A set of different application software or programs, a solution stack, or a tech stack leads to the desired solution or outcome when stacked or grouped together. It may be any bundle of irrelevant apps picked from many subcomponents performing to showcase a fully-functional and reliable software solution. 

Such stacks craft a whole environment for app development, and not every app needs to have similar stacks. It varies with the development requirements.

For example, developers need a web app to build a web app and a web server, OS, a programming language, and database management software. 

So, the different apps demand different tech stacks

In this post, you will learn about the LAMP stack, its working, usage, architecture, advantages, disadvantages, benefits for developers, and a lot more.

Keep reading to get the facts quickly!

What Is LAMP Stack?

A big part of the Internet comes from open-source software. Still, the programming languages steal the show. 

Today, programmers look for new ways to catch up with their objectives. But, they forget to acknowledge how accessible the code is and how it assists in easing the jobs. 

One of these programming languages is preferred by almost 80% of the websites, PHP. Most use three vital tools, Linux, the OS, Apache, the HTTP server, and MySQL, the database, along with this programming language on their servers. 

These three tools with PHP, like the LAMP stack, lead to the development of the best apps. 

An acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python, the LAMP denotes some standard tech stacks for various most popular apps.

Nevertheless, LAMP refers to a generic software stack model, components of which are mostly interchangeable. 

While putting it another way, a LAMP Stack is a set of open-source software that developers can use to build websites and web apps. 

Four Layers of A LAMP Stack? – LAMP Stack Components & Architecture

LAMP embraces four components that assist in crafting a fully functional web development environment. 

With Linux as the lowest-first layer, then above it, Apache, MySQL, and then PHP, the LAMP architecture is classically layered. 

Together, these four components offer a set of software that assists in delivering top-quality web apps. 

Every element arrives with the essential caliber to contribute to the stack:

1. Linux – the Operating System

Linux

An open-source and free operating system, Linux has been in use since the mid of 1990. 

Currently, Linux holds a broader user base worldwide that’s expanding across industries. 

Linux is widely-known in some measures as it provides more configuration and flexibility options compared to other OS. 

Linux directly manages hardware and resources of the system, such as memory, storage, and CPU. 

The OS lies between the hardware and apps and establishes the connections between your physical resources and the software that perform the job. This layer comes under all the other layers of this stack.

2. Apache: The Web Server

Apache HTTP Server

A free and open-source cross-platform web server software, the Apache HTTP Server was rolled out under Apache License 2.0 terms. It was created in 1995.

This web server delivers web content through the internet. It processes the requests and renders web assets via HTTP to make the app accessible to anyone over a simple web URL and the public domain. 

It is the second layer, which stays on the top of the Linux layer. It serves static web pages and is usually chosen by the developers for its feature-rich ecosystem. 

3. MySQL: The Database

MySQL

An open-source relational database management system (RDBMS), MySQL. 

MySQL is the third layer that lies above Apache and Linux. Besides, it stores the details that scripting may query to build a website. You can offload MySQL to a separate host server in high-end configurations.

You can use this database to craft and manage web databases and for app logging, data warehousing, eCommerce, etc. 

Developers usually choose MySQL to deal with a well-structured business domain and translate that structure into the backend. It is known as the best workhorse, holding the caliber to handle the most complicated and extensive websites easily. 

4. PHP: The Programming Language

PHP

A general-purpose scripting language, PHP, performs with Apache to craft dynamic web pages. 

You can use PHP code to attain this functionality when you can’t consider HTML to conduct dynamic processes, like pulling data from the database. What you should do is, drop PHP code into page sections that you need to be dynamic. 

PHP is crafted for efficiency and eases programming and makes it a bit fun by asking developers to write new code, tap refresh, and swiftly witness the changes with no need to compile. 

Well, PHP is an effective language, but while using the LAMP stack, developers may prefer using Python or Perl languages as per their choice. 

Also read: PHP vs. Java: Differences & Similarities for Web Development

History of the LAMP Stack

In the year 1995, the LAMP stack’s elements rolled out for the first time, namely, the Apache HTTP server and the database MySQL. Later after a few months, PHP emerged. 

All these technologies arrived from distinct edges of the technological world. Among these, MySQL attained the adoption with the business giants who provided their resources to craft the platforms over this phase. At the same time, the base behind Apache appears to be the most elementary in open source. 

History of the LAMP Stack
History of The Lamp Stack
Year
1991Linus Torvalds rolled out Linux, a Unix-like operating system. 
1995Apache Software Foundation launched Apache HTTP Server for web hosting.
1995The Swedish company, MySQL AB, released MySQL, and Oracle acquired it.
1995PHP programming language rolled out for web development.
1998In Computertechnik, Michael Kunze emerged with the term “LAMP” stack.

