How to Run Multiple Hosts on XAMPP Macos

XAMPP, a powerful and widely-used open-source web server solution, provides developers with a convenient platform for building and testing web applications locally. However, by default, XAMPP supports only one primary host. In this blog post, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of setting up and running Multiple hosts on XAMPP in macOS, allowing developers to work on multiple projects concurrently.

Why Multiple Hosts?

Running multiple hosts is essential for developers working on various projects simultaneously. Each project may have its domain or subdomain, and having separate hosts enables developers to isolate and test projects independently. This not only streamlines the development process but also ensures that changes made to one project do not interfere with others.

Multiple Hosts


Before we delve into the process of setting up Multiple hosts on XAMPP, ensure that you have the following prerequisites:

  • XAMPP Installed: Download and install the latest version of XAMPP for macOS.
  • Text Editor: A text editor of your choice, such as Visual Studio Code or Atom.
  • Administrator Access: Ensure that you have administrator access on your macOS system to modify system files.

Step 1: Locate the Apache Configuration File

The first step is to locate the Apache configuration file on your macOS system. By default, XAMPP stores its configuration files in the “/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/httpd.conf” directory. Open this file using your preferred text editor.

Step 2: Enable Virtual Hosts

Within the httpd.conf file, look for the line that starts with “#Include etc/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf”. Uncomment this line by removing the “#” at the beginning. This action includes the virtual hosts configuration file in the Apache settings.

Step 3: Configure Apache Virtual Hosts

Now that the hosts file is updated, the next step is to configure Apache to recognize these virtual hosts.

  • Navigate to Apache Configuration Folder
  • Edit httpd.conf
  • Create a Virtual Hosts Configuration File
  • Add virtual host configurations for each of your projects
  • Save the file and exit the text editor.

Step 4: Restart Apache

After making changes to the Apache configuration, it’s essential to restart the Apache server to apply the modifications. 

Step 5: Test the Configuration

Open your web browser and navigate to the domains you configured in the hosts file (e.g., http://yourdomain1.local and http://yourdomain2.local). If everything is set up correctly, you should see the respective projects for each domain.

Troubleshooting Common Issues:

  • Permissions: Ensure that the Apache process has the necessary permissions to access the specified document roots.
  • Correct Document Roots: Double-check that the paths specified in the virtual host configurations point to the correct project folders.
  • Hosts File Update: Verify that you correctly updated the hosts file with the custom domain names and IP addresses.
  • Apache Configuration Errors: Check the Apache error logs for any configuration errors that may be preventing the virtual hosts from working.

Enhancements and Advanced Configurations:

Advanced Configurations

SSL Configuration

To secure your virtual hosts with SSL, you can generate SSL certificates and configure the virtual hosts accordingly. This adds an extra layer of security, especially when working on projects that require encrypted communication.

Dynamic Virtual Hosts

If you frequently create and delete projects, consider setting up dynamic virtual hosts. Tools like vhost_alias_module allow you to create virtual hosts on-the-fly without modifying the configuration files each time.

Database Configuration:

For projects with unique database requirements, configure the MariaDB settings within the virtual host configurations. This ensures that each project interacts with its dedicated database.

The Bottom Line!

Setting up and running multiple hosts on XAMPP in macOS is a straightforward process but immensely beneficial for developers managing multiple projects. With separate virtual hosts, you can efficiently develop, test, and debug various projects concurrently, enhancing your overall workflow and productivity. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily customise your local development environment to meet the specific needs of each project.

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