Virtual Appliances: LAMP development made easy

The LAMP stack of open-source software, which includes the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database, PHP and Python, has pushed its way into mainstream corporate software development. In this article I will show you why the LAMP platform has become the platform of choice for the development and deployment of high performance Web applications.

To get a LAMP development environment fired up without the hassles of configuring everything from scratch you only need one thing, a Virtual Appliance.

What is a Virtual Appliance?

A Virtual appliances is a pre-built, pre-configured, ready-to-run enterprise applications packaged with an operating system inside a virtual machine (I’m using Ubuntu 8.04). Virtual appliances are changing how Web applications are developed, distributed, deployed and managed, and they have many obvious benefits for developers.

Reasons for using a Virtual Appliance

  • For developing and testing Web applications on multiple platforms.
  • For quickly rolling back changes to a known state or creating a “read-only” environment.
  • For internal deployment of custom Web applications.
  • For customer demos during the sales process.
  • For training employees and customers.
  • For creating a flexible and open development environment whilst keeping the primary OS compliant with a locked down IT policy.

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of using a virtual appliance, it’s time you try it out and experience it yourself.

Getting Started

1. Set up a development environment

1.1. If you don’t already have a VMware virtualization solution installed, download VMware Player for free.

1.2. Download a virtual appliance: Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop (568 MB) or Ubuntu 8.04 Server (256 MB).

1.3. Unzip the ZIP file and double-click the .vmx file.

2. Install Software

2.1. Install the LAMP stack. In Ubuntu 8.04 you can use Tasksel:

$ sudo tasksel install lamp-server

If you need help configuring Apache, visit this page.

2.2. Install the Zend Framework package. With the release of Hardy, the Ubuntu repositories now include a package for the Zend Framework, so you can have just one copy of the library on your server that is automatically updated.

$ sudo apt-get install zend-framework

This will install the Zend Framework in:

/usr/share/php/libzend-framework-php

3. Have fun

Enjoy your new Virtual Appliance, and welcome to the wonderful world of LAMP!

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3 thoughts on “Virtual Appliances: LAMP development made easy

  1. Pingback: m s l c lamp

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