How to set up PP on a local server with XAMPP

Sometimes you will try some new things, modify some themes or translate ProjectPier into your language. This can be very slow or means a lot of FTP'ing to your hosted web space. An easier way to do this is to run ProjectPier on a local server on your computer.
There are many different possibilities to do this, depending on your operating system, but the easiest way to do this for Linux, Windows or Macintosh is to use XAMPP by apachefriends, the friendly folks who brought us the internet's favourite web server.

Installing ProjectPier on XAMPP is a very straightforward process in four steps. You will need a *nix compatible text editor like gEdit on Linux or PSPad on Windows (sorry, Notepad will not do it) and an internet connection.

1. Install the XAMPP local server

First go to www.apachefriends.org and download the latest version of their XAMPP package for your operating system. The installation will differ from OS to OS and I will show it on the Windows platform since most of the users will have this and the other folks are already a little more "techie".

After downloading doubleclick on the file you just downloaded. The installer wants to know where to extract the files. This has to be in the root directory of one of your partitions (mostly C:\). After that you find a "xampp" directory (e.g. C:\xampp). That's it.

To start your new server click on the xampp-control.exe and the following window will show up.

Click on the "Start" buttons for Apache and MySQL and after a few seconds it will say "running" - do NOT check the checkmarks! To stop the server, just click the lower right "Exit" button.

When the server is running open your browser and head over to http://localhost. If you see the XAMPP page your server is up and running and everything is ok.

2. Creating a new database for ProjectPier

On the XAMPP start page you will find a link to phpMyAdmin in the tools section of the left navigation bar. Click on it and you will see the next page.

In the left column you find the "Create new database" fields. Just enter a name and click create. The next screen will confirm that the database was created. Note down the database name - you will need that information later.

Congratulations to your new database. You will never use that tool again.

3. Prepare the ProjectPier installation

Open your text editor and open the "my" file in C:\xampp\mysql\bin. Find the following line, if this line doesn't begin with #, add # at the beginning of the line to comment it out.

#skip-innodb

Just below that, ensure the following lines do NOT begin with #, if they do, remove it:

innodb_data_home_dir = "C:/xampp/mysql/"

innodb_data_file_path = ibdata1:10M:autoextend

innodb_log_group_home_dir = "C:/xampp/mysql/"

innodb_log_arch_dir = "C:/xampp/mysql/"

innodb_buffer_pool_size = 16M

innodb_additional_mem_pool_size = 2M

innodb_log_file_size = 5M

innodb_log_buffer_size = 8M

innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 1

innodb_lock_wait_timeout = 50

After saving you enabled the InnoDB support which is required by ProjectPier and is not enabled in XAMPP by default. You have to restart your server, so stop the Apache server and MySQL by clicking the appropriate buttons in the XAMPP control center.

4. Install ProjectPier

First download the latest ProjectPier version from www.projectpier.org/project and save it on your computer. All files which should be served by XAMPP live in the xampp\htdocs directory. Create a new subdirectory and unzip all files to this subdirectory.

The ProjectPier installation is assisted by a wizard which you will start by pointing your browser to http://localhost/yourdirectory/public/install. The wizard will then check your system configuration and the server settings.

One of the installation screen wants to have your configuration data - this information will be stored in the config\config.php file. Please keep all values except:

*  DB user: root
*  DB password: (none - keep the field empty)
*  DB name: the name of the DB you created in step 2

After the successful ProjectPier installation (success message in screen 4) you have to enter your administrator account information. Please also note this information for later reference.

As next step head over to http://localhost/yourdirectory/index.php. Congratulations you installed ProjectPier successfully.