WinNMP - portable Nginx MariaDB Redis Php development stack for Windows

A portable, preconfigured, lightweight, fast and stable server stack for developing php mysql applications on windows, based on the excellent webserver Nginx. A lighter alternative to XAMPP and WAMP.

How to create a new Project

New Project

  • Open WinNMP Manager by clicking the taskbar or desktop icon, then click on New Project icon, choose a project name, hit Enter or click Save Project.
  • Set the project Live Url if any. This should point to the production version of your project, hosted on a remote server.
  • Check Enable Local Virtual Server if you want to use a local test domain name like http://projectname.local. This is useful to test SEF links and other Nginx rewrite rules.
  • Save the project settings.
  • Go to your c:\pathTo\WWW\projectname folder and create your project files.
  • Browse http://localhost or http://projectname.local
  • Use HeidiSql or Adminer to create the project`s database
  • Test your project using different PHP versions
  • Upload or Sync the project files to the remote server, as explained below.

    Edit Project

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How to upload files or synchronize your project to a server using WinSCP:

Project Buttons

  • Open WinNMP Manager
  • Select your project, click on Project Setup icon, setup the remote connection and Save.
  • Return to the project list and click on Upload, Synchronize or Browse icons. A WinSCP dialog will open.

    Sync with WinSCP

    Browse Files with WinSCP

How to use COMPOSER.bat:


Composer is a tool for dependency management in PHP used to download and keep updated various PHP frameworks and components. After you created a new project in c:\pathTo\WWW\projectname, in a command line window, run commands like:

composer create-project symfony/framework-standard-edition c:\pathTo\WWW\projectname 2.4.*

cd c:\pathTo\WWW
composer create-project silverstripe/installer projectname 3.1.*

cd c:\pathTo\WWW
composer create-project laravel/laravel projectname --prefer-dist

How to Debug Configuration Files:

After changing the configuration files, one server might refuse start. In order to find out the reason, you need to Check Configuration Syntax:

  • In the WinNMP Manager window, use the Check Configuration Syntax buttons to see the start up errors for Nginx and MySql
  • For PHP, if there are any startup errors, they will be shown as alert messages.
  • Also check the server logs in WinNMP\log
  • To see the commands used to start each service, Kill all servers and restart with WinNMP.exe --debug ( Display debug messages )
  • If nothing works, delete that configuration file, or from WinNMP\conf nginx.conf, mysql.ini, php.ini , kill all servers and restart WinNMP.exe. The Server Manager will copy the default configuration files to WinNMP\conf.

How to Clone/Sync WinNMP stack to a new machine:

You can safely move the WinNMP stack without loosing any data, projects, databases or settings. Run WinNMP installer once on the new machine, then overwrite/sync the whole WinNMP folder with the cloned one.

For example, syncing your work from C:\MyWork\WinNMP on Machine1 to D:\WinNMP on Machine2 should be done by running the installer once on Macine2 (and choosing D:\WinNMP as destination) then overwriting D:\WinNMP each time you need to sync your work.

If you move WinNMP stack to a new machine without running the installer, PHP 5.5 and later might refuse to start, because it requires Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012. You can install it manually from here. It will not run on windows XP.

How to change the root directory of a project:

Your project's Nginx settings are stored in conf\domains.d\myProject.conf. This file`s root directive is automatically modified by the WinNMP manager for portability.

If you want to use a custom root folder for your project, for example WWW\myProject\public, you can manually set this root directive and lock it using the comment # locked

    root "C:\PathTo\WWW\myProject\public"; # locked

How to send emails using PHP

WinNMP has 2 options for processing emails sent by PHP's mail() function: mSmtp and mailToDisk (default). To change the option, edit conf\php.ini and modify sendmail_path:

  • For Development use mailToDisk (the default): sendmail_path = '"C:/WinNMP/bin/php" -n -f "C:/WinNMP/include/tools/mailtodisk.php"' Emails will be saved to log\mail-XX.txt

  • For Production use mSmtp: sendmail_path = '"C:/WinNMP/bin/msmtp/msmtp.exe" -C "C:/WinNMP/conf/msmtp.ini" -t' You also need to edit conf\msmtp.ini in order to configure SMTP server options

How to allow access from LAN and Internet to your local project:

In the WinNMP Manager window, go to Project Setup, check Enable Local Virtual Server, then Save.

Edit WinNMP\conf\domains.d\projectName.conf directly or go to Project Setup and click on Edit Nginx Local Virtual Server Configuration File icon.

Edit Nginx Local Virtual Server

Modify like this:

server {
    listen          *:80;

    server_name     projectName.test;

    ### Access Restrictions
    allow           all;
    ## deny         all;

Now Kill Nginx, Start Nginx OR Check Nginx Configuration Syntax.

How to achieve the best performance for live sites:

  • Run the WinNMP installer to upgrade to the latest version. The installer fixes some windows networking issues that will make Nginx super fast and also allows faster connections to the Mysql server.
  • Increase the nginx workers in nginx.conf:

    worker_processes auto;
    events {
        worker_connections 8096;
  • If you disable PHP XCache, XDebug and other extensions, start at least 20 php-cgi servers
  • Edit mysql.ini and increase innodb_buffer_pool_size , myisam_sort_buffer_size , etc

How to add additional local test server names to my project:

Hosts File Editor

You can always use different/multiple server names for your Local Virtual Server. Use Hosts File Editor (the third icon) to add extra local server names like:    projectName.test

Then Edit conf\domains.d\projectName.conf and add

server_name projectName.test;

How to add locations

If you want a location like /phpMyAdmin to serve files from a directory outside your project (but inside PHP's open_basedir), for example C:/WinNMP/include/phpMyAdmin you need to edit the Nginx config file:

Edit WinNMP\conf\domains.d\projectName.conf to set http://projectName.local/phpMyAdmin Edit WinNMP\conf\nginx.conf to set http://localhost/phpMyAdmin

server {
    location ~ ^/phpMyAdmin/.*\.php$ {
            root "C:/WinNMP/include";
            try_files $uri =404;
            include         nginx.fastcgi.conf;
            fastcgi_pass    php_farm;
            allow ;
            allow           ::1;
            deny            all;
    location ~ ^/phpMyAdmin/ {
             root "C:/WinNMP/include";

Notice that the root directive lacks /phpMyAdmin because Nginx adds the URL path /phpMyAdmin to the root path, so the resulting directory is C:/WinNMP/include/phpMyAdmin

How set / change / reset mysql(mariadb) root password:

When you log in to Adminer, you use mysql(mariadb) root account, which by default has no password

In order to set mysql(mariadb) root password, open a command prompt and type C:\WinNMP\bin\MySql\bin\mysqladmin -u root password NEWPASSWORD

In order to change mysql(mariadb) root password, open a command prompt and type C:\WinNMP\bin\MySql\bin\mysqladmin -u root -p'oldpassword' password NEWPASSWORD

If you forgot the mysql(mariadb) root password, you can reset all user accounts by running C:\WinNMP\bin\MySql\bin\mysql_install_db -d c:\WinNMP\data

How to Install Extras:

Let`s say you want to use Nginx 1.2.x instead of the currently installed version, or PHP 5.3.x