The Installation Apache Friends

The Installation

* Method A: Installation with the Installer

Using the installer version is the easiest way to install XAMPP.

The install wizard of XAMPP win32

After the installation is complete, you will find XAMPP under Start / Programs / XAMPP. You can use the XAMPP Control Panel to start/stop all server and also install/uninstall services.

The XAMPP control panel for start/stop Apache, MySQL, FilaZilla & Mercury or install these server as services

* Method B: “Installation” without the Installer

Download and unzip the 7-zip or zip archives into the folder of your choice.

In this case, we unpacked XAMPP to D:\Program Files and will get a D:\Program Files\XAMPP folder. Next, open the XAMPP folder and run the “setup-xampp.bat” file.

All paths in the configuration will be updated.

Finally, start the different servers with the existing start/stop batch files or use the GUI version “xampp-control.exe”.

Note: If you work with the Installer version of XAMPP, you do not need to execute “setup_xampp.bat”.

* »I want to start XAMPP without setup!«

If you extract XAMPP in a top level folder like c:\xampp or d:\xampp etc., you can start XAMPP directly. That means you do not need to execute the “setup_xampp.bat” at all. Apache, MySQL and Mercury Mail server will start up correctly! FileZilla FTP server will not start because it requires absolute paths. Please note: Do not use a double-xampp-folder like c:\xampp\xampp! You need a single-xampp folder like d:\xampp(\apache and so on). Otherwise you must run the “setup-xampp.bat” to set up the path configurations.

The Practice

* Practice 1: Start, stop & test XAMPP

The universal control center is the XAMPP Control from which is not included in the Lite version.


Some more server scripts:
Apache & MySQL start: .\xampp\xampp_start.exe
Apache & MySQL stop: .\xampp\xampp_stop.exe
Apache start: .\xampp\apache_start.bat
Apache stop: .\xampp\apache_stop.bat
MySQL start: .\xampp\mysql_start.bat
MySQL stop: .\xampp\mysql_stop.bat
Mercury Mailserver start: .\xampp\mercury_start.bat
(Mercury only GUI. Stop with GUI)
FileZilla Server setup: .\xampp\filezilla_setup.bat
FileZilla Server start: .\xampp\filezilla_start.bat
FileZilla Server stop: .\xampp\filezilla_stop.bat

Test: After Apache starts, open the URL http://localhost or and examine all of the XAMPP examples and tools.

* Practice 2: Installing a particular server as a service

You can install some servers as a service under these platforms: NT4, 2000/2003, XP and (sometimes) Vista. Therefore you can use one of these scripts:

Apache service install: .\xampp\apache\apache_installservice.bat
Apache service uninstall: .\xampp\apache\apache_uninstallservice.bat
MySQL service install: .\xampp\mysql\mysql_installservice.bat
MySQL service uninstall: .\xampp\mysql\mysql_uninstallservice.bat
FileZilla service (un)install: .\xampp\filezilla_setup.bat
Mercury: No service installation available!

* Practice 3: Installation of Addons

Many additional addons exist for the development with the main package. At the moment, the official addons for win32 from this side are:

  • Perl Addon with Mod_Perl and a selection important Perl Modules
  • Tomcat Addon (Requirement: SUN J2SE SDK must already be installed)
  • Cocoon for Tomcat Addon (Requirement: Tomcat Addon must already be installed)
  • Python Addon

The recommended rule for the installation is this: The XAMPP Installer version needs the Installer Addon, the ZIP (7-Zip) package needs the ZIP (7-Zip) Addon. For the ZIP Addon please unpack the package into the XAMPP main directory directly. Afterwards execute the “setup_xampp.bat”. That’s all. Installer Addon package makes everything automatically. There is nothing to do.

Note: Everyone can build a new XAMPP Addon for his project. For example you will find some other addons for XAMPP at

* Practice 4: The XAMPP upgrades

When individual components of the XAMPP collection are upgraded, we will bring XAMPP up to date as well. However, some developments are not compatible to our last release and so we cannot upgrade these elements. Usually we are able to update all servers and programms in XAMPP. NOT the configuration files because you could have modified them. Tip: If you have the installer version it is much easier to use the installer upgrade. All others should take the (7-)ZIP archive. Extract that package in the XAMPP folder directly and overwrite the older files.

