How to install Apache, MySQL, PHP on macOS Catalina 10.15

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In this tutorial we will learn to install Apache, MySQL, PHP on macOS Catalina 10.15.

About macOS Catalina

Apple released macOS Catalina 10.15 on 7th October 2019 and it includes Apache and PHP. So, all we have to do is enable them. Then install MySQL and we are ready for development. So, lets get started.

Note! Support for 32 bit apps is removed in Catalina so, all your 32 bit applications will no longer work. Kindly upgrade your applications.

Apple has also made zsh as the default shell. You can learn more about it here.

To change the default shell check the tutorial How to change default shell to bash on macOS Catalina.

We will be using the pre-installed Apache and PHP and we will download and setup MySQL database.

If you are using macOS Mojave then check out this tutorial How to install Apache, MySQL, PHP on macOS Mojave 10.14

Lets go ahead and configure our LAMP stack development environment on macOS Catalina.

Apache

The new macOS Catalina comes with Apache pre-installed. All we have to do is switch it on.

Open Terminal using macOS Spotlight or go to /Applications/Utilities and open Terminal.

To check the version of Apache installed run the following command in the Terminal.

$ httpd -v

Server version: Apache/2.4.41 (Unix)
Server built:   Aug 29 2019 19:01:57

Note! macOS Catalina comes with Apache 2.4.41

To start Apache web server run the following command.

$ sudo apachectl start

This command will start Apache server.

When you use sudo in the terminal then you will be prompted to enter your admin password to proceed.

If you want to stop the Apache server then run the following command.

$ sudo apachectl stop

And to restart Apache server run the following command.

$ sudo apachectl restart

After starting Apache server go ahead and test it by opening a browser like Safari or Chrome and visit http://localhost.

You will get to see the following output in your browser.


macos catalina apache server it works!

By default, the file is getting served from /Library/WebServer/Documents directory. We will change this is the following sections.

In case you don't get to see the above output then run the following command to check the error.

$ sudo apachectl configtest

Document Root

This is the location in the computer file system from where the files are accessed when we visit the http://localhost in a browser.

Document Root is a directory where we put our website files.

On Mac we have two document root. One is at the system level and the other is at the user level.

System level document root

The system level document root in macOS Catalina is located in the following directory.

/Library/WebServer/Documents/

User level document root

For the user level we can create a directory called Sites in user directory. So, open Terminal and get ready to create the user level document root directory.

Creating Sites directory

Run the following command in the Terminal to switch to the user home directory.

$ cd

Now, run the following command to create the Sites directory.

$ mkdir Sites

You can merge the above two commands into one by running the following command.

$ mkdir ~/Sites

For me the user document root path is the following.

/Users/yusufshakeel/Sites

You will get a similar path for your Mac.

Creating username.conf file

Now, we will create a username.conf file to configure our document root.

Note! Replace the username with your username.

For example, my username is yusufshakeel so, my file is yusufshakeel.conf.

Type the whoami command in the terminal and it will tell you your username.

Open terminal and go to the following directory.

$ cd /etc/apache2/users/

Now create the configuration file username.conf inside the users directory.

In the following example I am using vi editor. You can use other editors like vim or nano.

$ sudo vi yusufshakeel.conf

Press the i key to enter into INSERT mode and then type the following in the file.

<Directory "/Users/YOUR_USER_NAME/Sites/">
AllowOverride All
Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
</Directory>

Don't forget to replace YOUR_USER_NAME with your username.

Here is what I have written in my yusufshakeel.conf file.


macos username.conf file

Now, come out of the INSERT mode by pressing the Esc key. Now save the file and exit by typing the following :wq and then hit Enter.

The permission of this file should be the following.

-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel  134 Oct 08 00:23 yusufshakeel.conf

You can change the permission by typing the following command.

$ sudo chmod 644 username.conf

Where, username is your username that you have set.

Configuring the httpd.conf file

Now we switch to apache2 directory by typing the following command in the Terminal.

$ cd /etc/apache2/

Inside this directory we have the httpd.conf file.

