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I have a MacBook and am a regular Mac user. I develop PHP and Java in the Leopard environment. I have tips and advice to share on Eclipse, MAMP and general platform development.

I’ve been a long time MAMP user, but I recently upgraded my laptop and decided to do a fresh install of everything, and a ground up re-configuration of all my dev environments (a fair bit of mucking about with PHP, Ruby, Java, Python and trying Go).

After a short while researching it became clear the best tool for the job would be Homebrew – it gives you much more control of the environment than MAMP, without the Macports heartache.

In this post I’ll run through using Homebrew on OSX Mountain Lion for a Mysql+PHP CGI setup – I’ll document adding a webserver to this stack in a later post, my immediate need is for a PHP CGI environment.

Setup Homebrew

Before you do any of this, go grab Xcode from the App Store. Hope you’re not on a 3G internet connection, it’s a 1.6GB install! Go grab a coffee while you wait. After that’s installed you’re also going to need to go to Xcode > Preferences and install the command-line tools, another 100+ MB install.

The Homebrew install from their own site is just:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Setup PHP

Homebrew uses the tap command to import more sources for install scripts. See what they did there? I use the homebrew-php project, seems awesome – loads of support, docs and info on the project page, all going to plan you’ll just need these two commands below.

brew tap josegonzalez/homebrew-php
brew tap homebrew/dupes

You can review all the options with the brew options php54 command, if you want mysql and CGI, use the command below that I used.

brew install --with-mysql --with-cgi php54

It’ll run through a bunch of downloading/compiling steps but the end result should be that you get the following test output:

/usr/local/bin/php-cgi --version
PHP 5.4.12 (cgi-fcgi) (built: Mar 19 2013 14:39:37)
Copyright (c) 1997-2013 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.4.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2013 Zend Technologies

Setup MySQL

It’s super easy, watch.

brew install mysql

Then just follow the instructions that get blurted out during the Homebrew install of mysql.

Slight catch is, if your OSX is anything like mine you’ll need to run this first:

mkdir -p /usr/local/var/mysql
unset TMPDIR
mysql_install_db --verbose --user=`whoami` --basedir="$(brew --prefix mysql)" --datadir=/usr/local/var/mysql --tmpdir=/tmp

I also got this warning:
WARNING: Found existing config file /usr/local/opt/mysql/my.cnf on the system. which you can safely fix with:

#backup existing
mv /usr/local/opt/mysql/my.cnf /usr/local/opt/mysql/my.cnf.old
#move new
mv /usr/local/opt/mysql/my-new.cnf /usr/local/opt/mysql/my.cnf

There’s also a lot of good advice for securing your mysql install blurted out during the install process, ignore it at your peril. Test your handiwork by checking you can access the mysql commandline prompt:

mysql -uroot
# or, with the password you set. You set one, right?
mysql -uroot -p

Other Notes

I noticed that the Homebrew installed PHP didn’t seem to support $_ENV in scripts, instead the $_SERVER array seems to be used – the Macports PHP with CGI support did seem to work with $_ENV. It might be a subtle version difference, I’m actually not sure, and decided not to spend time trying to figure it out. Just update scripts that depend on $_ENV, to use $_SERVER. If someone knows what’s behind this, please share.

So, that should be it, PHP with CGI support and MySQL installed and ready to rock. If I missed anything let me know.

You need to run PHP 5.2.0 or newer for Magento. This is normally not a problem for MAMP but a recent reader has asked about determining which version is running on their Mac when this error does occur. I just wanted to make a quick post on checking PHP versions in MAMP, because it seems if your Mac has other versions of php installed you can end up having odd results when trying to run Magento in MAMP.

You can determine which PHP version your MAMP server is running by opening the MAMP ‘start page’ and clicking the phpInfo link in the top menu. This will also tell you which php.ini file is being used.

You can also run:

 php -version

Run this in a terminal (, to print the PHP version that is on your PATH. You can determine which php is being run by typing:

which php

To find any php binaries on your Mac you can run the locate command in a terminal:

locate php | grep "[^\.]php$"

The pipe into grep just filters out any files that have php in the path, but are not php binaries, and also removes any files that are of the form filename.php which would otherwise turn up in the search.

You can execute any of the php binaries this command finds with the argument -version to find out what version of PHP it is. This may help you to identify any versions of PHP you have installed that you do not want anymore.

For example:

/usr/bin/php -version
/Applications/MAMP/bin/php4/bin/php -version

If anyone has any other tips for solving this or questions please post them below. Hopefully we can make sure this problem doesn’t trip anyone else up!

I was asked recently whether it was possible to use the Virtual hosting in Apache I describe for Magento on MAMP over a network rather than just locally. To make a sensible response I wanted to give a quick background to the HTTP requests going on and how Apache uses those requests to decide what HTTP response to send back. It turned into a bit of a long reply comment so here it is as a post instead.

I use a network Apache virtual hosts setup all the time (though the network isn’t a local network it’s the internet, but same principle).

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Coming from a Linux background, one of the things I didn’t like about MAMP was the way it hid away the mysql command line interface. Once you are comfortable using it, the CLI is a powerful and quick method of interacting with a mysql server. I just wanted to share a quick and easy way to access the MAMP mysql command line client on Mac OSX.

Firstly you can run the Mac OSX terminal easily by just typing:

ctrl + space bar (to access spotlight)

Then start typing ‘Terminal’ before you have even finished the little Apple gnomes will have guessed you want to open the Terminal (which of course you do). Start the Terminal by hitting enter when spotlight highlights the Terminal app.

Now that you are in a Terminal you are able to do all sorts of excellent things to your Mac. For now though, we’ll stick to running the mysql client. The client is located in /Applications/MAMP/Library/bin so to run it execute this command:

/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysql -uroot -p

Continue Reading…