Get your Local Web Development Environment Up & Running on macOS Sierra
With Apples’ new macOS Sierra now in public beta, here is how to get the AMP stack up and running on the new macOS. This tutorialwill go through the process on getting Apache, MySQL, PHP (or otherwise known as the ‘AMP’ stack)and phpMyAdmin running on the new mac OS Sierra.
PhpMyAdmin is intended to handle the adminstration of MySQL over the web. Create and drop databases. PhpMyAdmin for Mac. Simply installing the thing in order to test it is a challenge.
This tutorial sets up the AMP stack in more of a traditional way using the loaded Apache and PHP and downloading MySQL and phpMyAdmin.
Installing Apache, PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin from XAMPP. XAMPP is an all-in-one package that you can use to install Apache, PHP, and MySQL. XAMPP also installs phpMyAdmin, a Web application used to administer MySQL. XAMPP installs all the packages in one easy procedure. XAMPP installation instructions are provided for Windows and Mac. MariaDB Server is available for installation on macOS (formerly Mac OS X) via the Homebrew package manager. MariaDB Server is available as a Homebrew 'bottle', a pre-compiled package. This means you can install it without having to build from source yourself.
Setting Stuff Up
Web serving is possible via the inbuilt Apache app, it is installed ready to be fired up.
This needs to be done in the Terminal which is found at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal
For those not familiar with the Terminal, it really isn’t as intimidating as you may think, once launched you are faced with a command prompt waiting for your commands – just type/paste in a command and hit enter, some commands give you no response – it just means the command is done, other commands give you feedback.
Using the prefix of sudo is required for commands that have their applications protected in certain folders – when using sudo you will need to confirm with your admin password or iCloud password if set up that way…. lets get to it….
to start Apache web sharing
to stop it
to restart it
Apache On Mac
To find the Apache version
The Apache version that comes in macOS Sierra is Apache/2.4.23
After starting Apache – test to see if the webserver is working in the browser – http://localhost – you should see the “It Works!” text.
If you don’t get the localhost test, you can try troubleshooting Apache to see if there is anything wrong in its config file by running
This will give you an indication of what might be wrong.
Document root is the location where the files are shared from the file system and is similar to the traditional names of ‘public_html‘ and ‘htdocs‘, OSX has historically had 2 web roots one at a system level and one at a user level – you can set both up or just run with one, the user level one allows multiple accounts to have their own web root whilst the system one is global for all users. It seems there is less effort from Apple in continuing with the user level one but it still can be set up with a couple of extra tweaks in configuration files. It is easier to use the user level one as you don’t have to keep on authenticating as an admin user.
System Level Web Root
– the default system document root is still found at –
The files are shared in the filing system at –
User Level Root
The other web root directory which is missing by default is the ‘~/Sites’ folder in the User account. This takes a bit longer to set up but some users are very accustomed to using it.
You need to make a “Sites” folder at the root level of your account and then it will work. Once you make the Sites folder you will notice that it has a unique icon which is a throwback from a few versions older. Make that folder before you set up the user configuration file described next.
You have to make a few additional tweaks to get the ~/Sites folder back up and running.
Add a “username.conf” filed under:
If you don’t already have one (very likely), then create one named by the short username of the account with the suffix .conf, its location and permissions/ownership is best tackled by using the Terminal, the text editor ‘nano‘ would be the best tool to deal with this.
Launch Terminal, (Applications/Utilities), and follow the commands below, first one gets you to the right spot, 2nd one cracks open the text editor on the command line (swap ‘username‘ with your account’s shortname, if you don’t know your account shortname type ‘whoami‘ the Terminal prompt):
Then add the content below swapping in your ‘username’ in the code below:
Permissions on the file should be:
If not you need to change…
Open the main httpd.conf and allow some modules:
And make sure these modules are uncommented (the first 2 should already be on a clean install):
Whilst you have this file open also to get php running uncomment. (Mentioned also in the PHP part of the article).
And also uncomment this configuration file also in httpd.conf – which allows user home directories.
