By Deane Barker on January 4, 2005

Sokkit – Install Apache and PHP on Windows: A while back, we mentioned FoxServ as a great way to get Apache, MySQL, and PHP (AMP) running on Windows. It was really nothing more than an installer that got all those pieces working together for you, but this was still a very handy thing since doing it from scratch can be a tedious pain.

Since that recommendation, however, the project seems to have come to a halt. The FoxServ site refers to the “old server” as “dying.” While the support forums and the SourceForge download page are still active, there doesn’t appear to have been any activity on FoxServ since 3.1.

FoxServ installs Apache 2 and MySQL 4, which are nice, but the PHP version is stuck way back at 4.2.2 (circa June 2002), which is a drag. Add to this a big problem getting PHP extensions to load for some reason, and I got pretty frustrated the last time I worked with it. (Although I will say that I currently have a FoxServ install serving a production intranet app and it works great so long as you don’t need anything beyond the old PHP version and the standard PHP extensions.)

Regardless, I went looking for something new a few weeks ago and I found Sokkit (formerly PHPTriad). It’s the same concept as FoxServ: a good, solid AMP installer. It installs Apache 2 and PHP 4.3.9 — almost the latest stable 4.x version. Extra PHP extensions can be enabled and seem to load with no problems.

MySQL installs as a “module.” phpMyAdmin gets installed with it. There are other modules for Webmail, Perl/CGI, and SSL.

Sokkit isn’t free, but at $19.95, it’s worth it. Getting a quality AMP platform running on Windows in just a few minutes is worth quite a bit more than twenty bucks. Sokkit 4.0 is coming with PHP 5. No reason to wait — if you buy 3.5, they’ll give you 4.0 for the price difference when it comes out.

But, here’s my question: Sokkit comes with a 30-day trial which installs MySQL and Apache as Windows services. After the initial install, Sokkit really just becomes a handy little monitoring app which lets you edit config files easily and stop, start, and restart services.

So how do you enforce a 30-day trial with this? Does it uninstall the services after 30 days? I have it installed, and it strikes me that Apache and MySQL are currently autonomous services, just as if I installed them myself from scratch. I’ll be curious to see exactly what happens when the 30 days are up.

No matter — I plan to purchase a license just because I want to be sure it continues to develop. The problems with PHP on FoxServ 3.1 made me realize how much I depended on it, and I want to make sure Sokkit will always be there when I need it. It’s a good product worth having when you move machines or need something up and running in a hurry.



  1. I’m grabbing Sokkit now. As to your question about what happens at the end of 30 days I noticed this line on the Trial Download page after I entered my email address for the download link.

    “At the end of that trial, you will need to enter a valid registration key which you can purchase from in order to reenable your Sokkit installation.”

    I wonder too how it’s dissabled.

  2. I used to use ePHP which set everything up as well but I can’t find it anymore. It was open source which made it even better. If anyone still has a copy of that I would love to get my hands on a copy.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. I just installed Sokkit, and it was a fairly painless setup. That said, if you want to install SSL module, you must register immediately to move ahead with that. That’s a bit frustrating, because I would have just paid for it to start with had I been told when downloading that advanced modules needed a registered version in order to run.

    Anyhow — It’s well worth $19.95

  4. I’m using easyphp and I don’t know how to install ssl (they told me I need ssl to add/change active directory user’s passwords from php). Ideas ?

  5. I have used Sokkit for over three years and it’s great. I recently had C drive problems and got every thing backed up, except the key code for sokkit 4 (I do have the version 3 code). Now I cannot find them on the net. Do they still exist? How do I purchase the key for version 4? I reinstalled it from a back-up copy and it works great, but I am running out of time. Please email me if you know…

  6. I bought Sokkit without researching my options as I had a rush job to work on and needed AMP installed fast. However, since then I have found WAMP – which is entirely free and works like a charm on my laptop.

    Sokkit has closed up shop by the way.


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