Apache on XP – not bad, at all

Note: I’m going to post notes for how to get everything working, here.

As it was in the beginning…..

A long time ago, now, I installed my very first web server on Windows XP. My first attempts at running my own web server was using a program called Xitami. Xitami remains the most unreliable piece of Windows software I have ever used. It was a lightweight web server which crashed, with regularity, ever few hours. Nonetheless, it was a learning experience and further piqued my curiosity.  I’ve always found it fascinating that I could assemble my thoughts in a web page and those ideas could be shared with people around the world – via a web site being hosted from a computer in my own home.  I’ve often had the thought that running a web server is much like owning a radio station which can broadcast internationally. I learned to code web pages by hand, so, there was an artistic component which I also found satisfying. Eventually I installed Apache, on XP, then moved on to Linux. I tried a lot of different distributions, beginning with Redhat 7.3, and then used Slackware for a number of years. The last few years my primary server has run from Centos, although I also ran secondary servers on Ubuntu. I ran full-featured Linux servers with Apache, Qmail, FTP, etc. I hosted sites for friends. I even hosted a few sites for businesses. I fell in love with Linux, but, never reached the point where I felt as though it replace Windows for my daily, desktop computing chores. I tried to love Linux as a desktop, but, it seemed that I was always fighting various battles to get things done.

Now, I’m 62 years-old. I’m a little tired and my priorities have changed. I absolutely don’t want the hassle of maintaining a Linux server which hosts other people’s web sites. I don’t feel like keeping up with every new package release, security threat, and on and on. I don’t want folks relying upon me to update their web sites, only to make a few extra bucks (which is something which I found myself doing, for years). And while I’d like to host a few web sites, for my own entertainment, I have a limited work space and I do not want to use Linux as my desktop computing environment – and I want to tinker with a local web server.  I’m tired of fighting with Wine, on Linux, to get a few Windows programs working. So, I’m back to running a few web sites on Windows XP (using Apache).  My Linux server is still up and running, but the business web sites are gone and I don’t really maintain the darned thing, anymore.  Mostly, I’m having fun seeing what’s possible running a server from my local computer on Windows XP.

Resolving some issues with Piwik

Piwik has an issue when updating, but, it works. I always get an error – the exact nature of which I can’t recall – but if I close the browser and just re-open the URL the update continues and everything works. Too, you may see the following error:

To fix the above, simply delete the file ExampleUI.php. Also, I encountered a permissions problem with Piwik which I resolved running the following batch file in the Piwik root directory, the language directory, and the config directory.


As of version 2.91 I get a mountain of errors if I try to update Piwik; if I just fo a fresh installation it works fine.

Below is an overview of some of the software which I’ve found runs just fine on Windows XP.

  • Apache
  • PHP 5.3.5
  • MySQL 5.5
  • Perl
  • Piwik
  • WordPress
  • Ipswitch iMail 8.22
  • Hmail
  • Phpsysinfo

MySQL Login Batch Script

MySQL Dump Script

Okay….here’s a simple batch script that will dump your MySQL databases. Obviously, the command to create a directory is optional, and, the path to MySQL bin might have to be adjusted.

Script to zip Apache (or whatever) using 7z

If you’d like to backup Apache, a particular web site, or anything else you can do so – automatically – with the following batch script. You’ll need to have 7z.exe copied to C:\WINDOWS\system32. And it’s this simple:

Adding APC

Recently I wanted to see if APC would work on XP and, well, it did…… How’s that for some detailed info, eh? Anyway, here are a lot APC releases for Windows. And here is the one I am currently using –APC 319 in zip format. All I did was add a line at the top of my php.ini file (see below) and I copied the .dll file to the Apache bin folder, the C:\php\ext folder, the C:\WINDOWS folder, and C:WINDOWS\system32 folder – I was guessing…….but it works. Oh: And, of course, you may have to rename the .dll file or amend the line in php.ini as the .dll files have names like “php_apc_319_php53_vc9_nts.dll”.

PHP 5.3.10 seems more stable

I’d had Apache crash, now and then, with the fault being PHP. I was using PHP 5.29 or something. Everything seems to work better with PHP 5.3.10, and, I keep misplacing the archive – is here it is for download.

PHP.ini file

Apache on XP

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