Instead of using the local domain localhost for your local development environment, you may create a custom domain name, named anything else and use it instead.
In this example, we will create local domain and create a vhost that will point it to a specific working directory. I’ll assume you already have XAMPP for Linux installed.
1. Open /etc/hosts file using your favorite editor
[wm@serv0-wal ~] sudo vim /etc/hosts
2. Add the custom domain you would like to the end of the lines as shown in the image below. In my case, I have created two domains, rawle.local and mwab.ini
When you access the domain, it will give you the same page that accessing localhost does. We can point the domain to a specific document root by creating a vhost for it.
3. In XAMPP for Linux, access /opt/lampp/etc/extra. This is the location of configuration files for Apache web server that comes with XAMPP
[wm@serv0-wal ~]$ cd /opt/lampp/etc/extra/
4. Create a config file for your vhost
[wm@serv0-wal extra]$ touch rawle.local.conf
5. Copy the code below in the config file
CustomLog “logs/rawle.local.access_log” common
Replace rawle.local with your custom domain.
6. Start/Restart XAMPP
[wm@serv0-wal extra]$ sudo /opt/lampp/lampp restart
Restarting XAMPP for Linux 7.3.0-0…
XAMPP: Stopping Apache…not running.
XAMPP: Stopping MySQL…not running.
XAMPP: Stopping ProFTPD…not running.
XAMPP: Starting Apache…ok.
XAMPP: Starting MySQL…ok.
XAMPP: Starting ProFTPD…ok.
7. Access your local website using your new local domain.
We’ll then ,in our next article, see how to secure the local environment with an SSL certificate. Not just a self signed one that will give warnings, but one that will show https with a green padlock, just as through it came from a real Certificate Authority.