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LAMP stack on OSX with Homebrew, built-in Apache, multiple PHP versions, VirtualhostX optional

This guide shows how to set up a PHP and MySQL development environment using OSX's built-in Apache, using Homebrew to install necessary components. With this strategy, you can use different versions of PHP for certain virtual hosts.

VirtualHostX is a convenient way to manage development sites, but not required.

Install PHP and MySQL with Homebrew

brew update
brew install php56
brew install php56-mcrypt
brew install mysql
mysql.server start

The mcrypt extension is required for some PHP frameworks such as Laravel.

Optional: Install other extensions or versions of PHP

brew install php56-xdebug
brew install php55
brew install php55-mcrypt

Configure PHP

Test PHP:

/usr/local/Cellar/php56/5.6.0/bin/php --version

This should yield PHP 5.6.0 (cli).

Edit your ~/.bash_profile by adding the line:

alias php='/usr/local/Cellar/php56/5.6.0/bin/php'
alias php56='/usr/local/Cellar/php56/5.6.0/bin/php'	

Test your PHP alias:

php --version

This should again yield PHP 5.6.0 (cli).


Configure VirtualHostX to use Built-in Apache instead of MAMP.

Create a new site with custom virtual host directives:

LoadModule php5_module /usr/local/Cellar/php56/5.6.0/libexec/apache2/
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.php

Optional: Apache Without VirtualHostX

You can achieve the above without VirtualHostX by manually editing:



With a MySQL client such as Sequel Pro, connect to MySQL at with the username root and no password. Change the password if you like.


Enable write permissions for Apache by changing its User and Group settings.

Edit /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf:

User your_mac_username
Group staff
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