The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

This post is mostly a re-post of one from my personal blog a few months ago, with a few minor changes. I have been asked about how I have my development environment set up a few times recently, so I figured this would be good to re-post.

Disclaimer: This is my preference and is not mandated by Alagad, though I think we all follow similar guidelines

I use Apache for my development web server, and for each project, I
set up a new ‘virtual host’ so that each project can run from its own
web root. I do this so that each development site runs from its own web root, just like production will. I give each project a ‘serverName’ like This just helps me be aware of whether I am on dev or production, and makes it so I have to type less.

Then I set up a new entry in my HOSTS file for and point it to

To make editing httpd.conf and HOSTS easier, I set up a project in Eclipse that points to my {apache root}/conf folder. Inside of that project, I create a linked file to my HOSTS file. Now from within Eclipse, I can edit my httpd.conf file and my HOSTS file.

I typically will structure my project so that I have a structure that looks similar to:

{projectRoot}/flex-src - if its a Flex project
{projectRoot}/support - this is where I put project documents, associated files, artwork, etc
{projectRoot}/wwwapp - this is the application root for my project. Typically this is where framework code, model code,etc will go
{projectRoot}/wwwapp/www - this is the web root for my project and where I would point Apache and contains all files that will be needed from any page such as JS, CSS, etc.

Obviously, as the project dictates, I will add other sub-directories. Also, when using SVN, {projectRoot} will typically be the ‘trunk’ of the repo.

Comments on: "How I Set Up My Development Environment" (10)

  1. Joshua Rountree said:

    I do the same thing.
    I setup a local CF8 developer edition with same setup with Apache. I also commit everything to SVN repo.

    I have my whole team setup this exact same way – it’s really a smart way to do it.


  2. Ryan Stille said:

    Love the idea of having an Eclipse project pointing to the hosts file and httpd.conf. thanks!


  3. I use a similar setup but hadn’t thought of the linked file to the hosts file either. nice one!


  4. Can I chip in a couple of ideas?

    Take a look at VirtualDocumentRoot for Apache 2.x

    That way you can have a single VirtualHost definition that you don’t need to add to whenever you add a new local dev domain to your HOSTS file.

    Also I float out all my changes to the standard httpd.conf into a separate file that I then Include into the end of the Apache httpd.conf file. That way I never lose my special config should I need to reinstall Apache or when I bring a new dev box online.


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