just dawned on me that trying to go through the book and use a hosted site to work on would be a 'royal' PITA.. So I need a server at home.. I am way broke (out of work contractor, trying to hold onto my home), so buying a new computer is not a likely scenario any time soon.. I have a G4 (dual 867mhz) I currently use for everything (OSX 10.3).. A G3 (500 mhz, OS9) iBook, a G3 (350 mhz, OS9) tower (in a box somewhere), and an old windows machine (I inherited it and have no idea of the specs.. it's also in a box somewhere).. I also have an old windows laptop somewhere... both of the windows mavhines I'm going to guess and say they're running windows 95... Are any of these machines useable as a server to run current versions of apache, php, and My SQL on? Obviously, I'd have to up the OS on the older ones (so I can run current generation browsers)... Ideally, I'd like to use the G3 tower for this... It's ethernet ready.. If possible, what do I do.. what minimum OS software do I need (according to the tech specs, Mac OS Leopard requires a G4 or newer)... One possibility I guess is to install leopard on My G4.. but even the 130 bucks for that will be difficult right now.. If I went that route, will I be able to use the computer as I normally would while running the server stuff, to surf the net, use the general apple apps, and the installed software I have on it? as understand it, Leopard some with server software preinstalled.... but like I said, I'd ideally like to use the G4 and not mess with my smoothly running G4.. But I do have a mostly empty 2nd HD on the G4.. So I guess I could back it up and wipe it and install leopard on that... Looking for a 'zero cost' solution for right now though (if one exists), with the machines I currently have, until I can afford a new MacBook later on down the road... suggestions???


  • You just need to install apache (it might be already installed with osx 10.3) and you have your webserver. You don't need to dedicate a computer to it for testing. If you want it to process php you have to install php (or it might be installed already). You can do a search on installing them on osx 10.3 or wait for someone here with more knowledge on osx 10.3 to help you.
  • Is apache free? Where do I get it?
  • I recommend a program called XAMPP. It includes Apache, PHP, MySQL, basically everything you need to set up a server. It saves time. When you are more used to running a server you might want to install the separate components but I think XAMPP is great for first-timers. You can get the Mac version here
  • AWESOME! Thanks! Do you recommend running it from a clean hard drive? And once installed, it's an OS, right? IOW, I would boot from it? Or does it run inside of my existing installation of OSX 10.3? Thanks again! I love it when things are made simple!
  • One other question.. Does using the thing as a server in anyway interfere with the same computers connection to my DSL and ISP? In reality, I just treat it as a web address, right, only it's local to my LAN? Sorry for what are probably basic questions.. I've never played with servers before other than just using them when I hire them as a host on line.. So this is a totally new area to me.. I guess I'll be learning a 'lot' of new things through this process.. off to look at the url you provided.. Thanks again!
  • Ack! It's for OSX10.4 and above.. Maybe I can get an ultra cheap copy of 10.4 on ebay or something...
  • Man, I don't get it.. 10.5 sells for $129 new from apple.. used copies of 10.4 at amazon and ebay are $180-220.. There are several of $40, but but they are machine specific.. and I have no idea which versions I need for mine.. all their part numbers are meaningless... Doing searches at apple are of no help whatsoever...
  • No it isn't an operating system, it's just a program that sits in the taskbar. There are lots of programs that do the same thing but unfortunately I think they are all for Windows. You could always get the old PC out of the box and set that up as a server.
  • I think that what's confusing to me on this issue.. Is that there are versions of OS X called "OS X Server".. and yet you can take regular OS X and install free software and turn it into a 'server?'... for hundreds less? Evidently, there's more going on.. But the esistence of OS X server is what had me thinking that it is an 'operating system' that makes one computer a server, and another just a client...
  • Well there are server editions of operating systems (Windows Server, OSX Server, several 'Nix servers...) and they are good if the machine will be set up solely as a server. It is a way to squeeze the most performance from the computer just because the server OS is optimized for server tasks, they also typically support larger amounts of RAM and various other things. But no you don't need to worry about that, those operating systems aren't needed by you.
  • Where did you see it was for 10.4+? Check their archives. I am sure you will find one for osx 10.3:
  • edited March 2009
    Dinobuff said:
    Where did you see it was for 10.4+?

    Right there on the page you linked to.. at the end of the second paragraph of the 2 paragraph description at the top of the page..

    I'll take a look at your other link.. strange, I looked for older versions, but couldn't find..
  • Oops.. That's the same page you linked to before....

    Here's the paragraph that talks about the system requirements....

    If you are an experienced web developer or a Mac enthusiast who needs to run a webserver, create dynamic webpages or use databases, this is your lucky day!
    This version is for Mac OS X 10.4 (Intel&PPC) and higher.
  • What Dinoboff was saying is that maybe you can use an older version of the program that is compatible with your operating system. here are the archives where you can download old versions and here are the XAMPP support forums where you can ask them which, if any, version works with your version of OS X.
  • Thanks... Those are all the same new version that the other page said requires 10.4...

    I'll try the forums... I posted a note at macrumors forums too.. hopefully between here and those two sites, I can get something happening.....
  • I don't know what page you are looking at but the one I linked has versions going back to over 4 years ago.
  • Since you seem to have at least one computer you're not using, you could fairly easily install ubuntu with a LAMP setup (assuming one of them has a network card). I'm not sure what your technical ability is, but it doesn't take long to install Ubuntu (or other Debian distros) with Apache, MySQL, and PHP installed and working. Many installation CD's have an "Install LAMP Server" option on the main menu. After that, just add ftp/sftp and you're good to go.

    Check out (a little old, but NBD) (extremely complete, perhaps a bit overbearing if this is your first install) (fairly straightforward)

    Ubuntu is not the only linux distribution you can use, I just happen to prefer it personally.
  • Sorry, I posted the wrong link:
  • SUBJUNK said:
    I don't know what page you are looking at but the one I linked has versions going back to over 4 years ago.

    I get it now.. I thought all those links on the bottom, were just 'notes'

    So how do I tell which version is for what? The notes don't tell me anything useful.....

    Whole new area for me.. feel like a blind man... suddenly, I'm not laughing at those people who thought the CD player on their computer was a drink holder... :-)
  • osx 10.4 was released in april 2005 and 10.5 in oct 2007. xampp released in 2005 should hopefully still support osx 10.3. I would try the 0.5 version.
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