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LAMP Stack: Explained

Mariel Lettier

Table of Content

What Is The LAMP Stack?
How Does The LAMP Stack Work?
Why Use The LAMP Stack?
LAMP Stack FAQs
LAMP Stack Variations
LAMP Stack For Beginners
Conclusion

Do you have any favorite tech stack or software bundle for your web development projects? Are there any oldies you would bring back to life? Well, in this article, we'll be focusing on a tech stack for the ages: the LAMP stack. Below, we'll explain the LAMP stack, its different technologies, and why you should use it. We'll review frequently asked questions about this web development stack. And finally, we'll see some resources for developers who want to start working with this set of tools.

What Is The LAMP Stack?

This tech stack is made up entirely of open-source tools to build, deploy and manage web apps. The acronym "LAMP" was coined by Michael Kunze back in 1998 and stood for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

What Makes Up The LAMP Stack?

The LAMP stack has an operating system (Linux) and a web server (Apache). Moreover, it has a database server (MySQL) and a programming language. This programming language is usually PHP, but it can also be Python or Perl. Before diving into how the stack works, we'll look into each of these.

Linux

Linux is a free and open-source operating system (OS) developed in the early 1990s. This OS is the backbone of the LAMP stack. Linux is flexible and customizable, has frequent updates, and has a lightweight infrastructure.

Apache

Released in 1995, Apache is an open-source web server that manages web traffic. This means it processes requests and transmits information through the internet. It does so using HTTP.

MySQL

MySQL is the most popular free and open-source relational database software (DBMS) for storing app data. The database management service was released in 1995 and is currently in version 8. MySQL increases the database's scalability and security, and it's business-oriented.

PHP

This is a general-purpose scripting programming language used in web development to create dynamic content. It first appeared in 1995 and originally stood for Personal Home Page. It now stands for Hypertext Preprocessor.

Perl

Perl is a feature-rich programming language that first appeared back in 1988. It is used specifically for web apps. Perl is free and open-source. Moreover, it's an embeddable portable, and powerful language.

Python

Released in 1991, Python is a highly versatile programming language. It works for websites and both mobile and web apps.

How Do They All Work Together?

Users request a web page from their browser, which the Apache web receives. If the request is for a PHP file, Apache passes it to PHP, which loads and executes the code. Also, PHP is in communication with MySQL. Finally, PHP uses the code and data to create the HTML the browser needs to display the relevant web page.

Why Use The LAMP Stack?

Why Use The LAMP Stack?

Open-Source

The fact that all the components of the LAMP stack are open-source means that the source code is shared. Thus, developers can make changes and improvements to increase their performance.

Customizability

As we'll see below, you can easily change one or more components according to your needs. There is a version of the LAMP stack for Windows (WAMP) and another version of the LAMP stack for macOS (MAMP).

Efficiency

As it's open-source and has been around for over two decades, you're bound to find many resources on the LAMP stack. This means you rarely have to start your project from scratch. You can build on what others have done before and reduce development time.

Security

The LAMP stack has a secure architecture and established encryption practices. As a consequence, it's highly safe.

Community

The LAMP stack has been around for quite a while, and it's widely used. This usage has led to it having a sizable community behind it. So, it is easy to find support for any issues with the stack.

LAMP Stack FAQs

LAMP Stack FAQs

Below, we'll cover the most frequent questions regarding the LAMP stack.

Is The LAMP Stack Still Used?

LAMP is an extremely popular stack for web development. Over the last decade, new technologies have been developed that have added advantages and features. This does not mean, however, that LAMP has become obsolete. The LAMP stack is still pretty much alive and used by many developers, but other alternatives, like MEAN and MERN below, are rapidly gaining ground.

LAMP Stack vs. MEAN Stack

These two stacks use entirely different technologies. We already know that the LAMP stack has Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. In parallel, the MEAN stack uses MongoDB, Express, Angular, and NodeJS. MEAN is a JavaScript-based stack used to build dynamic websites and apps, which can deploy in any OS. Yet, LAMP is a JavaScript-based stack used to build dynamic websites and apps. While LAMP can only deploy in Linux, it can change into WAMP to work with Windows. When choosing one, you'll need to look into your team's skills and project requirements. What makes the MEAN stack attractive is that all components work with JavaScript. As it's a prevalent language, most team members are sure to know JS. Thus, it makes collaboration easier. Moreover, MEAN is usually better for small-scale web apps. About LAMP, this is a well-established stack, and countless resources are available. In contrast, LAMP is better for large-scale web apps.

LAMP Stack vs. MERN Stack

The MERN and LAMP stacks also use different technologies. In fact, MERN is more similar to MEAN as it uses MongoDB, Express, React, and NodeJS. Moreover, MERN is also JavaScript-based and has a front-end component (React). As you can see, the differences between the MERN and LAMP stacks are similar to those between the MEAN and LAMP ones. Therefore, when it comes to which one to use, you should look at your team composition and the project characteristics you will tackle. You can learn more about the MERN stack here!

What Is The AWS LAMP Stack?

You can set up the LAMP stack using Amazon Web Services (AWS). More specifically, AWS EC2, as can be seen in this article.

LAMP Stack Variations

As we've mentioned above, there are variations to the LAMP stack, such as WAMP, where the operating system is Windows instead of Linux. Below you'll find this and other LAMP stack variations.

LEMP: Linux, NGINX, MySQL, and PHP.
LAPP: Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, and PHP.
LEAP: Linux, Eucalyptus, AppScale, and Python.
LLMP: Linux, Lighttpd, MySQL, and PHP.
WAMP: Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
MAMP: MacOS x, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
WIMP: Windows, Internet Information Services, MySQL, and PHP.

Resources to learn the LAMP Stack

LAMP Stack For Beginners

As with any tech stack, you should have good knowledge of each component before tackling the stack as a whole. If you're thinking about picking up the LAMP stack, here are some resources for beginners, most of which are free. We'll review each component and then focus on guides and courses covering the LAMP stack.

Linux

• Guru99's UNIX / Linux Tutorial for Beginners
The Linux command line for beginners
• The Linux Foundation's free courses
• Udemy's Linux for Beginners course
Linux Survival's tutorial

Apache

• Guru99's Apache Tutorials for Beginners
• This Apache for Beginners article
• The Geek Search's Beginners Guide to Apache HTTPD

MySQL

MySQL's documentation
MySQL Tutorial
• Pluralsight's MySQL Fundamentals course
• Udemy's The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp

PHP

• Tizag's PHP tutorial
• The PHP documentation on its site
• W3Schools' PHP tutorial
• Codecourse's PHP Basics
• SitePoint's PHP guides

Perl

• Perl's useful links
Resources for Learning Perl
• Udemy's Perl for Beginners course

Python

• The Python Docs
• Codecademy's Learn Python 3
• freeCodeCamp's Learn Python courses

LAMP Stack

LAMP Stack tutorial
• Linode’s LAMP guides
• Learn2torials’ Install LAMP Stack
• SpiritSofts’ LAMP Stack Training Online

• Udemy’s Linux and LAMP Stack Fundamentals

Conclusion

What do you think of the LAMP stack? Will you be using it or any of its variations for future projects? If you do, we hope to have given you enough background and resources to do so!


The LAMP Stack offers fantastic possibilities for your project. If you're a Windows or macOS venture, there are also WAMP and MAMP to achieve next-gen results. We have an amazing team of professionals ready to make your business goals a software priority. Discover some of our incredible work in our showcase, and don't hesitate to contact us!

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