Pre-packaged MAMP, LAMP, and WAMP stacks have been common on developer’s computers for years. Such packages are convenient because they provide a single-step install process, with all components in the server stack preconfigured to work together, and off you go.
I’ve learned from experience that these packages have ways of making you pay for the convenience you enjoyed up front. If you have ever needed to:
- Install a PHP extension that wasn’t already provided in your stack
- Run a specific version of PHP or MySQL
- Install PEAR packages
- Install SSL certificates
- Run command-line PHP scripts
…you may have encountered some ugly, time-wasting surprises along the way.