XAMPP is a completely free, easy to install Apache distribution containing MariaDB, PHP, and Perl. XAMPP Control Panel allows you to manage these services.



XAMPP provides you a complete local web development environment. It is easy to install XAMPP on windows and there are lots of add-ons available e.g WordPress, Joomla, Moodle and Drupal.

In this article, I will explain how to configure and manage different modules like Apache, MySQL, FileZilla, Mercury, and Tomcat using Control Panel.

XAMPP Control Panel

Go to program and start XMAPP. Default control panel layout is as shown below. There is a module list along with Start, Admin, Config and Logs button.

The functionality of different control buttons.

  • Start – start and Stop respective module/service.
  • Admin – open admin or application console for respective module.
  • Config – open configuration file like httpd.conf, my.ini, mercuri.ini
  • Logs – open log file like access.log, error.log

 

xampp contorl panel
XAMPP Control Panel

I started all the modules for your understanding. You can see button caption changed to Stop and all services are started and Ports, PIDs are populated. XAMPP also shows the log(Check image) like Attempting to start Apache app… Status change detected: running. 

Sample Log

12:03:09 PM [main] Initializing Control Panel
12:03:09 PM [main] Windows Version: Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64-bit
12:03:09 PM [main] XAMPP Version: 5.6.28
12:03:09 PM [main] Control Panel Version: 3.2.2 [ Compiled: Nov 12th 2015 ]
12:03:09 PM [main] You are not running with administrator rights! This will work for
12:03:09 PM [main] most application stuff but whenever you do something with services
12:03:09 PM [main] there will be a security dialogue or things will break! So think
12:03:09 PM [main] about running this application with administrator rights!
12:03:09 PM [main] XAMPP Installation Directory: “c:\xampp\”
12:03:09 PM [main] Checking for prerequisites
12:03:11 PM [main] All prerequisites found
12:03:11 PM [main] Initializing Modules
12:03:11 PM [main] Starting Check-Timer
12:03:11 PM [main] Control Panel Ready
12:03:13 PM [Apache] Attempting to start Apache app…
12:03:13 PM [Apache] Status change detected: running
12:03:14 PM [mysql] Attempting to start MySQL app…
12:03:22 PM [mysql] Status change detected: running

Let’s see how Admin button works for different services.

Apache Module

Apache is cross-platform Web Server.  It is available for operating systems including UNIX and Windows. It is a secure, efficient and extensible server that provides HTTP services as per current HTTP standards. This section covers option related to the server.

Admin

This opens a dashboard as shown below. You can see some links at the right-hand top right corner.

xampp apache admin

  • Applications – It shows a list of all applications installed and link to access those. You can install a different application like WordPress, Joomla, and Moodle. Here it shows a complete link with a clickable link to open that application.
  • FAQ – This is a frequently asked question section. This section has some common questions and answer.
  • How-to Guides – This is how to guide section. It has good documents which show how to use XAMPP.
  • PHPInfo – This shows information like PHP version, Apache configuration, and environment, etc
  • phpMyAdmin – This is a control panel for phpMyAdmin. It helps in administrating  MySQL. You can create database, table, users, query database.

Config

This option allows you to modify the configuration file. Just click on Config button and it opens a popup showing list of all configuration file. Click on the Individual file to open and edit it.

xampp apache config

List of available file

Apache(httpd.conf)

  • Apache(httpd-ssl.conf)
  • Apache(httpd-xampp.conf)
  • PHP (php.ini)
  • phpMyAdmin (config.inc.php)

This is how it opens the config file. Just modify it if required and save it. You need to restart respective service if you modify any config file.

apache httpd config file

Logs

This section list link to all logs file. Click on the button to see a list of the available log file. Refer this file if you face any issue with respective service.

xampp apache log

List of the available log file

  • Apache (access.log)
  • Apache (error.log)
  • Php (php_error_log)

MySQL Module

MySQL is an open source relational database management system. This covers MySQL options.

Admin

This opens a phpMyAdmin dashboard as explained above. You can use it to work on a MySQL database.

Config

This opens my.ini control file. You can modify different parameters for MySQL using this control file.

mysql config

FileZilla

This section covers FileZilla options. FileZilla is FTP service to move your file to remote server.

Admin

This opens the Connect to Server box as shown below. Enter Server Address and Administration Password to connect to the remote system and click on OK.

xampp filezilla

This should open below interface using which you can transfer files the remote system.

xampp filezilla server

Config

This opens FileZilla Server.xml configuration file.

Logs

This should open FileZilla log file.

Mercury

Mercury Mail Transport System (Mercury MTS) is mail server designed by David Harris.

Admin

This open Mercury control panel as shown below.

xampp mercury

Config

This opens mercury.ini configuration file.

Logs

This opens logs file for mercury.

Tomcat

Apache Tomcat often referred to as Tomcat Server, is an open-source Java Servlet Container developed by the Apache Software Foundation.

Admin

This should open control panel as shown below.

xampp tomcat

Config

Use this button to open tomcat configuration file.

List of configuration file

  • server.xml
  • tomcat-users.xml
  • web.xml
  • context.xml

Logs

Use this button to browse log file.

As a normal user, you only work on basic control operation mentioned above. Only change below option if you face any issue with XAMPP.

XAMPP Advance Control Option

The toolbar on the right-hand side is for the advanced user to troubleshoot any issues with XAMPP. Don’t change any default setup, unless it is not working.

XAMPP Advance control panel

These controls open some advanced options which are self-explanatory.

Config

It opens advanced configuration panel like this.

XAMPP configuration control panel

You can use this control to set,

  • Editor – default is notepad. You can change to any other preferred editor
  • Browser – change it if you like to use different browser other than default
  • Autostart of modules – You need to explicitly click on start button to start service. Specify service which you want to start automatically as soon as XAMPP starts.
  • Change Language
  • User Defined Files
  • Log Options
  • Service and Port Setting
    • Each service uses default port e.g. Apache on port 80. More than one service cannot run on the same port.If you have some other server running and port 80 is not available you can change it here. Make sure to restart service.

Netstat – Displays active TCP connections, ports on which the computer is listening.
Shell – Start XAMPP on MS-DOS mode
Explore – Open windows explorer
Service – Open windows services panel
Help – Reference to help document
Quit – Quit XAMPP

I hope you have a better understanding of XAMPP control panel and how to work with different modules.

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Reference and Further Reading:

 

XAMPP Control Panel – Manage/Configure Services
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I am Oracle Certified Associate(OCA) working in Oracle Domain since last 15 Years. Started this blog to share knowledge about different Technologies mostly focussing on Oracle.