Installing DesktopServer Premium or DesktopServer Limited has gotten a lot easier. Now you can simply download the DesktopServer archive, unzip and run the installer. The new installer will default to the upgrade option if you are using an older version of DesktopServer. Going from DesktopServer Limited to DesktopServer Premium is just as easy. Please see below for detailed instructions. 


Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or
Macintosh OS X 10.4 to 10.8.X (PowerPC and Intel are both supported).
Recommend at least 512 megabytes of RAM and 500 megabytes of free hard drive space for installation.

Be sure to remove any existing MAMP, WAMP, IIS7 or XAMPP installation before installing DesktopServer.

Install and Upgrade Steps

  1. Download the ZIP archive for your specific platform (Windows or Macintosh) from our download page.
  2. Unpack the ZIP archive (double-click on Macintosh/right-click, Extract All… on Windows) and run the Install DesktopServer icon.
    1. Mountain Lion users should right-click and select the “Open” option from the popup context menu.
  3. New users should select the first option ‘New DesktopServer Installation’. Existing DesktopServer users should select ‘Upgrade DesktopServer’ followed by the Continue button.
After installation or upgrade, you must start DesktopServer at least once to turn on Apache and MySQL services.


DesktopServer runs natively on Windows and Macintosh computers in their factory shipped, original default installation configurations. However, using third party applications or installing other services may prevent DesktopServer from running. Here are a few items to look out for:

  • If you get the XAMPP logo screen, try rebooting and turning DesktopServer back on. It is important to note that DesktopServer is a “virtual server computer” that will be turned off when you shutdown/restart your computer. To turn the “virtual server computer” back on, start DesktopServer once and accept the prompt to “Start Apache and MySQL services”.
  • Skype by default, uses port 80 and 443, which is incompatible. You can disable this feature in Skype’s pull down menu and options via: Tools ? Options ? Advanced ? Connection, uncheck “Use port 80 and 443 as alternative incoming connections”. You must quit Skype and restart DesktopServer for changes to take effect. Screenshot here.
  • Users should not have another web server running on port 80, (i.e. Macintosh users should turn off Personal Web Sharing or “Web Sharing” from their preferences panel when running DesktopServer. Windows users will want to turn off “Word Wide Web Publishing” from their Service panel or Internet Information Services from Windows 7′s “Turn Windows features on or off”).
  • Additional Microsoft Windows services that bind to port 80 are SQL Server Reporting Services, and Web Deployment Agent Service. These should also be turned off via the Services panel. Open up the services screen (Right click “Computer” from either your desktop or start menu, then “Manage”. Once the window has opened, expand “Services and Applications” and select “Services”).
  • Third party Anti-Spyware that locks the hosts file can interfere and should be adjusted (i.e. Windows users running STOPzilla should turn off the Hosts File checkbox in Real-Time Protection ? Network menu).
  • Panda Media Booster is an unsavory ‘spyware class’ program you should uninstall. It has a known conflict with DesktopServer and is distributed by company products such as:
    • Dungeons and Dragons Online
    • Lord of the Ring Online
    • Star Trek Online
    • Maple Story (Unconfirmed)
    • NBC Direct
    • Flyff
    • Games from

Windows Troubleshooting Tips

Users that have installed IIS, IIS7, Microsoft WebMatrix or Microsoft Platform Installer should click here and follow the steps in this forum to remove IIS and accompanying conflicting components.
Windows users may want to verify that DesktopServer has started the MySQL (mysqld.exe) and Apache (httpd.exe) services via your tasklist:

1) Bring up your tasklist by clicking start and typing taskmgr (Windows Vista, Windows 7).
2) Click the “Show processes from all users” button.
3) In the Processes tab look for mysqld.exe and one or more httpd.exe, right-click and select “Open File Location”

Verify that the processes are coming from the c:\xampplite folder. If not, those processes are from an offending Web/Application server and should be uninstalled. If the processes don’t appear, use DesktopServer’s first option to “Stop or restart…”. If they still don’t appear, be sure to check out the error log in the c:\xampplite\apache\logs folder.

Be sure to visit our forum for additional assistance.


To uninstall DesktopServer, download and re-run either the free DesktopServer Limited or DesktopServer Premium installer and select the third option to ‘Uninstall DesktopServer’. The uninstaller will shutdown and remove all DesktopServer components for you.

