XAMPP for PowerPc

If you are at all interested in hosting a simple (or complex) website or doing some experimentation from your older Mac, I do recommend grabbing the incredibly useful XAMPP to make the process a little easier.

XAMPP is kind of a self-contained install of the Apache httpd server with PHP and CGI turned on, a MYSQL server, an FTP server, and some other tools and documentation. It’s cool, because it comes with a little tiny app that lets you turn off the services as you see fit. You can run it when you want to try out different configurations or different websites.

For Leopard, the basic Apache httpd server isn’t that older than the last available XAMPP package for G5 machines. My base Leopard httpd server is 2.2.7 while the one included in the XAMPP package is 2.2.14. Still, that includes some bug fixes as well as newer versions of PHP and MySQL. If you are going to run old software, might as well run the last version of it you can find.

Note: I do believe, using MacPorts or TigerBrew or something, you can get a more recent compiled version of httpd (2.4 series) – maybe even doing it on your own. You are likely better in that scenario of turning to Linux if you really care about security and want things fully patched (and maintained).

For now though, having access to an older version of XAMPP is still kind of fun to mess around with. Grab it here.

Another note: It is generally not recommended to copy over the httpd server in Leopard with a newer one. Now, it should technically work – we are talking about bug and security fixes from 2.2.7 to 2.2.14, for instance. However, it is probably best to be safe, keep backups, and just use an alternative like XAMPP which messes with system internals as little as possible.

— Nathan

Serving Up Delicious Webpages

Dan over at PPC Luddite posted a great intro tutorial on how to use your Mac as a server.

Granted, this is an area where a basic install of Debian or some other GUI-less Linux can excel, even on a Power Mac G5. You’ll have more secure and recent versions of various kinds of server software, get more performance out of your machine, and can fine tune every aspect of your computer’s connection to the outside world. With Mac OS X Leopard, you have a great number of components built-in that can get you started, but they tend to be much older versions of server favorites.

As an addendum to PPC Luddite’s post, another option is to install XAMPP.

XAMPP is a combination package of great server components like Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP, and so on. Combined into a single install, XAMPP makes it easy to setup test environments to see how websites and complicated scripts work before you put them on an external server. Of course, you could use XAMPP to turn your Mac into a nice file or database server, if you wanted. The nice thing about it is that it comes with plenty of documentation and built-in features, like phpMyAdmin, which allows you to create, edit, and delete databases from your favorite web browser.


Again, the benefit of XAMPP is that it is just a folder that you copy to your Applications folder on your Mac. You can easily delete it without mucking up anything else. You aren’t installing over your base Apache that comes with Leopard (or Tiger). You can run or turn off services as you need them using the simple GUI that comes with it above.

The downside is that while XAMPP provides some newer server software, such as PHP and mySQL, it’s still outdated. Leopard features Apache 2.2.17, while the latest XAMPP for PPC runs Apache 2.2.14. If you want the latest and most cutting edge, you might want to try a setup using homebrew or fink. Or just give your preferred version of Linux a shot.

The last version of XAMPP to run on PowerPC machines is 1.7.3. You can get it from Sourceforge here.