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I want to set up a basic web server at home. I run Windows (XP on the machine to be a server), however I also have Ubuntu on hand if I need to run that.

Basically I was wondering if there are any large difference between WAMP servers and LAMP servers? I know they run virtually the same software, but does one perform better than the other? Are there hidden benefits of running it in Ubuntu instead of XP, or the other way around?

I know its a basic question, but I haven't done anything with Ubuntu, and I've done about the same amount with web server-ing.


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are differences between the two. Mostly in resource usage by the OS and also the way that the kernel handles multiple processes. This is more pronounced when using a server version of linux like Ubuntu server edition or CentOS. In general your database will perform better under linux, however this really is only an issue with high concurrency (lots of users). So if you plan on a ton of users on your website at once with lots of database transactions or a heavy duty web app, or are using older hardware go with linux or a BSD unix. Otherwise use whichever is more comfortable or more fun.

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You could also try installing Wampstack and lampstack from bitnami, makes it quite easy. (those two I think are at the bottom in that page) There are other stacks made for other servers... The stacks are like installers for several platforms, but doing it easy. Would be easier so to compare both, as is very fast to have it running or uninstall them.

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If you want to setup a web server on Windows XP Professional you can use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer to automate the process of installing the full Microsoft web stack. It's not WAMP, but it includes a web server (IIS), database server (SQL 2008 Express), and web development tools (Visual Web Developer Express) that are all free and easy to learn and use. Plus they have a bunch of open source web apps that make it easy to install a CMS, Blog or wiki.

Please note that XP Home does not support IIS, so in that case you would have to use an alternative web server such as Cassini. You should still be able to install SQL Express and the Web Developer Express from

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Also note that MySQL works just fine on windows (the "M" in LAMP/WAMP) and that the latest version of IIS does a very good job handling PHP code (the "P" in LAMP/WAMP), making a WIMP platform a decent option as well. Personally, I prefer WISC (windows, IIS, Sql Server, C#). It's still free to set everything up. But if you already know PHP you'll likely prefer to stick with that. – Joel Coehoorn Apr 23 '10 at 17:51
Good call! I do know that IIS 7 in Vista/Win7 works great with PHP, but I haven't used PHP on IIS 5.1 (the version in XP Pro) before. It should still work, just not as well as on newer versions of windows. – Greg Bray Apr 23 '10 at 17:58
Sounds like a good idea, I'm going to try WAMP first though. May give this a crack if I have any troubles. Thanks! – AkkA Apr 29 '10 at 7:06

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