I must have been 16 when I first heard of a LAMP Stack. A LAMP Stack is a common interconnected list of software that works together to host a website. I will focus on the LAMP stack since it is the most popular.

LAMP commonly stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Linux is the operating system, Apache is the service that hosts the website, MySQL is the database where the website’s data is stored and PHP is the programming languages used to implement the website. HTML, CSS, and Javascript are also commonly used but not listed in the stack.

Sometimes the ‘M’ in LAMP stack stands for MariaDB, an alternative to MySQL. I recommend sticking to MySQL since it is the de facto industry standard. Also the ‘P’ in LAMP may stand for other Programing Languages such as Perl or Python. If you ask me the Perl programing language is dated and the community is dying in favor of more popular languages such as Python. Python is a great language unfortunately, as of this writing due to conflicting versions it is difficult to install and update applications from a user’s perspective.

When I was attending Computer Repair classes, I was not ready to transform my one and only computer from Windows to Linux to host a website. That’s when I was told about a WAMP stack. Here the ‘W’ stands for Windows. It is extremely difficult to set-up and adds no real value. I would actually recommend using Windows based tools to develop a website instead. Which is what I ended up doing at the time.

One of my classmates had a MAMP stack. The ‘M’ stands for Mac. The installation and setup process is somewhat straight forward. Maintenance is difficult because of the fact that a password is required every time any change is needed to be done on the Apache service. The Apache service is renamed httpd, http for the protocol and ‘d’ for the process daemon. Alternatively there is a Server add-on that can be purchased to add a GUI. The company Botnami used to offer a proprietary installer that would nicely set-up a MAMP stack it looks they have moved away from that and now offer containers to accomplish the same goal.

My favorite and recommend version of the LAMP stack is a FAMP stack. The ‘F’ here stands for FreeBSD. Ideally I would setup the server to host multiple FreeBSD jails. FreeBSD jails are small footprint virtual environments. Within a jail is where I would install and configure the FAMP stack it is pretty straight forward using “pkg install”. By hosting the website in a jail it is trivial to create periodic “image” backups, that can be none disruptively in a load balanced environment, more on this In the future.

FreeBSD is the recommended OS for hosting a website. A LAMP stack is a website development environment, I must warn you knowing how to develop does not make you a developer.