What Is the Use of The LAMP Stack? LAMP Stack Usage

The developers use the LAMP stack to develop and render web-based apps. Because the LAMP stack is efficient and flexible, it permits small developers to keep pace with commercial software development solutions. 

LAMP stack’s four elements/components are chosen as optimal solutions for developers who need to serve, manage, and host web-based content. These elements guide a pathway for accessing software, content, and other web-based tools. 

How Does LAMP Stack Work? – Working of Elements

The LAMP stack exhibits the demo of the interoperability of its components. 

  • At the beginning of the process, the user’s browser submits requests for webpages to the Apache web server. 
  • Then, if the request is for a PHP file, Apache moves the request ahead into PHP for loading the file and running the code it stores. 
  • On the other edge, PHP interacts with MySQL to catch up with some data in the code. 
  • PHP uses a file’s code to develop the HTML for browsers’ utility to view the web pages. 
  • Post that, PHP circles back the resulting data, the output data to the Apache web server. Also, it can store this outcome in MySQL.
  • And, obviously, the Linux operating system running at the stack’s base enables each of these operations. 

The LAMP stack is strong enough to manage static and dynamic web pages. At every loading time, the content will change according to the user identity, period, data, and other factors.

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Why LAMP Stack Is Chosen the Most?

The developers pick the LAMP stack primarily because of its flexibility and efficiency. 

Let’s elaborate to get it better!

1. Flexibility Trait

Nevertheless, LAMP uses Linux as the operating system, but you can go with other components as an alternative to the OS to accomplish your specific requirements. 

For instance, a MAMP uses the MAC OS, and a WAMP stack uses Microsoft Windows. Even WIMP uses the Internet Information Services web server from Microsoft and Windows. 

LAMP is open-source and non-proprietary, so lock-in is not necessary. LAMP offers you the flexibility to pick the right components suiting your specific business or project needs. 

Well, it doesn’t end up here. LAMP follows other ways too to provide flexibility. 

In designs, Apache is modular, and you will get to know that various customizable modules exist for different extensions. These modules not only support other languages but also hold authentication powers. 

Besides, the best part of LAMP is its well-crafted encryption process and secure architecture that have proved effective in the enterprise. 

2. Efficiency Trait

LAMP is acknowledged to be efficient as it assists in lowering the development time. As LAMP is an open-source stack that’s been in use for a decade, even more than that, a substantial LAMP ecosystem has been witnessed around. 

You are free to develop what other beings have already built in the past and give it your recognition. 

You can perform within an Apache module that can let you cover about 80% of the route to reach there, customize the remaining 20%, and save enough time as an output.

3. Capacity Trait

It is a flexible solution for developing web infrastructure. Using it, developers can craft web content, include dynamic app features, and manage the underlying database. 

What Are the Benefits of LAMP Stack?

Let’s check out the advantages of the LAMP stack that are just targeted to developers. 

1. Free and Open Source

Four elements in the LAMP stack are the best examples of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS). As you can download these free of cost, it’s the core point of interaction for the users who don’t want to make their deep pockets feel lighter while developing websites. As the LAMP is FOSS, besides using the code, users can modify it to enhance its complete performance. 

2. Platform Independent

The code can work on various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android.

3. Support Community

The community holds good-minded and experienced people who are all set to provide prompt support during the development, deployment, and other phases.

4. Easy Set-Up

As LAMP is a mature stack, you can set it up quickly.

5. Security

It has proven to be a stable and secure platform because of well-crafted encryption practices. The credit goes to the contribution of its vast community, which helps resolve the rising issues. 

6. Scalable 

Websites or apps developed with LAMP technologies can grow or shrink with the requests placed.

7. Customization

Besides, we can customize the stack easily and interchange its components with other open-source software to meet our business needs. Also, as you know, Apache is modular in design, so you can find various customizable modules that can go perfectly with different extensions. 

What Are the Disadvantages of LAMP Stack?

  • It only supports Linux operating systems, not any other. 
  • In PHP and Python, switching between coding on the server side and using JS on the client-side can disturb the development workflow. 
  • MySQL’s relational property makes the LAMP stack less flexible and efficient than its competitors, who consider non-relational solutions. 
  • Under high workloads, Apache may lead to performance issues. 

What Are the Lamp Stack Alternatives? Variants of The Four Stack

Various variants of the four stack model exist, and they use alternative software, replacing some standard components. 

