How to set up Apache, PHP & MySQL on Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan & OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Danilo Stern-Sapad
5 min readJul 30, 2015

This is a tutorial on how to set up Apache 2.4, PHP 5.5, and MySQL 5.6 on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This tutorial is a good reference for PHP developers who want to set up a local MAMP development environment. I should note I mainly program in Scala these days, but PHP is a really popular and useful programming language to know.

If you know what you’re doing this guide should also work for Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks with minor changes as the setup hasn’t changed much since I originally wrote about this in 2007.

While I’m a big fan of the nginx (pronounced: “engine x”) web server this tutorial uses Apache 2.4, which comes preinstalled on Mac OS X and has a larger market share.

Please be warned that I’m assuming you have a clean and updated install of Mac OS X, I doubt anything you do here can cause any serious damage but still remember to backup everything you modify. If you screw up my directions there are copies of the Apache configuration files you’ll be editing in /etc/apache2/original so don’t despair.

If you haven’t already, download and install Xcode. Very important. Don’t skip this step.

Open up the Terminal application in /Applications/Utilities or if you prefer use iTerm.

I will be using the GNU nano text editor in my examples since it already comes with the Mac, but if you’d like to use another text editor like BBEdit or TextMate just replace nano with bbedit or mate respectively and remove any nano-specific options (e.g. -w).

Whenever I ask you to type something into Terminal you have to hit return for the command to go through. Alternatively, for you lazy ones out there, you can just copy and paste these commands.

Set up Apache
Enter the following into the command line/shell (Terminal):

sudo nano -w /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Whenever you put sudo in front of a command you will need to enter your administrator/user password when prompted to do so.

Hit control w and search for:

#LoadModule userdir_module libexec/apache2/

Below that line should be:

#LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/
#LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/

Uncomment all three of these lines by removing the pound/hash sign (#) in front of the “LoadModule” text on each line.

Make sure that these two lines are not commented out (i.e. don’t have a pound sign in front of them):

LoadModule authz_host_module libexec/apache2/
LoadModule authz_core_module libexec/apache2/

If they are commented out, remove the pound sign in front of those lines as well.

Hit control w again to search for:

DirectoryIndex index.html

Add the text “index.php” to the end of the line like so:

DirectoryIndex index.html index.php

Finally, search for (control w) and uncomment:

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

When you are finished hit control x to exit, then type y, and hit return to save your changes.

In Terminal:

sudo nano -w /etc/apache2/extra/httpd-userdir.conf

Search for and uncomment:

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

Save your changes like you did with the last file.

If you’re like me and use rewrite rules in an .htaccess file for those nice clean search engine-friendly URLs you’ll need to make sure mod_rewrite is working properly. To do this, you will need to know your username. My username is danilo, so replace danilo with whatever yours happens to be. You can easily tell what it is from the Terminal cause it’s the name right before the dollar sign (e.g. Danilo-MacBook-Pro:~ danilo$).

Go to Terminal and enter the command:

ls /etc/apache2/users/*.conf

If that command lists the only .conf file in this directory as Guest.conf or doesn’t list anything don’t worry the command to edit username.conf will also work to create it:

sudo nano -w /etc/apache2/users/danilo.conf

Where danilo is your username. Make username.conf look like this:

<Directory "/Users/danilo/Sites/">
Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Again, where danilo is replaced with your particular username.

Set up PHP
To create the php.ini file type the following into Terminal:

sudo cp /etc/php.ini.default /etc/php.ini

Fix php.ini’s permissions:

sudo chmod 644 /etc/php.ini

You should configure php.ini to your liking, however, I’d strongly recommend you turn error reporting on (I’m assuming you’re using this setup for development) and define your timezone.

Type this into Terminal:

sudo nano -w /etc/php.ini

Search for:

error_reporting = 

Change the current value (probably something meant for a production environment like error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_STRICT) to:

error_reporting = E_ALL | E_STRICT

Search for:

display_errors = Off

And replace with:

display_errors = On

Then search for:

;date.timezone =

Uncomment (remove the leading semicolon) and then add your timezone (see:

date.timezone = America/Los_Angeles

Close and save (unless you have any other changes to make of course).

Install & Set up MySQL
Download the latest version of the MySQL Disk Image archive (DMG) for Mac OS X:

Mount the MySQL disk image (i.e. open mysql-5.6….dmg).

Double click and install mysql-5.6….pkg, which is contained inside the disk image.

Eject the disk image.

Open up Terminal and enter:

sudo nano -w /etc/php.ini

Search for:


And replace with:


Then search for:

mysql.default_socket = 

And replace with:

mysql.default_socket = /tmp/mysql.sock

Then search for:

mysqli.default_socket =

And replace with:

mysqli.default_socket = /tmp/mysql.sock

Save and close.

In Terminal type:

nano -w ~/.bash_profile

Put this text at the top of the document to set the path to MySQL:

export PATH="/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/mysql/bin:$PATH"

Save and close php.ini.

Then type:

source ~/.bash_profile

Now from the MySQL preference pane in System Preferences click Start MySQL Server.

This last step isn’t necessary for a dev environment but if you want to easily secure MySQL execute this command in Terminal:


Test Apache, PHP & MySQL
Let’s go ahead and verify that Apache, PHP, and MySQL are working.

Restart Apache using the command below:

sudo apachectl restart

You’ll want to restart the Apache service whenever you make a change to a configuration file in the future.

Now open up your favorite web browser and go to:


If you want to see the contents of your Sites directory go to:


Again, make sure you replace danilo with your username.

Personally, I hate typing in ~danilo every time I need to test a site so I set up virtual hosts to make more memorable shortURLs like http://mycoolapp.loc/ instead of just pointing /Users/ariadoss/Sites/mycoolapp to http://localhost/ but that’s outside the scope of this tutorial. However, if this interests you, and it should, read my tutorial on How to setup virtual hosts on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

To make sure everything is working go to your Sites directory and create a new PHP file called info.php that contains the following code:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Open the following URL in your preferred web browser (where danilo is your username):


Make sure everything is in order.

Congrats, you’ve successfully set up the MAMP stack!

Originally published at on December 16, 2007. Last updated November 17, 2015.



Danilo Stern-Sapad

CEO & CTO. Launched 7 multimillion dollar businesses, including a unicorn. Built teams of 200+. In HS created one of the most popular games in the world.