A matter of security (A MUST READ!)

* The XAMPP Security console

As mentioned before, XAMPP is not meant for production use but only for developers in a development environment. XAMPP is configured is to be as open as possible and to allow the web developer anything he/she wants. For development environments this is great but in a production environment it could be fatal.

Here a list of missing security in XAMPP:

  • The MySQL administrator (root) has no password.
  • The MySQL daemon is accessible via network.
  • PhpMyAdmin is accessible via network.
  • Examples are accessible via network.
  • The user of Mercury and FileZilla are known.

Please secure XAMPP before publishing anything online. A firewall or an external router are only sufficient for low levels of security. For slightly more security, you can run the “XAMPP Security console” and assign passwords.

To fix the most important of the security weaknesses simply call the following URL (access only from localhost):

Before version 1.4.15:

Since version 1.4.15:

The root password for MySQL, PhpMyAdmin, and also a XAMPP directory protection can be established here. For Mercury and FileZilla, please remember to change the configuration settings (e.g. user and passwords). Or if you do not need any of these servers, simply do not start them — That is secure, too.

The Uninstallation

* Method A: The Installer version

If you installed with the Installer version, please use the Uninstaller! The Uninstaller will delete all XAMPP entries from your registry and it will uninstall some installed services included with XAMPP. We highly recommend that you use the Uninstall program for removing XAMPP installations from the Installer version.

* Method B: Installation from ZIP and 7-ZIP package

Shut down the XAMPP server and exit all panels. If you installed any services, shut them down too.

To uninstall XAMPP that was installed from ZIP packages, simply delete the entire folder where XAMPP is installed. There are no registry entries and no environment variables to clean up… just simply good, clean code! Don’t forget to uninstall any services you might have installed.

Basic Questions

* Question 1: What is the “Lite” version of XAMPP?

XAMPP Lite (means “light” as in “light-weight”) is a smaller bundle of XAMPP components, which is recommended for quick work using only PHP and MySQL. Some servers or tools such as Mercury Mail and FileZilla FTP are missing in the Lite version. Additionally, there are no Install Shield versions, add-ons or upgrades for the Lite version.

* Question 2: Where should I place my web content?

The main folder for all WWW documents is at \xampp\htdocs. If you put a test.html file here you can browse for it at http://localhost/test.html (if Apache server is running). Use the same procedure with all PHP or cgi files. You can create subfolders for your content too. For example, create the folder \xampp\htdocs\new and copy your test.html file there. Then enter the URL http://localhost/new/test.html to view this in your browser.

Further file characteristics in the overview:

  • CGI – Executable: Overall, Allowed endings: .cgi => base package
  • PHP – Executable: Overall, Allowed endings: .php .php4 .php3 .phtml => base package
  • MOD Perl – Executable: .\xampp\htdocs\modperl, Allowed endings: .pl => Perl addon
  • ASP Perl – Executable: .\xampp\htdocs\modperlasp, Allowed endings: .asp => Perl Addon
  • JSP Java – Executable: .\xampp\tomcat\webapps\java (u.a), Allowed endings: .jsp => Tomcat addon
  • Servlets Java – Executable: .\xampp\tomcat\webapps\java (u.a), Allowed endings: .html (u.a) => Tomcat addon
  • MOD Python – Executable: .\xampp\htdocs\python, Allowed endings: .py => Python addon Spyce Python – Executable: .\xampp\htdocs\python, Allowed endings: .spy => Python addon

* Question 3: Can I move the XAMPP installation?

Yes, but only if you installed it using the ZIP (z-zip) archive method. After moving the XAMPP package, you must execute the “setup-xampp.bat” to update all configuration files. In this case you can make a copy of XAMPP and put this in a directory somewhere. At last execute the “setup-xampp” and make your tests. Try it out.

If you installed with the Installer, then you must completely uninstall XAMPP and reinstall it at the new location. This is the only way to ensure that all changes made to the registry are cleaned up, and updated for the new location.

