Support » Localhost Installs » Dropbox and MAMP localhost development with both Windows and OS X

  • I’ve set up a work environment with using MAMP on OS X (my laptop) and installed WordPress on Dropbox so that I will be able to develop my WordPress site on two separate machines (Mac laptop – Windows desktop). I’m able to access and edit my WordPress site on my Mac latptop without problem. The problem that I am having is connecting to the database from my Windows desktop.

    The steps that I took on my laptop (OS X):

    1. Installed WordPress to Dropbox.
    2. Installed MAMP for OS X.
    3. MAMP – Pointed the document root to the WordPress files in Dropbox.
    4. MAMP – Created a WordPress database with phpMyAdmin
    5. Moved the local “db” folder in MAMP to a Dropbox folder that I named “servers”.
    6. Created a symbolic link that points to the moved “db” folder in Dropbox/servers folder.

    Steps taken on my desktop (Windows):

    1. Installed MAMP Beta for Windows.
    2. MAMP – Pointed the document root to the WordPress files in Dropbox.
    3. Backed up the local “db” folder and created a mklink that points to the “db” folder in Dropbox that was moved over from my Mac earlier.

    Both Apache and MySQL are green when I click “Start Servers” from within MAMP on my Windows desktop; However, when I try to connect to localhost I receive the error “error establishing a database connection”.

    I’m at a loss at what to try next. Has anyone else had success with a similar setup between machines with different operating systems? Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • catacaustic


    very awesome

    It’s not as easy as that to share databases. Unfortunately MySQL doesn’t replicate that easily. To do this you’ll need to either use a different database on each computer, or have a single database that’s accessible at all times from both comptuers. To make things easy you can have both databases have the same name and user details so that you don’t need to change the wp-config.php connection details.

    Thank’s for the advice. I will go the route that you have suggested of just having two databases with the same names and details. It’s unfortunate that I can’t share the database between the two computers.




    very awesome

    You can share it – but you need the database to be accessible by both computers. That’s the hard part. What ever computer the DB sits on can accept connections from anywhere, provided that it’s internet-accessible, and it allows incoming requests through the firewall. Setting up something like that is way beyond the scope of these forums, and can lead to security issues if you do something wrong, so I do try and leave that as an absolute last resort.

    Hi catacaustic. I’m a little confused on how that would be different than when I moved the database to Dropbox and made syslink / mklink on both computers that points to the files?

    Thanks again



    very awesome

    You can try that, but I don’t know if I’d trust the MySQL server to work like that. I know that Apache has issues with symlinks and remote files, so I get very nervous about things like that. You can definately try it and see how it goes. Let us know if it actually works.

    Here is an article that explains your desired process very nicely 🙂

    Developing a WordPress site locally, on more than one computer

    The key point is the remotely hosted MySQL database. The WP db needs to run on a MySQL server which AFAIK cannot be done from Dropbox.

    Remember that when and if you do go this way, that you will have to specifically set up your db to be accessed remotely; this is a separate step once the db has been set up; most hosts that use cPanel have this option in the Database section.


    I just set this up according to the above-noted article and it is SLICK! 🙂

    My setup:
    – MacBook Pro running MAMP 2.0.1
    – Win 7 desktop running The Uniform Server 11.1.6
    – remote database set up at one of my hosting accounts; database set to accept remote connections

    Followed the instructions for the Mac as per and all went well.
    For the Win 7 machine’s local server, I set the document root to the Dropbox folder, same as for the Mac, but I also had to set the Apache port to 8888 to match the default MAMP port.

    Too cool! Changes made on one are immediately available on the other – after a refresh of course 🙂

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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