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Apache, For Instance

If you need a staging environment for a new network service, don’t run out and buy new hardware — even a new virtual machine may be unnecessary. Instead, create another instance of the service with just a few simple steps.

Linux can run on just about any personal computer. Moreover, the Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl (or PHP, Python, or Ruby) stack runs well on commonplace hardware, too, making it easy to (quite literally) carry a complete website — development tools, data, and daemons — on an off-the-shelf laptop.

In fact, if you must run other versions or instances of a service on the same portable computer, you can, with just a little bit of effort. For example, if you want to test a new version of Apache, test your code against the latest revision of PHP, or leverage new features in MySQL, you can create multiple LAMP environments and develop your application in one or more.

In this month’s “On the Desktop,” let’s look at how to establish, maintain, and use multiple instances of Apache on the same Linux system. You can also run manifold occurrences of MySQL and other configurable daemons using…

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