Modern business depends upon web-based applications which, in turn, require web servers. If you’re running a Windows-based machine, you don’t want to place your faith completely in Internet Information Services (IIS). For most web-based applications (especially CMS, ERP, and HRM tools), you want Apache.
Many IT pros assume Apache is a Linux-only server, but that’s not true — there have been many ports of Apache to the Windows platform. One such port is VertrigoServ, which makes the process of installing and configuring a WAMP (Windows Apache MySQL PHP) server as easy as installing any application on Windows.
VertrigoServ features include:
- Small footpring
- Up-to-date packages
- Very easy to install and use
- No configuration or manual installation required
- Compatible with all major Windows versions
- Completely free for any use
With a single installer, VertrigoServ will install all the tools you need to get your WAMP server up and running.
- Download the VertrigoServ .exe installer file.
- Double-click the installer.
- Walk through the simple wizard.
The wizard shouldn’t present a challenge. On the fourth screen (Figure A), you will be asked which components to install. Both the VertrigoServ and the Desktop Shortcut are selected by default. You must install the former; the latter is optional.
The Desktop Shortcut will add an icon to your desktop that will start the server. (Click the image to enlarge.)
When the installation completes, a new window will appear (Figure B) that informs you what was installed, offers links to documentation/settings, and has a button to click to hide the window and start the server.
Click on one of the links to be taken to that tool or document. (Click the image to enlarge.)
Controlling the server
The main control for VertrigoServ is in the Windows System Tray. If you right-click the VertrigoServ icon, a full menu will appear (Figure C). From this menu, you can start/stop/restart the server, open the various configuration files, and much more.
You can get to the VertrigoVserv Program Settings by going to Settings | Program Settings. (Click the image to enlarge.)
If you want VertrigoServ to always be running, you’ll want to set it to run as a service. Follow these steps:
- Right-click the VertrigoServ icon in the System Tray.
- Go to Settings | Program Settings.
- Click the check box for Run Servers As Services (Figure D).
- Click the check box for Automatically Start Servers.
- Click the check box for Start At System Startup.
- Click Save Settings And Restart Servers.
If you aren’t sure if your configuration have caused issues, click the Return To Default Settings button. (Click the image to enlarge.)
You can also map the Apache document root as a drive in My Computer; this setting will make it easy to gain quick access to the htdocs folder. To do this, check the box under Mapping and select a drive to map to in the drop-down.
Though this is not a lesson in configuring Apache or MySQL, you need to know where the configuration files are so you can set up your server exactly how you need it. By default, the VertrigoServ will be listening to localhost:8080. You’ll change that in the httpd.conf file. To find that file, right-click the VertrigoServ icon in the System Try and then click Config Files | httpd.conf. The file will open in Notepad, where you can make all the changes you need. The same goes for these config files: vertrigo.conf, php.ini, my.ini, config.inc.php (each of which can be accessed in the same way as the httpd.conf file).
If you click Tools in the VertrigoServ System Tray menu, you will find tools that allow you to manage your MySQL server:
- SQLite Console
- MySQL Console
The first two entries will open web pages for the management of MySQL and SQLite; the latter two entries open terminal windows where you can manage those databases from the console. If you try to open the websites, and you get an unable to connect error, it means you have not configured the httpd.conf file correctly.
By default, the tools are set up to work with port 80, so http://localhost/phpmyadmin (for example). The server is configured to work with port 8080, so you need to reset the server to work with port 80. This is done in the http.conf file in the line Listen 8080. You should change it to Listen 80. Save the file and restart the server. The tools should work now.
If you’re looking for one of the easiest methods for installing a WAMP server on a Windows box, VertrigoServ might be just the ticket. It’s a great way to develop, test, and even serve up sites with one of the most powerful web servers available.