A while back I posted about configuring virtual hosts in MAMP.
More recently I noticed that MAMP hadn’t been updated in nearly a year and their support forum resembled a wilderness. Thinking that maybe the writing was on the wall for MAMP I started looking for an alternative and came across XAMPP.
XAMPP provides a similar local server environment to MAMP, but configuring virtual hosts is a little different. Unlike the Pro version of MAMP , XAMPP doesn’t have a nice GUI to allow virtual hosts to be configured easily. So, there is no alternative but to do it manually.
With XAMPP we need to edit 3 files as opposed to only the 2 with MAMP. These are /etc/hosts, /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf and /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf. I’m assuming that you’ve not already added virtual hosts to the /etc/hosts file for a previous MAMP install.
Update: A new version of MAMP (1.8) was released in September 2009.
1. What You’ll Need
The /etc/hosts file is hidden and a standard or admin user doesn’t normally have write access to it. To edit this file you can open TextEdit with root privileges from a Terminal window like so.
sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/hosts
An alternative is to use an editor like Smultron which has an option from the File menu to Open Hidden.. files and will ask for authentication if required. Smultron is free and whilst no longer under development works under 10.5.8.
In the example I’m going to configure a virtual host for a site that has a root folder of /Users/steve/Sites/MySite1/ and I’ll name the virtual host local.mysite1.
Ensure you stop XAMPP’s Apache server before editing either of the files below.
3. Editing the hosts File
Open the /etc/hosts file. You should see something like this:
# /etc/hosts ## # Host Database # # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry. ## 127.0.0.1 localhost 255.255.255.255 broadcasthost ::1 localhost fe80::1%lo0 localhost
We need to add a line to the end of this file for each virtual host we want to configure. The comment line is optional.
# Virtual Hosts 127.0.0.1 local.mysite1
The file should now resemble this.
# /etc/hosts ## # Host Database # # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry. ## 127.0.0.1 localhost 255.255.255.255 broadcasthost ::1 localhost fe80::1%lo0 localhost # Virtual Hosts 127.0.0.1 local.mysite1
Save and close the file.
4. Editing XAMPP’s httpd.conf File
Open/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf. On or around line 487 you should see this.
# Virtual hosts # Include etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf
We need to un-comment line 488 like so.
# Virtual hosts Include etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf
Save and close the file.
5. Editing XAMPP’s httpd-vhosts.conf File
Virtual hosts in XAMPP are configured in the httpd-vhosts.conf file and not the usual httpd.conf file. So, open the file /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf. You should see this.
# # VirtualHost example: # Almost any Apache directive may go into a VirtualHost container. # The first VirtualHost section is used for all requests that do not # match a ServerName or ServerAlias in any <VirtualHost> block. # <VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin email@example.com DocumentRoot "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/docs/dummy-host.example.com" ServerName dummy-host.example.com ServerAlias www.dummy-host.example.com ErrorLog "logs/dummy-host.example.com-error_log" CustomLog "logs/dummy-host.example.com-access_log" common </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin firstname.lastname@example.org DocumentRoot "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/docs/dummy-host2.example.com" ServerName dummy-host2.example.com ErrorLog "logs/dummy-host2.example.com-error_log" CustomLog "logs/dummy-host2.example.com-access_log" common </VirtualHost>
Remove the example virtual host configurations beginning on line 23 then add the following code block at the end of the file.
Note that although I only want to configure a virtual host for local.mysite1, beginning on line 24 I’ve added a virtual host for localhost as the default named sever with the ServerName set to localhost and the DocumentRoot and <Directory> set to /Applications/XAMPP/htdocs. If you don’t, when you point your browser to http://localhost all you’ll see is the directory listing of the first virtual host, in this case local.mysite1, and not the XAMPP start page. You do not need to add a corresponding entry in /etc/hosts as this is included by default.
For the local.mysite1 configuration you can see that beginning on line 37 we are setting the ServerName to the name of virtual host we configured in the /etc/hosts file. The DocumentRoot and <Directory> are set to the site’s root folder.