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  1. Carlito1 says:

    Installed serverpress. Installed WP but cannot open the installation in browser.
    I have pre-installed Wampserver . Could that be the cause ?

    Kind Regards,

    Carlos Mezas.

    1. admin says:

      Yes. Please reference the troubleshooting section above, specifically “Users should not have another web server running”. You will want to make sure you are not running WAMP. Doing so may result in corrupt data.

  2. movibes says:

    I’m assuming this is just for ONE local machine and not something I can access while on the road. Meaning, I would not be able to access the service unless I am USING the machine WITH the installation.

    Is this a fair assumption?

    1. admin says:

      DesktopServer creates a “virtual server computer” on the machine you install it on and can only be accessed on that computer. An Internet connection is not required. If you are “on the road”, then the machine with DesktopServer installed should be physically with you. DesktopServer is not a real “web server computer” that you can access on the Internet. It is intended for fast, connectionless development purposes only.

  3. movibes says:


  4. pxjenkins says:

    Is it possible to use dropbox as a way to access a dev website between two or more macs, for example?

    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      No. WordPress stores data in the proprietary MySQL database and ‘fake’ name resolution is platform/OS dependent.

      However, DesktopServer Premium features an Import/Export feature for sharing and copying complete websites with other users. Import/Export packages your complete website with everything inside a simple zip file so that you can share them like you would a Word or Excel document file.

  5. Clifford says:

    So I can leave XAMPP installed? Just make sure it’s not running at the same time? How do I convert a not-yet-published XAMPP site to the desired .dev domain and move from XAMPP to DesktopServer Premium? Thank you.

    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      Unfortunately you cannot run both XAMPP and DesktopServer’s XAMPP at the same time. You will need to make sure that httpd and mysqld processes are not running from your other webserver. Check the task manager (Windows) or activity monitor (Macintosh) on your platform with ‘Show All Process (for all users)’ to ensure these programs are not running before starting DesktopServer. Keep in mind that DesktopServer will start it’s own, multiple httpd, and its own mysqld processes. Migration of existing WordPress sites can be performed using a third party tool, such as Duplicator (free) or the more resilient BackupBuddy. However you can do this manually if your current XAMPP is using phpMyAdmin. For more information about import or export techniques, visit Support -> Search and click on the Import or Export tags.

  6. purple says:

    Install on Mapped drive? I am wondering if this will run from a Mapped network drive, I would have a shared folder on my server, map it on my desktop as ” W ” for instance. install on W drive. Then Map the same folder as “W” on my laptop, install on laptop to “W” drive . Then I would be accessing the same body of work from either computer without export/import, or trying to sync. At this point I am only talking about accessing this on the local network (not VPN). Are there any reg settings altered by the install program, or does this run self contained ( like a portable app)?


    1. Stephen Carroll says:

      Windows users must install DesktopServer on their primary partition c:\ drive. However, you can specify another drive letter to store your WordPress project (plugins/theme) files. Keep in mind that WordPress is a content management system (CMS). Your theme files (which are like stationary that you feed into a typewriter) only dictate the look and feel of your website. The actual post and page content (what the typewriter types) is kept inside of a database that is fixed on the ‘virtual server computer’ that DesktopServer creates on your real computer. If you only wish to sync theme and plugins and abide by the WordPress API to not hardcode file paths (i.e. get_bloginfo(‘url’) vs you should be fine. For treating an entire WordPress website like a portable word or excel document (complete with website files *and* post/page content), you are better off using DesktopServer’s Import/Export to zip utility.

  7. macmedix says:

    WOW! That was EASY!!!! :-D
    I’ve used WordPress a lot via the Linux servers at my webhost, and I thought that was pretty easy. Based on my prior experiences trying to get PHP & MySQL going years ago on Mac 10.3.9 I am really shocked and impressed at how easy you’ve made it to run WordPress on Mac, even Tiger.

    Big Hat tip to Stephen Carroll and ServerPress for making Desktop Server not only free, but AMAZINGLY EASY! Even my mom could do this. Wow! I had a WordPress blog going in less than 30 minutes after beginning the download. Most of that time was downloading, reading documentation (not as necessary as I expected), and customizing graphics for WordPress. In actuality expect less than 3 minutes of clicking & dragging to have a full blown WordPress install going on your Mac.

    Anybody who wants to install WordPress on Mac the easy way… Here it is! As a bonus you get MySQL and PHP installed on Mac, all in less time than it took you to read these comments!

    Thanks again! :-)