XAMPP (Cross Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl) is a free and open source cross-platform web server solution stack package, consisting mainly of the Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database, and interpreters for scripts written in the PHP and Perl programming languages. There are available Windows, Linux, Max OS X, Solaris distributions. You can use the program both as portable version and with installer.
Note: if you use other software that uses TCP 80 port (eg. Skype, TeamViewer) the program will doesn’t work problems and probably you will get errors.
Within the useful control panel you can manage Apache and MySQL services.
Once running you just need open browser and type http://localhost or http://127.0.0.1 address to view XAMPP homepage.
One note about configuration files. They are important to apply modifications to the web server (the services must then be restarted):
httpd.conf (basic Apache configuration file, it’s placed in xamppapacheconf)
php.ini (PHP configuration file, placed in xamppphp)
You can manage MySQL databases via web within phpMyAdmin included in XAMPP.
An important part is the XAMPP. Security Console. Here you can set MySQL root password (by default is not set!) and protect XAMPP directory within .htaccess
The main folder for web documents is xampphtdocs. You can copy both your static and dynamic files and view them as usally with the browser using the local address.
With XAMPP you can then test your web site / web app / CMS locally.