# # VirtualHost example: # Almost any Apache directive may go into a VirtualHost container. # The first VirtualHost section is used for all requests that do not # match a ServerName or ServerAlias in any <VirtualHost> block. # # localhost [must be included as the default named server] <VirtualHost *:80> ServerName localhost DocumentRoot "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs" <Directory "/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes execCGI AllowOverride None Require all granted </Directory> </VirtualHost> # mysite1.com <VirtualHost *:80> ServerName local.mysite1 DocumentRoot "/Users/steve/Sites/MySite1" <Directory "/Users/steve/Sites/MySite1"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes execCGI AllowOverride None Require all granted </Directory> </VirtualHost>
Save and close the file.
6. Testing the Virtual Host
To ensure the virtual host has been configured correctly, restart XAMPP’s Apache server and point your browser to http://local.mysite1
I would recommend backing-up the /etc/hosts, /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf and /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf files whenever you make changes and store them on a separate drive or USB stick. If you later re-install the OS or XAMPP you’ll lose the changes to the respective files. This way you can easily restore your virtual host configuration.
Thanks a lot! Really helpful article!
I’m working with XAMPP and High Sierra. I had changed hosts – httpd.conf – httpd-vhosts.conf but nothing I always have ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED when I write http://test.local.
In local xampp works fine.
The problem is
curl -I -L test.local
curl: (7) Failed to connect to test.local port 80: Connection refused
Have you configured XAMMP’s Apache port to something other than 80?
I’ve also updated the changes required to the httpd-vhosts.conf file as XAMPP now uses Apache 2.4 as opposed to 2.2. Most notably replacing Order Allow, Deny and Allow From All with a single Require all granted directive which would likely have resulted in 403 – Access Forbidden errors.
Yes, I’m working on 8080port.
Something in chrome used 80port (akamai thecnology)
so in I have this setup in xampp (localhost:8080–>80 over SSH)
And of course I changed in my httpd-vhosts.conf the line with .
I have two doubts:
1. Do I setup also httpd-ssl.conf?
2. I have the private folder private/etc/apache2… and lampp/etc with htppd.conf and extra folder. Do I change both files?
The easiest fix is to run Apache on port 80, but if you want to run it on port 8080 do the following.
1. Change the VirtualHost directives from <VirtualHost *:80> to <VirtualHost>
2. Restart Apache and clear Chrome’s cache
3. URLs are now localhost:8080 and http://test.local:8080
4. For curl use curl -I -L test.local:8080
curl -I -L local.mysite1:8080 –> it’s ok 200
But if I test it in browser redirect me in /opt/lampp/htdocs/
not in folder I choose in VirtualHost
First of all thanks for help!
The problem is in localhost:8080 works.
When I test http://local.mysite1 I have ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED
What do you have in hosts.conf about
“` ServerRoot “/opt/lampp”“`
The ServerRoot and DocumentRoot suggest you’re running XAMPP in Linux. Is that right?
It may be a typo, but http://local.mysite1 should be http://local.mysite1:8080 as you’re not running Apache on the standard port.
What happens with curl -I -L local.mysite1:8080? Do you get HTTP/1.1 200 OK or curl: (7) Failed to connect to local.mysite1 port 8080: Connection refused.
Thanks for this helpful summary of steps!
i’m just install xampp in my macbook but got problems with mysql database. Status of mysql database was deactivated.
can anybody please tell me how to activate that???
Have you started the MySQL server from the Manage Servers tab in XAMPP’s Application Manager? If it won’t start there may already be another instance of the MySQL server running. You can check this in Activity Monitor by setting the filter to mysql.
I have OSX Yosemite 10.10 and I have XAMPP 1.8.3-5. I followed all the instructions for creating the virtual hosts and I get the error:
You don’t have permission to access the requested object. It is either read-protected or not readable by the server.
If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.
Apache/2.4.10 (Unix) OpenSSL/1.0.1i PHP/5.5.15 mod_perl/2.0.8-dev Perl/v5.16.3
I have setup my whole directory tree (/Users/jeff/Sites/training/index.php) for 777 and root:admin permissions. Any suggestions why this is not working correctly and why I am getting an Access Forbidden 403 Error?
I’ve not used XAMPP for some time now and can’t recall ever having this problem. Not certain what the issue might be, but hopefully you can find an answer in one of these.