* Question 4: How can I generate “automatic start sites” or default start pages?

If you browse to a folder like http://localhost/xampp/ the Apache server will return a start site automatically. The Apache server looks for a start page for your site, such as index.html or index.php. This is configurable from the “DirectoryIndex” directive in the httpd.conf file. Here you can define the names and the arrangement for your start sites.

In XAMPP the “DirectoryIndex” directive list is as follows:

index.php index.php4 index.php3 index.cgi index.html index.htm index.html.var index.phtml

* Question 5: How can I switch between PHP5 and PHP4 and back?

XAMPP (not Lite!) contains both PHP5 and PHP4. To switch between the versions please use the “php-switch.bat” ($path-to-xampp\xampp\php-switch.bat). NOTE: The Apache server must be stopped before you make these changes.

* Question 6: Where can I change the configuration?

You adjust XAMPP settings with plain-text configuration files. The following files exist:

  • Apache basic configuration: .\xampp\apache\conf\httpd.conf
  • Apache SSL: .\xampp\apache\conf\ssl.conf
  • Apache Perl (only addon): .\xampp\apache\conf\perl.conf
  • Apache Tomcat (only addon): .\xampp\apache\conf\java.conf
  • Apache Python (only addon): .\xampp\apache\conf\python.conf
  • PHP: .\xampp\apache\bin\php.ini
    (with the apache actually running php version)
  • MySQL: .\xampp\mysql\bin\my.cnf
  • phpMyAdmin: .\xampp\phpMyAdmin\
  • FileZilla FTP: .\xampp\FileZillaFTP\FileZilla Server.xml
  • Mercury Mail basic configuration: .\xampp\MercuryMail\MERCURY.INI
  • Sendmail: .\xampp\sendmail\sendmail.ini

* Question 7: Do I have to go online to work with XAMPP?

No! You can work “offline” with XAMPP. In other words, you do NOT have to be connected to the Internet, because your own computer will provide all the hosting and serving features.

* Question 8: Where is what?

Directory Content
\xampp\anonymous Anonymous FTP example folder
\xampp\apache Apache server directory
\xampp\cgi-bin Dir for executing cgi scripts
\xampp\FileZillaFTP FileZilla FTP server directory
\xampp\htdocs Main http docs directory
\xampp\install For Setup XAMPP (do not delete!)
\xampp\licenses Dito
\xampp\MercuryMail Mercury Mail SMTP POP3 IMAP server dir
\xampp\mysql MySQL server directory
\xampp\perl Perl directory
\xampp\php PHP (4+5) directory
\xampp\phpmyadmin phpMyAdmin directory
\xampp\security Extra directory for security configs
\xampp\tmp The temporary folder
\xampp\webalizer Webalizer web statistic directory
\xampp\webdav WebDAV Authoring example folder


* Where can I get more information (FAQs, etc.)?

Please visit our XAMPP Windows FAQs:

Or use our forum for questions:

* XAMPP and services

For all NT/2000 users, in both packages you will find the install and uninstall files to build all servers as services in the respective directories.

  • apache_installservice.bat => Apache install as service/li>
  • apache_uninstallservice.bat => Apache uninstall as service
  • mysql_installservice.bat => MySQL install as service
  • mysql_uninstallservice.bat => MySQL uninstall as service

After all changes don’t forget to restart your system. Note! To uninstall the mysql service you must first of all have stopped the mysql service!

* MySQL and PHP

MySQL starts without a password for “root”. So in PHP you can connect the MySQL-Server with: mysql_connect(“localhost”,”root”,””);
If you want to set a password for “root” in MySQL, please use “mysqladmin” under Console. For example:

\…\xampp\mysql\bin\mysqladmin -u root password secret

Attention. After changing the password for root, don’t forget to inform PHPMyAdmin. Search the “” under \…\xampp\phpmyadmin\ and edit the following lines:

$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘user’] = ‘root’; // MySQL SuperUser
$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘auth_type’] = ‘http’; // HTTP MySQL authentification

Now the correct password for “root” is required, before PHPMyAdmin starts.

Please see also the three methods in the Windows FAQ:


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