Set up local apache server on MacOS Mojave

Mac OS X guide
Wed 26 September, 2018

Host a website locally using the built-in server on your Mac

All Macs have a built-in Apache HTTP server which you can set up and utilise in a few minutes with zero experience.

You might use an Apache Server to create a website and host it locally on your Mac. This could be something like a custom homepage for your browser (which I use myself) or a playground to start learning website development.

1. Open “Terminal” Application, found in /Applications/Utilities and type the following command:

sudo apachectl start

and press Enter

2. Go to your browser, type localhost in the address bar, and press Enter ↵.

When the localhost page is loaded you should see “It works!” in your browser.

How to Edit the Hosts File on Mac OS X

Create a new folder where you can store multiple sites hosted on your local server.

We will change the “DocumentRoot” setting in the file /etc/apache2/httpd.conf, and restart Apache.

1. To find the hosts file, open Finder and, in Finder’s menu bar, select Go > Go to Folder… In the box, type the following location and press Return.

(⇧⌘G) Go to Folder… shortcut

2. Enter the following and Go:


3. Double click and open the “httpd.conf“ file

4. Find

DocumentRoot  “/Library/WebServer/Documents"
<Directory “/Library/WebServer/Documents">

5. Change it to

DocumentRoot “/Users/Lunar/Sites"
<Directory “/Users/Lunar/Sites">

Where “Lunar” is your username.

6. Restart the Apache server in Terminal by running the following command:

sudo apachectl restart

7. Now you can access a site in the new “Sites” folder using a browser by adding the file name after a forward slash e.g “localhost/mywebsite“ in the URL.

That’s pretty cool, right?

Try this yourself and start a new hobby or project!


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