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Get Apache, MySQL, PHP and

phpMyAdmin working on OSX
10.11 El Capitan

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November 19, 2015 192 Comments

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Get your Local Web Development

Environment Up & Running on OSX 10.11 El

Keep Me Posted!

With Apples new OSX 10.11 El Capitan now in public here

is how to get the AMP stack up and running on the new
OSX. This tutorial will go through the process on
getting Apache, MySQL, PHP (or otherwise known as the
AMP stack) and phpMyAdmin running on the new El
Capitan OS.
This tutorial sets up the AMP stack in more of a traditional
way using the loaded Apache and PHP and downloading
MySQL and phpMyAdmin this has been updated to reflect
10.11.1 and a new MySQL installation.

Setting Stuff Up




Web Sharing / Apache

Get Apache,
MySQL, PHP and

Webroot System and User level

working on macOS Sierra

.htaccess overrides and mod rewrites

Requirements for
macOS Sierra Is


yours good enough?

Make A Bootable
USB Disk of macOS


Upgrade to PHP 5.6


or 7 on Mac OSX
10.11 El Capitan and
OSX 10.6 10.10


Speeding Up OSX
10.11 El Capitan

Their is no GUI to toggle Web Sharing on or off in OSX 10.11,
which was previously a GUI option in System Preferences
way back in 10.7, but fear not Apache is installed ready to be
fired up.
This needs to be done in the Terminal which is found
at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal


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For those not familiar with the Terminal, it really isnt as

intimidating as you may think, once launched you are faced

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with a command prompt waiting for your commands just

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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.

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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




ssh terminal

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sudo apachectl start

to stop it
sudo apachectl stop

to restart it
sudo apachectl restart

To find the Apache version

httpd -v

The Apache version that comes in OSX El Capitan

is Apache/2.4.16

It Works!

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 dont get the localhost test, you can try troubleshooting
Apache to see if there is anything wrong in its config file by
apachectl configtest

This will give you an indication of what might be wrong.

Document Root
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

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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 dont 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.

Sites Folder

Add a username.conf filed under:


If you dont 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 accounts shortname, if you dont know
your account shortname type whoami the Terminal prompt):
cd /etc/apache2/users

sudo nano username.conf

Then add the content below swapping in your username in

the code below:
<Directory "/Users/username/Sites/">
AllowOverride All
Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
Require all granted

Permissions on the file should be:


1 root


298 Jun 28 16:47 username.conf

If not you need to change

sudo chmod 644 username.conf

Open the main httpd.conf and allow some modules:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

And make sure these modules are uncommented (the first 2

should already be on a clean install):
LoadModule authz_core_module

LoadModule authz_host_module

LoadModule userdir_module libexec/apache2/mod_userdir.so

LoadModule include_module libexec/apache2/mod_include.so

LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so

Whilst you have this file open also to get php running
uncomment. (Mentioned also in the PHP part of the article).
LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so

And also uncomment this configuration file also in httpd.conf

which allows user home directories.
Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-userdir.conf

Save all your changes (Control + O in nano)

Then open another Apache config file and uncomment
another file:
sudo nano /etc/apache2/extra/httpd-userdir.conf

And uncomment:
Include /private/etc/apache2/users/*.conf

Save all your changes (Control + O in nano)

Restart Apache for the new file to be read:

sudo apachectl restart

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

If you are going to use the 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.
sudo nano /etc/apache2/httpd.conf


Also whilst here allow URL rewrites so your permalinks look

clean not ugly.
Uncomment in httpd.conf should be uncommented on a
clean install.
LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so


PHP 5.5.29 is loaded in the build of OSX 10.11.1 El Capitan

and needs to be turned on by uncommenting a line in
the httpd.conf file.
sudo nano /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

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 #):
LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so

Write out and Save using the nano short cut keys at the
bottom control o and control x
Reload apache to kick in
sudo apachectl restart

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.
<?php phpinfo(); ?>

MySQL is again a missing component in OS X 10.11 and
needs to be dowloaded from the MySQL site use the Mac OS
X 10.10 (x86, 64-bit), DMG Archive version (works on
10.11). The latest version available is MySQL 5.7.9. This
version corrects previous issues with starting mysql on boot
as Apple changed the launch process on OSX Yosemite
If you are upgrading from a previous OSX and have an older
MySQL version you do not have to update it, it will work just

with the same start up issue. One thing with MySQL

upgrades always take a data dump of your database in case
things go south and before you upgrade to El Capitan make
sure your MySQL Server is not running.
When downloading you dont 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.

Run the standard install which will also install a System Pref
Pane and support for launching MySQL on boot.
Something new in the latest version of MySQL for OSX that is
after the install you are give a temporary password which you
need to take a copy of, you can change that later.

Starting MySQL
Relaunch you System Preference and you will see a new
MySQL Preference, which you can start/stop MySQL and
also enable to have it launch on boot.

Starting/Stopping from the command line

if you are so inclined, the start/stop commands have changed
for MySQL 5.7 on OSX
To start

sudo launchctl load -F


To stop
sudo launchctl unload -F

To find the MySQL version from the terminal, type at the

/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql -v -u root -p

Enter/paste your MySQL root password when prompted, the

temp one you copied earlier, 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 can add the mysql
directory to your shell path, (optional step) this is done in your
.bash_profile file in your home directory, if you dont have
that file just create it using vi or nano:
cd ; nano .bash_profile

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

The first command brings you to your home directory and

opens the .bash_profile file or creates a new one if it doesnt
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.
source ~/.bash_profile

mysql -v -u root -p

You will get the version number again, just type \q to exit.

Change the MySQL root password

Note that this is not the same as the root or admin password
of OSX this is a unique password for the mysql root user,
use one and remember/jot down somewhere what it is.
/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin -u root -p'temppassword'
password 'newpassword'
Use the single 'quotes' surrounding the password

Fix the 2002 MySQL Socket error

Fix the looming 2002 socket error which is linking where
MySQL places the socket and where OSX thinks it should be,
MySQL puts it in /tmp and OSX looks for it in /var/mysql the
socket is a type of file that allows mysql client/server
sudo mkdir /var/mysql

sudo ln -s /tmp/mysql.sock /var/mysql/mysql.sock

First fix the 2002 socket error if you havent done so from the
MySQL sectionsudo mkdir /var/mysql

sudo ln -s /tmp/mysql.sock /var/mysql/mysql.sock

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
Make the config folder

mkdir ~/Sites/phpmyadmin/config

Change the permissions

chmod o+w ~/Sites/phpmyadmin/config

Run the set up in the browser

http://localhost/~username/phpmyadmin/setup/ or http://localhost/phpmyadmin/setup/

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
(This is not the OSX 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

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 its a
local development it shouldnt 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:
sudo chmod -R a+w ~/Sites/testsite

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
sudo chown -R _www ~/Sites/testsite

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:
sudo chown -R _www /Library/WebServer/Documents/testsite

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.
Thats it! You now have the native AMP stack running ontop

of OSX El Capitan.
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