Sorry I can’t be of more help. Steve.
Thanks for help finding me a more updated tech site on this subject. I used the following link:
This guided me around the whole Access Forbidden Error.
Thank you very much for the link 🙂
If you get any access forbidden error. Simple edit your httpd.conf file and change apache User and Group to your mac user account.
I have followed all of your directions, and read SO many other tutorials as well, and I keep getting an ERROR 404 when I try to open my site at localhost/showandtell.local
the error includes this
Apache/2.4.10 (Unix) OpenSSL/1.0.1i PHP/5.5.15 mod_perl/2.0.8-dev Perl/v5.16.3
I’m trying to move a live wordpress site to my xampp localhost and I’m pretty new at this. It’s driving me crazy because I have done everything that people have said and I just can’t get it to work.
The database is connected but I can’t get the entire site to connect
Your tutorial has been the best I’ve read so any help would be very appreciated!
If your WordPress site uses custom or so-called “Pretty” permalinks it requires an .htaccess file containing the appropriate configuration to write the URLs correctly. Without it you’ll receive “Object Not Found! Error 404” errors. Check Where’s my .htaccess file? and Creating and editing (.htaccess) for instructions.
If your site already has an .htaccess file with the correct configuration it’s likely that the .htaccess file is being ignored because of the Apache server’s configuration. Check Fixing WordPress “404 Object Not Found” Errors on a Mac OS X Local Server Environment on how to correct this.
Hope you get it working.
I keep getting
Error establishing a database connection
I’m sure I’ve set all the info in the correct files any advise greatly appreciated
Is this a WordPress install? If so, this error typically occurs when WordPress is unable to connect to its MySQL database.
Check that XAMPP’s MySQL server is running and the database WordPress is trying to connect to exists in XAMPP. Also ensure that the MySQL connection details in the wp-config.php file are correct.
Hey I just wanted to say thanks for explaining what affects where; i.e. the comments in your code blocks.
I appreciate it!
Steve, thanks for your reply. I’ve pinpointed the problem further. when i type on safari //localhost or or dl.firecore.com (the site i want to appear to run locally) it works taking me to the default xammp page. also, if i write http://localhost/firecore/ it works too, taking me to that site. the thing i need is to be taken to dl.firecore.com/test.html TYPING JUST THAT (not dl.firecore.com/firecore/test.html). Hope i explained myself correctly. Thanks so much again.
If dl.firecore.com really is the name of a virtual host running under XAMPP it sounds as though its document root is /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs. It appears that test.html doesn’t exist in this directory but a subfolder off of this: firecore/. Therefore, dl.firecore.com/test.html won’t work. You’ll need to amend the document root of dl.firecore.com to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs/firecore.
steve, i managed to get the server up and running in a virtual machine running os x leopard. created a virtual site and it works mapped to local port 127.0.0.1. what i need to do is to open a webpage locally in that site, tried the following code in /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf:
xampp tells me there’s an error in sintax… could you please tell me the proper way to do it? thanks in advance!
If you want to access a site that’s located in a folder off of XAMPP’s document root i.e /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/htdocs/firecore/ then ensure you have the following code in /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf
Restart apache and type http://localhost/firecore/ in your browser.
It redirects to xampp folder.
I checked xampp’s index.php but unable to figure out why it is happening.
Thanks in advance
Take a look in /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/logs/error_log. Any clues?
Been trying to sort this out all day. Finally stumbled across this post and was able to do it in about 15 minutes following these instructions. Thanks muchly for the insight.
You’re welcome Spencer.
Steve, I got Mac OS X Lion and I cannot get vhosts to work no matter what. Any suggestions?
I’m using XAMPP 1.7.2a on two machines. One was upgraded to Lion and the other was a clean install. Virtual hosts are working fine on both.
What happens when you type http://localhost ? Are you seeing the XAMPP start page?
great instructions; i follow them as you said and it worked.
i spent more than 8 hours this weekend trying to figure this out – i am pc user switching to the mac.
thank you very much…
You’re welcome Miguel. I’m glad you found them useful. And welcome to the Mac community. 🙂