For more then a decade I used XAMPP as a local development server. Although XAMPP is popular, it is not very fast nor easy to configure and not suited for using multiple PHP versions.
A few years ago I accidentally stumbled upon Laragon. It only took me 10 minutes to realize this was by far the best local development stack I’ve ever seen.
It has some features I have not found in other stacks :
- blazing fast startup, low CPU and memory footprint
- multiple PHP versions possible, easy switching between installed versions
- works out of the box with not only MySQL/MariaDB but also PostgreSQL & MongoDB
- all tools you need are build-in
- all services and build-in tools are easy to upgrade to their latest versions
- automatic virtual host configuration and hosts file change
- Quick App creation
This post covers the installation of Laragon 5.x.
- Change the location of the installation to a folder in the root of a fast drive. Prefer NVMe drives or SSD drives for optimal performance. Avoid using your systems OS boot drive.
By installing Laragon in a folder in the root of the drive you automatically keep the length of the PATH variable as short as possible.
- Click Next.
- If you want to run Laragon when Windows starts, check the appropriate option.
- Laragon will automatically adapt your local hosts file every time you add or remove a project. Leave the Auto Virtual hosts option enabled.
- If you don’t already have an enhanced text editor installed, check the last option to integrate (the in Laragon included) Notepad++ to your Explorers Right-Click Menu.
- Click Next.
4. Exploring the Main Menu
- In the PHP section, you can manage and configure the installed PHP version(s).
- It’s possible and very easy to install multiple PHP versions and switch between them using the Laragon Main Menu.
- In a future post, we’ll explain how to add new PHP versions and/or how to update the existing version.
5. Integrating the SSL Certificate
6. Starting the Services for the first time
7. Exploring the Button Menu
Laragon is a very fast and powerful, yet easy to setup and configure local development server stack. Give it a chance. Play around with it for just a moment. I’m sure you’ll start using it too and just like me, you’ll nerver look back.
In future posts I’ll explain how easy it is to update Laragons services and even the build-in portable tools.