Save all your changes (Control + O in nano)
Then open another Apache config file and uncomment another file:
Save all your changes (Control + O in nano)
Restart Apache for the new file to be read:
Then this user level document root will be viewable at:
You should only see a directory tree like structure if the folder is empty.
Override .htaccess and allow URL Rewrites
If you are going to use the web serving document root at /Library/WebServer/Documents it is a good idea to allow any .htaccess files used to override the default settings – this can be accomplished by editing the httpd.conf file at line 217 and setting the AllowOverride to All and then restart Apache. This is already taken care of at the Sites level webroot by following the previous step.
Also whilst here allow URL rewrites so your permalinks look clean not ugly.
Uncomment in httpd.conf – should be uncommented on a clean install.
PHP 5.6.24 is loaded in the build of macOS Sierra and needs to be turned on by uncommenting a line in the httpd.conf file.
Use “control” + “w” to search within nano and search for ‘php’ this will land you on the right line then uncomment the line (remove the #):
Write out and Save using the nano short cut keys at the bottom ‘control o’ and ‘control x’
Reload apache to kick in
To see and test PHP, create a file name it “phpinfo.php” and file it in your document root with the contents below, then view it in a browser.
The macOS Sierra Public Beta’s didn’t play well with MySQL 5.7.x, but these issues are now resolved by using MySQL 5.7.16
MySQL doesn’t come pre-loaded with macOS Sierra and needs to be dowloaded from the MySQL site.
The latest version of MySQL 5.7.16 does work with the public release of macOS.
If you already have MySQL 5.7 and you have upgraded OS from El Capitan to Sierra I expect that to be ok, but will be interested if anyone comments on that.
Use the Mac OS X 10.11 (x86, 64-bit), DMG Archive version (works on macOS Sierra).
If you are upgrading from a previous OSX and have an older MySQL version you do not have to update it. One thing with MySQL upgrades always take a data dump of your database in case things go south and before you upgrade to macOS Sierra make sure your MySQL Server is not running.
When downloading you don’t have to sign up, look for » No thanks, just take me to the downloads! – go straight to the download mirrors and download the software from a mirror which is closest to you.
Once downloaded open the .dmg and run the installer.
When it is finished installing you get a dialog box with a temporary mysql root password – that is a MySQL root password not a macOS admin password, copy and paste it so you can use it. But I have found that the temporary password is pretty much useless so we’ll need to change it straight away.
You are also told:
If you lose this password, please consult the section How to Reset the Root Password in the MySQL reference manual.
Change the MySQL root password
Note that this is not the same as the root or admin password of macOS – this is a unique password for the mysql root user, use one and remember/jot down somewhere what it is.
Start it in safe mode:
This will be an ongoing command until the process is finished so open another shell/terminal window, and log in without a password as root:
Change the lowercase ‘MyNewPass’ to what you want – and keep the single quotes.
You can then start the MySQL server from the System Preferences or via the command line.
Command line start MySQL.
To find the MySQL version from the terminal, type at the prompt:
This also puts you in to a shell interactive dialogue with mySQL, type q to exit.
After installation, in order to use mysql commands without typing the full path to the commands you need to add the mysql directory to your shell path, (optional step) this is done in your “.bash_profile” file in your home directory, if you don’t have that file just create it using vi or nano:
The first command brings you to your home directory and opens the .bash_profile file or creates a new one if it doesn’t exist, then add in the line above which adds the mysql binary path to commands that you can run. Exit the file with type “control + x” and when prompted save the change by typing “y”. Last thing to do here is to reload the shell for the above to work straight away.
You will get the version number again, just type “q” to exit.
Fix the 2002 MySQL Socket error
Fix the looming 2002 socket error – which is linking where MySQL places the socket and where macOS thinks it should be, MySQL puts it in /tmp and macOS looks for it in /var/mysql the socket is a type of file that allows mysql client/server communication.
First fix the 2002 socket error if you haven’t done so from the MySQL section-
Download phpMyAdmin, the zip English package will suit a lot of users, then unzip it and move the folder with its contents into the document root level renaming folder to ‘phpmyadmin’.
Make the config folder
Change the permissions
Run the set up in the browser
You need to create a new localhost mysql server connection, click new server.
