LAMP Stack

Last Updated Jul 06, 2021

What is a LAMP stack?

LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. This is a classic "stack" of software for delivering high-performance web applications. It was also one of the first open-source stacks, which led to its ubiquity in the tech world. If you're a web developer, you will definitely get to know LAMP stacks.  The LAMP Stack is often compared to the "more modern" MEAN Stack.

What is in a LAMP Stack?

A stack is a collection of software technology that is packed together to form a platform. A stack is like a collection of tools that can be used to solve a problem. In this case, a LAMP stack solves a recurring problem in programming: how do I securely host web applications?  

Linux (Operating System)  

LAMP runs Linux because it is flexible, strong, and open source. If you prefer, you can run WAMP with Windows, or MAMP with Mac, but Linux is the standard.  

Apache (web server)

[The Apache web server processes requests and serves up web assets via HTTP so that the application is accessible to anyone in the public domain over a simple web URL. Apache is open source and is maintained by a large, helpful community. One of the big advantages to LAMP is that whatever deployment of LAMP you have in mind, someone has probably already done it, and can help you on your way to success.  

MySQL (server)

MySQL is an open source alternative to SQL (Structured Query Language) databases. You still have the relational database power and language of SQL but without the vendor lock-in. Some developers prefer the NoSQL alternative to SQL, but like a lot of options with LAMP, the choice is yours.  

PHP (programming language)

PHP is an open source scripting language that plays nicely with Apache. You can use options other than PHP if you prefer, but PHP is the standard.  

How does a LAMP Stack operate?  

The Apache web server receives a request for a web page from a user's browser. Apache passes this request to PHP. PHP loads the file and executes the code, and fetches any necessary data from MySQL.  PHP creates HTML to display the web page. This makes the LAMP stack efficient at not only delivering static web sites, but dynamic sites as well.  PHP then passes the data back to the Apache web server to send to the user's browser, storing any necessary data in MySQL.  At the bottom of this stack is Linux, running all of the operations.  

Conclusion

Sometimes, it's better to use a tried-and-true approach, and this is very true in the world of web applications. Like cURL and static sites, LAMP has stuck around for a reason: it just works.