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david winter

Apache, PHP and MongoDB on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

MongoDB (from “humongous”) is a scalable, high-performance, open source, schema-free, document-oriented database.

There’s a lot of buzz brewing about it, so I wanted to give it a try with PHP on my development Mac. The following is how I went about installing Apache, PHP and MongoDB on Snow Leopard. You must have installed the Xcode developer tools (found on the Snow Leopard install DVD) and MacPorts for this to all work.

First, let’s install Apache:

sudo port install apache2

Nice and simple. Now we can move onto PHP:

sudo port install php5 +apache2 +pear

To enable PHP for Apache:

cd /opt/local/apache2/modules
sudo /opt/local/apache2/bin/apxs -a -e -n "php5"

I like to make some alias commands for starting, restarting and stopping Apache:

mate ~/.bashrc

alias apache-start="sudo /opt/local/apache2/bin/apachectl start"
alias apache-restart="sudo /opt/local/apache2/bin/apachectl restart"
alias apache-stop="sudo /opt/local/apache2/bin/apachectl stop"

source ~/.bashrc

Now we can make a few changes to the Apache config so that we can use our Sites directory:

sudo mate /opt/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf

I’m using Textmate here (mate), but you can use any editor you wish, like nano.

Change the DocumentRoot:

DocumentRoot "/Users/davidwinter/Sites"

Then update the <Directory> path to the updated DocumentRoot path.

<Directory "/Users/davidwinter/Sites">

We also want to enable index.php as a directory index file:

<IfModule dir_module>
    DirectoryIndex index.html index.php

And then add the PHP mime type:

<IfModule mime_module>
    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
    AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

Now we need to setup the php.ini file:

sudo cp /opt/local/etc/php5/php.ini-development /opt/local/etc/php5/php.ini

sudo mate /opt/local/etc/php5/php.ini

My timezone is for London:

date.timezone = Europe/London

Now we can get onto installing MongoDB (this will install the latest stable version as of time of writing - 1.2.1):

sudo port install mongodb

And then the PHP MongoDB extension:

sudo pecl install mongo

You’ll need to add the extension to the bottom of your php.ini file:

sudo mate /opt/local/etc/php5/php.ini

Now startup Apache using the alias created earlier:


If you create a file in your Sites directory, called test.php, and add the following to it:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Then visit the page in your browser; http://localhost/test.php

You can then scroll down the page and you should see a section titled ‘mongo’. This means the extension is working!

Now we need to startup MongoDB:

mkdir -p ~/data/db
mongod --dbpath ~/data/db/

Almost there, now a simple MongoDB test in PHP:

// Connect:
$connection = new Mongo();
// Select database:
$db = $connection->my_db;
// Select collection:
$films = $db->films;

$frwl = array(
	'title' => 'From Russia With Love',
	'year' => 1963,
	'actor' => 'Sean Connery'
// Save array to collection:

$gf = array(
	'title' => 'Goldfinger',
	'year' => 1964,
	'actor' => 'Sean Connery',
	'girl' => 'Pussy Galore'


// Count documents in collection:
if ($films->count()): ?>
	<?php foreach ($films->find() as $film): ?>
		<td><?php echo $film['title']; ?></td>
		<td><?php echo $film['year']; ?></td>
		<td><?php echo $film['actor']; ?></td>
		<td><?php echo $film['girl']; ?></td>
	<?php endforeach; ?>
<?php endif;

Very exciting stuff. More to follow.