Apache, MySQL, and PHP are the essential components of the most popular open source web server software suite. If you aren’t running these programs, you must be doing something newer: like nginx, Ruby, and MongoDB. These are also very viable solutions and have ever-growing support and a widening user base.

If you’d like others to consider you to be, at the very least, a competent web admin, you would do well to get comfortable setting up the fundamental web server programs on Windows, OS X and Linux. That’s right, all three. You might be able to trick a project manager or two into thinking that something about these operating systems that you are unfamiliar with is universally perplexing, but you won’t fool people who already know what they’re doing.

These guides are intended to help beginners learn and veterans review the most minimal setup of the most recent stable Apache, PHP, and MySQL. I aim for it to help all levels of web admins. The landscape is ever changing among the operating systems and it’s hard to find a single place that compares how to set things up. There are identical steps for each program among all OSes, but the nuances will easily trip up anyone who has worked with AMP for a while but might need a refresher on how it fits into today’s computers.

These are not meant to be exhaustive overviews, nor do they spell out the absolute best way to set up a web server. This is just to get you started.

Visit the subpages under this one to see the guides for each operating system.

What say you?