One of the best ways to develop Joomla! websites on your personal Mac computer is using MAMP. MAMP is an application that provides all the resources needed to run a content management system. Once you download MAMP to your computer you can install as many Joomla! sites as you have hard drive space for and do all your development and experimenting in this safe environment just as if it was on a live server.
During the installation of Joomla! you are given the option of enabling the FTP layer of Joomla!. You can simply skip this step and Joomla! will run without it. If you want to enable the FTP layer it can be a little confusing what the proper settings are for it in the Joomla! configuration settings of your MAMP localmachine website.
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The simplest way to develop a Joomla! site on your local Mac OS X computer is by using MAMP. MAMP is short for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL, PHP. MAMP works just like an application. It is released under the GNU General Public License. You can download MAMP from Living-e AG. The download page can be found HERE.
Current MAMP versions require Mac OS X 10.4.x. If you're running Mac OS X 10.3.x you can download an earlier version of MAMP 1.4.1 (universal binary), for Intel and PowerPC.