I have an Lap top with windows XP on it (visual studios 2008 and MS SQL Manager 2010), for personal use I want to turn it in to a web server should I install ISS. Or would it be easy / better to install ubuntu Server with LAMP? I use both OS platforms Its really the ISS vs apache that I'm unsure about. Thanks ahead.

  • What are your goals and intended technologies? Likewise, mare you looking to use and learn Ruby (on Rails), or PHP, or Perl CGI, or Asp.NET, or Java Servlets or... ?
    – Richard JP Le Guen
    Jul 10, 2010 at 0:35
  • I think you mean IIS. Jul 10, 2010 at 1:03

6 Answers 6


It really depends on your needs. You could very easily load up Ubuntu and throw LAMP on it. IIS, however, is also very good (especially on Windows...though I guess it's only on Windows...).

If you're looking to build something that other people rely on, you're probably going to want to install Linux and go that route. IIS might be good for experimentation, but you'll likely run into a lot of problems with configuration and maintenance. Not to mention, since it's XP, you're running on an unsupported OS.

My vote is for Ubuntu. Good luck!


Easiest way is to install WAMP.


  • 1
    Keep in mind that this is Windows XP; WAMP could run, but would you really want it to?
    – mattbasta
    Jul 10, 2010 at 0:33
  • 1
    From mattbasta's answer; "since it's XP, you're running on an unsupported OS".
    – Richard JP Le Guen
    Jul 10, 2010 at 0:37

XAMPP from Apache Friends is a fantastic little project that installs a full Apache, PHP, MySQL stack on your computer in the shortest of time and with no fuss. To use it, you just unzip the files and run a script, then you are set. A little helper application will sit in your taskbar to help you turn on and off any services.

The latest version includes:

  • Apache 2.2.14 (IPv6 enabled) + OpenSSL 0.9.8l
  • MySQL 5.1.41 + PBXT engine
  • PHP 5.3.1
  • phpMyAdmin 3.2.4
  • Perl 5.10.1
  • FileZilla FTP Server 0.9.33
  • Mercury Mail Transport System 4.72

Not ment for production (or anything public), it is a handy little test server used for testing and developing websites on your local machine.


Depends on what you plan to develop with. Personally, if I were doing ASP.NET development with visual studio, I would stick with IIS. If I were doing PHP though, I would go with Apache. No reason to necessarily switch to Linux though. Apache/MySQL/PHP run pretty well together on Windows. IIS and PHP is another matter entirely though.


Z:WAMP and EasyPHP are a couple good WAMP packages, if you're going that route:



Though the MS Web Platform (w/ IIS) is great too:



I'd like to suggest a third option - run linux in a VM on top of XP- assuming you run the laptop on a wired connection when the web server is needed, this would be trivial, and probably makes sense for a test system. You can also snapshot the server, and fairly trivially move it, if need be.

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