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PHP Build a Simple PHP Application Getting Started with PHP Install PHP on Mac OS X

MAMP version 3.3 on OS X 10.10.4: Server not found

I believe that the instructions/help/support for MAMP may need to be made more robust or in depth.

I have followed the instructions, done my own research, and tried a variety of URLs and browsers in trying to get MAMP running on my Mac. I've asked questions and included all the steps I've taken. I've seen the same or similar questions being asked on Treehouse as wells as on other sites. The questions/problems are often answered once, the answer doesn't work, and the question is never addressed again (admittedly, some people never respond to requests for further information, and others say they figured it out, but don't say how).

The instructions in this video (Install PHP on Mac OS X) tell us to download and install MAMP, change the Apache port to 80, and start the servers. The instructor's MAMP application takes his browser to localhost/MAMP/?language=English, which displays as a welcome page saying, "Welcome to MAMP. If you can see this page, MAMP is installed on your Mac and everything is working!"

I get a "Server not found" message. Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are all showing this message or something to the same effect. Firefox, in particular, or maybe just more obviously, is "redirecting" the URL http://localhost (and any permutations thereof - http://localhost:8888, etc.) to www.localhost.com, etc (I've tried a number of different port options & combinations & URLs).

I did get a response on the MAMP Stackoverflow forum with the following:

"First try it in a different browser and also try going to If that doesn't work, check your Proxy settings in firefox by doing the following:

Go to Options->Advanced->Network. In the "Connection" section press "Settings" to open the "Connection Settings".
The "No proxy for:" text field should contain the following text: "localhost,"

"if it doesn't say that do this:

Select "Manual proxy configuration:"
Type "localhost," in the "No proxy for:" text field"

Having changed the Apache port from 8888 to 80 as instructed, if I direct any of these three browsers to I am taken to a page that simply says, "Index of/".

Obviously, there is some sort of progress taking place, but I really am no closer to knowing if it is actually working. What does this "Index of/" page mean? Has the MAMP WebStart page been scrapped in version 3.3? The MAMP online documentation says that it is still in effect. Why can I not access it? How do I know what's going on? Do I need to edit some configuration file? I've seen a number of mentions about editing a file in private/etc/, but the changes are not the same across all of these mentions, so I'm not going to mess with it unless I know that the changes are particular to my operating system, MAMP version, and situation.

Treehouse might consider expanding support documentation on this tricky process. I unsderstand that there are a lot of variations in what computers, MAMP versions, operating systems, etc. that students are using, but there has to be some base starting points that will solve these problems, or at least let us know about changes to what we should expect to see.

2 Answers

jason chan
jason chan
31,009 Points

Use Xampp it's better. It's also crossplatform. Xampp is better written and runs a lot faster.

It is working. I'm continuing the course on PHP (and the information in the course is so perfect for where I am in my learning right now and what I'm in the process of doing). But there was no way to know that it was working as instructed in the video - no warnings about potential problems and their solutions or even the fact that they might not be problems to care about. Is there a problem with MAMP's WebStart page? Is there a problem with some subtle configuration on my Mac? Is there a problem with my browsers?

I've got the server working, but I learned nothing in the course of hitting a brick wall for three days. Well, except for the fact that apparently I should be using instead of http://localhost as I'm instructed to do in 95% of the tutorials and help documentation I found in a variety of places, not just Treehouse, while trying to figure out how to proceed. Which is fine, except for the fact that I feel something that fundamental should be addressed in course materials.