Switch to the Authentication tab and set the local mysql root user and the password.
Add in the username “root” (maybe already populated, add in the password that you set up earlier for the MySQL root user set up, click on save and you are returned to the previous screen.
(This is not the macOS Admin or root password – it is the MySQL root user).
Make sure you click on save, then a config.inc.php is now in the /config directory of phpmyadmin directory, move this file to the root level of /phpmyadmin and then remove the now empty /config directory.
Now going to http://localhost/~username/phpmyadmin/ will now allow you to interact with your MySQL databases.
To upgrade phpmyadmin just download the latest version and copy the older ‘config.inc.php‘ from the existing directory into the new folder and replace – backup the older one just in case.
To run a website with no permission issues it is best to set the web root and its contents to be writeable by all, since it’s a local development it shouldn’t be a security issue.
Lets say that you have a site in the User Sites folder at the following location ~/Sites/testsite you would set it to be writeable like so:
If you are concerned about security then instead of making it world writeable you can set the owner to be Apache _www but when working on files you would have to authenticate more as admin you are “not” the owner, you would do this like so:
This will set the contents recursively to be owned by the Apache user.
If you had the website stored at the System level Document root at say /Library/WebServer/Documents/testsite then it would have to be the latter:
Another easier way to do this if you have a one user workstation is to change the Apache web user from _www to your account.
That’s it! You now have the native AMP stack running on top of macOS Sierra.
To interact with MySQL by instead of using the command line, phpMyAdmin comes to the rescue, to get it running as part of your local development set up on OS X, a couple of steps need to be done. phpMyAdmin is a browser application that interacts with the underlying mysql data.
These steps will work on Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.7 and 10.6 Snow Leopard.
Preparing for phpMyAdmin
Download the latest version now at version 4.something phpMyAdmin, the english.zip should be sufficient, after the file is downloaded unzip it and move it to your personal web sharing folder, this will either be “/Users/username/Sites” directory or other web root folder such as “/Library/WebServer/Documents/“.
Install Phpmyadmin For Mac High Sierra
Rename the folder from “phpMyAdmin-4.0.0-english” to “phpmyadmin“.
The rest of the tutorial assumes that you have already mysql set up with a mysql root user and password enabled if not then please follow that process first.
The login address for phpMyAdmin is going to be http://localhost/~username/phpmyadmin/ or http://localhost/phpmyadmin/ depending on your web root directory, but before this will work correctly a few steps need to be done namely addressing the MySQL socket error and configuration file set up:
a) Launch /Applications/Utilities/Terminal to fix the mysql 2002 socket error by entering the following commands:
Basically this is making an alias to where phpmyadmin thinks the mysql.sock is and where it actually is.
b) In the phpmyadmin folder in your web root make a new directory named “config”.
c) Give Others “write“permissions to the “/phpmyadmin/config” folder either through Get Info or a ‘chmod o+w‘ in Terminal.
Older Safari browser currently has issues with the installation, blank screens?? Upgrade to Safari 6 or use either Chrome or Firefox.
Now we are ready to run the set up in the browser by going to:
Phpmyadmin For Mac
The new server to be configured is the localhost, click new server and then the only other configurations are the local mysql root user and the password in the Authentication tab.
Add in the username, by default “root” is assumed, add in the mysql root password (this is the password for mysql not for the OSX admin account) , click on save and you are returned to the previous screen.
Make sure you click on save, then a config.inc.php is now in the /config directory, move this file to the root level of /phpmyadmin and then remove the now empty /config directory.
Now going to http://localhost/~username/phpmyadmin/ or http://localhost/phpmyadmin/will now allow you to interact with your MySQL databases.
Mcrypt missing extension – If your applications don’t require the mcrypt extension there is no need to worry about it missing as reported in phpMyAdmin, if you do need to install it follow the guide here on mcrypt extension in Mavericks.
Upgrading phpMyAdmin is an easy task just grab the latest version from the phpmyadmin website and replace your older phpMyAdmin directory in your web shared folder apart from the “config.inc.php” file – make sure the config.inc.php is kept and put it back in the new directory.