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I'm currently in the process of setting up an Ubuntu Desktop setup for a combination of technical writing, heavy statistics/mathematical analysis, and also server-side development and I wanted to know whether I should just download and install Apache, MySQL, and all my other technologies as the native packages, or if using XAMPP is a good idea.

The reason I ask is because while I'm used to XAMPP on my Windows system, when it comes to doing server work on Cent OS, I've always just had that setup as a dedicated server machine. From my experience, I've found that with Cent OS, I don't feel constrained with the configurations, compared to XAMPP which seems to be more of a "hand holding" quick deploy & test kit.

With Ubuntu however as I'm running the Desktop version (mainly because I've had bad experiences running the Ubuntu web server edition) I'm not sure if I should use XAMPP for my test server, or if I could install everything natively so I maintain more control.

Thanks very much in advance for any insights,

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A related question, might be helpful in answering this one: What's the easiest way to set up a LAMP stack? –  Stefano Palazzo Aug 7 '11 at 19:25
    
Thanks so much! Excellent thread since it helps to make my job a ton easier. –  theonlylos Aug 8 '11 at 17:37

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'd definitely choose for the packages provided by Ubuntu (if that's what you mean by "native"). LAMPP is more bloated in my opinion since it includes everything you do not need. It was designed to work on most Linux distributions and therefore might not be that optimized as the native ones. On windows, you had no package manager which took care of updating your software so XAMPP would be the most logical solution if you do not want to spend some time on configuring Apache, MySQL and PHP.

An advantage of using Ubuntu packages is that you do not have to wait for the XAMPP developers to deploy a new package if one of the components is outdated. Simply open your package manager and update your packages, add/ remove individual component, restart the webserver and you're done.

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Thanks very much for the info. I was thinking the exact same thing as I know on my Windows machine XAMPP usually lags heavily in software versions compared to my VPS and Dedicated systems -- which is why I'm now running Linux in a local VM so I can help reduce the lag/differences in development even when I'm not ready to deploy on my development systems. –  theonlylos Aug 8 '11 at 17:39

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