XAMPP Setup (Windows)

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Oleksandr Kot

What is XAMPP

XAMPP is a completely free, easy to install Apache distribution containing MariaDB, PHP, and Perl. The XAMPP open source package has been set up to be incredibly easy to install and to use.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Install XAMPP

Download and install XAMPP from as instructed.

At the end of the installation, you will be suggested to run 'Control Panel'. Do it, but don't rush to start Apache :).


Be aware that latest XAMPP builds use MariaDB 10.4. But, to work with Neos, you will need XAMPP with MariaDB 10.3 or earlier.

The last builds with MariaDB 10.3 are: 7.3.7, 7.2.20, 7.1.30.

2. Install Composer

If you haven't installed composer yet, go to and follow the instructions. Get back to this guide once you finish installing it.

3. Configuration

3.1. Hosts

This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Usually, it can be found under: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.

Each entry in this file should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name. The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one space.

This means that the host name for your locally deployed Neos site and its IP address could be:


Should you wish to have several different Neos distributions, you better put them into different folders and assign corresponding host names with a unique IP address like
and so on.


To reduce the possibility of configuration errors and conflicts, it is suggested not to use the localhost host name to access your locally deployed sites

Run as Administrator

You will need administrative privileges to be able to save the hosts file after you add anything to it.
3.2. Virtual Hosts

Let's open httpd-vhosts.conf file with any decent text editor and add a virtual host with name to the configuration.

By default, this file can be found under:

The configuration will look like this:

	DocumentRoot "c:/xampp/htdocs/mySite/Web"
	<Directory "c:/xampp/htdocs/mySite/Web/">
		Options +Indexes +Includes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews
		AllowOverride All
		Require local

After saving the httpd-vhosts.conf file, we are ready to start our server. But don't do it yet, because we need to install Neos first :).

4. Installing Neos via Composer

Open any Terminal (like Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell or any other command-line application) and go to the htdocs folder in your XAMPP installation. By default, it is "c:/xampp/htdocs/", but it definitely depends on where you installed XAMPP.

In step 3.2 we configured a virtual host pointing to the 'mySite' folder, so run the following command:

composer create-project neos/neos-base-distribution mySite

5. XAMPP Control Panel

If you did everything correctly, it is now time to start Apache and MySQL.

Open the XAMPP Control Panel and click on Start buttons (Actions column) right to Apache and MySQL signs (Modules column).

If you are using any kind of Firewall application, you will/should be asked to let these modules access the network. Give them access.

Once started, the Apache and MySQL signs will have a green background.

6. Neos Setup

Now, open your favorite browser and visit:

Use root as username and an empty (by default for XAMPP) password in the database screen.

Use as database host.

Following the instructions on the screen will most likely get you to your first Neos site, but if something goes wrong, just follow the link below for explanations:

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