Just install apache on your current distro. Debian is the most widely used Linux distribution for (Ok and Red Hat, too)LAMP -- for a reason.
It's fine to install lighttp,as well, just to test your pages. The simplest way to install it (On debian anyway) is to just install phpmyadmin
# aptitude install phpmyadmin -- OR, fire up Synaptic if you're in a GUI desktop environment if you want.
Everythign you need will be installed along with it. After it's installed, fire up your browser and head to http://127.0.0.1
, nothing to it.
If you've got another box laying around I would use that, though. Install Debian with a netinstall disc, ssh into it from another box on your LAN -- no peripherals like a keyboard or monitor needed after the base install -- then install the web server --
On Etch, I might install the following:
# aptitude install mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient15-dev
# aptitude install apache2 apache2-doc apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils libexpat1 ssl-cert
# aptitude install libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php5-common php5-curl php5-dev php5-gd php5-idn php-pear php5-imagick php5-mcrypt php5-mysql php5-ps php5-pspell php5-recode php5-xsl
It really is very simple, honest. I wrote a quick and easy howto
. You can ignore some of it if you just want to run something locally. I left out a bunch of stuff with respect to security --
Give more information and we'll hook you up.