As a good practice we will make a backup copy of the httpd.conf file by typing the following command.

$ sudo cp httpd.conf httpd.conf.backup

Now open the httpd.conf file using vi and uncomment the following lines.

$ sudo vi httpd.conf

To uncomment the lines remove the # from the start of the line.

LoadModule authz_core_module libexec/apache2/mod_authz_core.so
LoadModule authz_host_module libexec/apache2/mod_authz_host.so
LoadModule userdir_module libexec/apache2/mod_userdir.so
LoadModule include_module libexec/apache2/mod_include.so
LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so

Uncomment the following line for User home directories.

Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-userdir.conf

Now change the DocumentRoot.

Find the following lines and comment them by adding # at the beginning of the line.

# DocumentRoot "/Library/WebServer/Documents"
# <Directory "/Library/WebServer/Documents">

And add the following two lines below the commented lines.

DocumentRoot "/Users/YOUR_USERNAME/Sites/"
<Directory "/Users/YOUR_USERNAME/Sites/">

Don't forget to replace YOUR_USERNAME with your username.


macos httpd.conf file document root

And set the AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All.

Your DocumentRoot should now look something like the following.

#DocumentRoot "/Library/WebServer/Documents"
#<Directory "/Library/WebServer/Documents">
DocumentRoot "/Users/yusufshakeel/Sites/"
<Directory "/Users/yusufshakeel/Sites/">
    Options FollowSymLinks Multiviews
    MultiviewsMatch Any
    AllowOverride All
    Require all granted
</Directory>

Now, come out of the INSERT mode by pressing the Esc key. And save and exit the file by typing :wq key and then Enter.

Configuring the httpd-userdir.conf file

Now, time to make some changes in the httpd-userdir.conf file.

In the terminal type the following command to go to the extra directory.

$ cd /etc/apache2/extra/

As a good practice create a backup copy of the httpd-userdir.conf file.

$ sudo cp httpd-userdir.conf httpd-userdir.conf.backup

Now open the file using vi.

$ sudo vi httpd-userdir.conf

Enter into INSERT mode and uncomment the following line.

Include /private/etc/apache2/users/*.conf

Now, come out of the INSERT mode and save the changes.

Now, check if everything is configured properly by typing the given command.

$ sudo apachectl configtest
Syntax OK

Now restart Apache using the following command.

$ sudo apachectl restart

PHP

macOS Catalina comes with PHP 7.3.8 pre-installed.

To check the version of PHP in the Terminal type the following command.

$ php -v

PHP 7.3.8 (cli) (built: Aug 24 2019 19:38:14) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.3.8, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies

Now we go to the apache2 directory.

$ cd /etc/apache2/

Next, we open the httpd.conf file.

$ sudo vi httpd.conf

Now, enter into INSERT mode and uncomment the following line to run PHP 7 by removing the # sign from the start of the line.

LoadModule php7_module libexec/apache2/libphp7.so

Now, save the changes and exit the file by typing :wq keys and hit Enter.

You can now restart Apache by running the following command.

$ sudo apachectl restart

Printing phpinfo

Create index.php file inside the Sites directory.

$ touch ~/Sites/index.php

Now open the file in your favourite text editor or PHP IDE and write the following code.

<?php
phpinfo();

Now, visit http://localhost and you will get to see a similar output.


macos phpinfo php

Download MySQL community server

Head over to mysql.com website and download the latest version of the MySQL Community Server.


macos Catalina system preference mysql running

Download and run the installer and follow the steps to install MySQL database on your Mac.

Set the root password when prompted and note it down.

To run MySQL server open System Preferences and go to MySQL.


macos Catalina system preference mysql

Click on the Start MySQL Server button to start the server.


macos Catalina system preference mysql stop

You will be asked to enter your admin password. Enter the password and the MySQL server will start running.

Extra

To access your MySQL database tables you can either use phpMyAdmin, MySQL Workbench or Sequel Pro.

Alright, this brings us to the end of this tutorial. Hope this helped. Please share if you find this website useful. Have fun developing. See you in the next tutorial.

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