XAMPP Linux is a common solution to the problem of setting up a server for a website. Maintained by the “Apache Friends”, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting the Apache server technology and making installations as user-friendly as possible, it consists of a number of programs that, in true free software fashion, come together to make a coherent solution. The “XAMPP” in XAMPP Linux is an acronym, made up of the first letters of these programs.
The A in the XAMPP Linux package stands for the Apache server itself. The Apache server is a free, open-source web server that was key in the growth of the World Wide Web and still consistently tops the charts at NetCraft, a site that records what software is employed in web servers. The M in the package denotes MySQL, a language that’s used to define, construct, and search within databases. The two Ps stand for two useful web languages, PHP and Perl. Both are used in scripting to make dynamic web pages, though that’s not the only extent of their capability – Perl in particular has been noted to be extremely powerful and flexible, and it has found use in the script-happy world of Linux distributions.
So far, XAMPP Linux has given us a server and three languages to complement it, but what does the X stand for? The X is pronounced “cross”, as in “cross-platform”. That’s right, the phrase “XAMPP Linux” turns out to be a bit misleading, or at least redundant! XAMPP Linux brings to mind an older acronym, LAMP, which stood for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP”, a previous software combination used to make a functional web server. Now, the Apache Server, MySQL, PHP and Perl aren’t simply limited to the Linux platform, and this bundle of software can be employed on Windows and Mac OS X – however, the especial emphasis in XAMPP Linux describes a united free software solution, free as in beer, free as in liberty, open for all, offering a powerful, no-cost, and – thanks to the Apache friends – easy solution to building your own web site.