ATutor can be run right from your Windows, Linux, or Mac Desktop, and installed with just a few mouse clicks. This works great for setting up an installation of ATutor on your own computer for testing purposes, but it can also be used to setup and production installation of ATutor that others can access through your computer's connection to the Internet.
Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache
ATutor does require PHP, MySQL, and a webserver to be installed before it will run. Installing these "server" components is easier than you might think. Nowadays there are several "bundles" available that contain the web server trio along with an easy to use installer. Three such bundles are EasyPHP, XAMP, and WAMP. Download one of these to your Desktop from one of the following sites, then click on the respective installer and follow the instructions.
XAMP Download (with installation instructions)
Once one of these packages has been installed (we'll assume XAMP for Windows from here on), you will want to set a password for MySQL, and possibly edit the Apache and PHP configuration files (apache/conf/httpd.conf and apache/bin/php.ini respectively). However, things should run fine without making any adjustments to a default configurations, which is usually just fine for setting up a test system on your own computer. You will have to edit settings if you plan to make your ATutor installation available to others through your computer's connection to the Internet. The configuration files are relatively well documented throughout if you have to make changes.
Start Apache and MySQL through the XAMP control panel, then try to open Apache in a Web browser (any one will do). Type the URL (without any spaces):
Your local webserver:
If you see the Apache Welcome page, you're ready to install ATutor.
If your browser complains that it can not find the server, retrace your steps to be sure you haven't missed anything when you installed XAMP. If you are still having trouble opening your local webserver, you can find help on the Apache Forum
Once you have your local webserver running, download the latest stable version of ATutor and save it to the apache/htdocs/ document root directory of your XAMP (or EasyPHP) installation. Then use an unzip program such as WinZIP or WinRAR to unzip the atutor-version.tar.gz file into that directory. Unzipping the ATutor distribution will create the ATutor/ directory containing all the ATutor files.
After unzipping the the ATutor distribution into your webserver's document root directory, you only need to open ATutor from the directory that gets created when the distribution is unzipped, and follow the instructions. You should be able to open the ATutor installer by typing the localhost URLs into your browser:
Local ATutor Installation
Getting ATutor Help
If you have any problems you are unable to solve on your own, help can be found in the ATutor support Forums.
Accessing your local ATutor from the Internet.
Your computer does not need to be connected to the Internet to run ATutor, but if it is, via a cable or DSL modem, or faster, you can have students access ATutor by giving them the IP address of your system, and its ATutor directory. On Windows you can find your IP address by typing "winipcfg" at a command prompt. On Linux and Mac run "ifconfig" at the command prompt. Either should return the IP address that has been assigned to your computers internet connection by your service provider (or local network). It will look something like the following "129. 250.121.002". Tell you students to access your ATutor installation at:
My Local ATutor Installation
Get a Static IP Address
Of course it is best to have a permanent, or static, IP address for your computer if you plan to have students access ATutor installed on it, otherwise that IP address will likely change periodically (if not often). Speak to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), or your network administrator, about obtaining a static IP address if you plan on using your own computer as a production ATutor site.
Register a Domain Name
If your computer has a static IP address you might choose to register a domain name, so your student can access your system using that name instead of the IP address. For more about registering a domain name type "register domain name" into google to find a local domain name registrar, or try Network Solutions.
Network Solution (domain names)
If you find you have no trouble accessing your locally installed ATutor from the same computer it is installed on, but can't get to it from the Internet, check your firewall settings to be sure it is allowing "http" connections to the computer, or that it has port "80" open for connections.