Open Source

  • LAPP(Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, PHP)
  • LLMP(Linux, Lighttpd, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)
  • LEAP(Linux, Eucalyptus, AppScale, Python)
  • LEMP(Linux, NGINX, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)
  • XAMPP (Cross-platform, Apache, MariaDB, PHP, Perl)
  • MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.js)

Non-Open Source

  • WIMP(Windows, Internet Information Services, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)
  • WAMP(Windows, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)
  • MAMP(Mac OS x, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python)

Stackify – when LAMP Stack Fails in Code Profiling 

So, after going through the precise understanding of the LAMP stack, we can conclude that the stack is always there for the developers targeting troubleshooting and debugging processes. It lets them know how the layers are interconnected with each other.

Let’s take an example to make it clear.

A common issue arises with the Linux layer when a disk drive gets full. Developers catch up with the reasons behind it. Well, it can be because of various aspects, file storage tracking failure, no allocation of shared storage for assets, or it might be due to the existence of temporary files that are left undeleted. 

Needless to say, such problems may interfere with the performance of the stack’s other layers.

Similarly, when the MySQL database needs to process a long query or if it goes offline, again, the problems come to the surface.

Also, when the Apache server encounters I/O blocking requests or holds any memory issues, the performance of the other layers gets hampered. 

So, when the developers unveil the reason behind the issues and the responsible layer, they will find the pathway to the apt configuration files that can help troubleshoot. 

Although, it would demand a lot of effort. 

Let’s put forward one more scenario. 

Web apps that consider the LAMP stack require code profiling for performance optimization. 

But, despite spending time adjusting to the Linux server, you can target building your websites. 

To pace up your app, you can opt for an Application Performance Management(APM) tool, like Stackify Retrace. Besides, it provides automated notifications and alerts, management and maintenance insights, and more.  

How Can We Help You?

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Let you know that the LAMP stack is an industry standard and has reserved its space in all our Fully Managed and Core-Managed Linux-based servers. 

Our support team at Emizentech performs with the LAMP stack regularly.

You can stay stress-free by leaving your jobs to us, as we are here to help you in every possible way. 

Conclusion

Now, we would like to take a leave with the hope that after going through this post, you will better understand the LAMP stack. 

All you have to do next is, target your business needs first, then move ahead and choose the most suitable stack for your business. 

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) on LAMP Stack

What is the use of a LAMP stack?

You can use the LAMP stack to develop and render your web-based apps. It’s effective and flexible and enables developers to keep pace with commercial software development solutions. The developers who need to serve, manage, and host web-based content may choose this as an optimal solution.

What are the elements of a LAMP stack?

The LAMP stack includes four layers. Let’s check out below:
>> Linux (at the base),
>> Apache (above Linux),
>> MySQL (second from the top), and
>> PHP/Python/Perl (at the top).

How to secure a LAMP stack?

You can follow any Security Tip mentioned below for the LAMP stack:
>> Hide Version and OS Identity (Apache)
>> Disable Directory Listing (Apache)
>> Disable Server Side Includes and CGI (Apache)
>> Restricting File and Directory Access (Apache)
>> Restrict PHP Information Leakage (PHP)
>> Disable Dangerous PHP Functions (PHP)
>> Disable Remote Code Execution (PHP)
>> Limit PHP Access To File System (PHP)
>> Enable Limits in PHP (PHP)
>> Disable Unused PHP Modules (PHP)
The list will go on. The tips are not limited to these. 

Which software can be used to store with a LAMP stack? 

LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. They offer proven software for rendering high-performing web apps. Well, MySQL is a relational database management system that helps store app data. 

What technologies are in the LAMP stack?

As the tag says, the LAMP stack includes Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP layers.

How do you deploy a LAMP stack?

Steps to Deploy a LAMP Stack App to Amazon Lightsail
1. Create an Amazon Lightsail account
2. Create an Amazon Lightsail instance
3. Install the application code
4. Test the application
5. More Steps:
>> Add a static IP address to your website
>> Create a DNS entry for your website
>> Create a scalable, highly available version of this application

Steps to Deploy a LAMP Stack using Multi-Tiered Technology

1. In the Self-service UI, click SELF-SERVICE CATALOG and open the Deploy customized cloud services category.
2. Click the Deploy LAMP stack offering.
3. If your OpenStack environment includes more than one region, choose the target one for the deployment, and click OK.
4. Provide a Stack Name and click Deploy.

What are the benefits of LAMP in open-source technology?

>> Flexibility
>> Customization
>> Free & Open Source
>> Security
>> Scalable
>> Fast Development
>> Support Community
>> Platform Independent

Author

Ganesh Tharol's expertise in programming allowed him to streamline his workflow significantly. A hunt for new opportunities led him to cloud computing. When it comes to AWS, Ganesh Tharol is a full-stack DevOps with exceptional development skills, as seen by his many certifications and successful developments.