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LAMP

The acronym LAMP (or L.A.M.P.) refers to a set of free software programs commonly used together to run dynamic Web sites or servers:

Linux, the operating system;

Apache, the Web server;

MySQL, the database management system (or database server);

Perl, PHP, Python, and/or (rarely) Primate, scripting/programming languages.

The acronym has three major uses:

Define a web server infrastructure

Define a programming paradigm of developing software

Define a software distribution package

To be precise, it is an open source Web platform.

Though the originators of these open source programs did not design them all to work specifically with each other, the combination has become popular because of its low acquisition cost and because of the ubiquity of its components (which come bundled with most current Linux distributions particularly as deployed by ISPs). When used in combination they represent a solution stack of technologies that support application servers. Other such stacks include unified application development environments such as Apple Computer's WebObjects, Java/Java EE, Grails, and Microsoft's .NET architecture.

The scripting component of the LAMP stack has its origins in the CGI web interfaces that became popular in the early 1990s. This technology allows the user of a web browser to execute a program on the web server, and to thereby receive dynamic as well as static content. Programmers used scripting languages with these programs because of their ability to manipulate text streams easily and efficiently, even when they originate from disparate sources. For this reason system designers often referred to such scripting systems as glue languages.

Michael Kunze coined the acronym LAMP in an article for the German computing magazine c't in 1998 (12/98, page 230). The article aimed to show that a bundle of free software could provide a viable alternative to commercial packages. Knowing about the IT-world's love of acronyms, Kunze came up with LAMP as a marketing-like term to popularize the use of free software. O'Reilly and MySQL AB have popularized the term among English-speakers. Indeed, MySQL AB has since based some of its marketing efforts on the popularity of the LAMP stack.

The Wikipedia entry for the term IBM can be found here (opens in new tab)

In the video below, TechAnvil introduces you to the process of performing a software update using YUM, followed by the loading and testing of an Apache Web Server.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.