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Whippet launches a stand-alone web server for a specific WordPress installation. It makes WordPress easier to develop with, for example, by adding lots of debug information to the terminal without cluttering up or breaking your templates.

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Whippet launches a stand-alone web server for a specific WordPress installation. It makes WordPress easier to develop with, for example, by adding lots of debug information to the terminal without cluttering up or breaking your templates.

Whippet allows you to run and work on a WordPress website without having to use Apache and without having to set up a virtualhost. You don't even have to have your WordPress files -- Whippet will happily run from a wp-content folder by itself.

Note: Whippet is Alpha software. We're sure it still has problems that need to be fixed, and we know the install process is a bit labourious. Please do let us know how you get on, or open an issue if you have problems. Thanks!


Clone the repository and run:

$ git submodule update --init

You might also want to symlink Whippet to something in your path:

$ sudo ln -s /path/to/the/script/called/whippet /usr/bin/whippet

PHP 5.4

Whippet requires PHP 5.4.

Check which version you're currently using by running php -v. It should hopefully be 5.4.x

To install do:

Under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php5
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install php5

Under Ubuntu 12.10

$ sudo apt-get install php5

Under OSX

See for an easy install

Depending on how your path is set up, you may need to add the install location to your path (edit your .bashrc or similar)

Using the above method you may get an error when trying to run whippet:

Error: Unable to find file /etc/mime.types, and failed to load fallback

In which case you can obtain the most recent mime file here: Instruct Whippet to use this file using the --mime-file argument, or save it to /etc/mime.types

Other operating systems

For Windows, I think you might be out of luck. If you manage to get it working, we'd love to know what you did.

For other operating systems, please consult Google, or download and install from

Handling multiple versions of PHP

If for some reason you don't want to use 5.4 as your system's version of PHP, make sure your system PHP comes up first in your PATH, and then tell Whippet where to find PHP5.4 on your system:

$ WHIPPET_PHP=/path/to/php/5.4 whippet 


If you've directly installed MYSQL on your system, Whippet should just work. If you encounter any problems, please raise an issue.

MYSQL through MAMP (OSX)

If you're using MAMP, and don't want to install MYSQL directly for whatever reason, you need to tell PHP5.4 how to use MAMP's MySQL server. To fix this, update your php.ini:

$ sudo vi /usr/local/etc/php/5.4/php.ini

And put in the option for mysql.default_socket:

mysql.default_socket = /Applications/MAMP/tmp/mysql/mysql.sock


The simplest way to use Whippet is on an existing WordPress installation. If you have a working installation, cd to the root of the WordPress installation and do:

$ /path/to/whippet

You should see the server start. Visit http://localhost:8000 and you should see a normal WordPress website. If you look at your terminal, you'll see quite a bit of output about the queries being exected, templates being loaded, and so on.

Sometimes Whippet's output can be a bit too noisy. You can customise what gets displayed:

$ /path/to/whippet --no-sql

For a full listing of Whippet's options, do:

$ /path/to/whippet --help

Whippet can also make it easier to manage multiple WordPress installations. Instead of having to keep a full WordPress installation for each site that you work on, you can just keep the wp-content folder, along with the database for that site:

$ cd /path/to/wp-content
$ /path/to/whippet

Whippet will detect that it's being launched from a wp-content folder. The first time you do this, it will ask to download and store the latest WordPress core. It'll then use those files to launch the site. You can also specify the version of WordPress you'd like to use:

$ /path/to/whippet --wp-version 3.1

Whippet will ask to download the files if they don't already exist, and will prompt you for your database configuration the first time you run it for a particular wp-content diretory.


WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE is always enabled, so you can do Tools > Network Setup at any time. Once multisite has been setup in the database, you should send whippet a SIGTERM and restart it with --multisite and -p 80.

Note that if you don't want to do a search/replace on your database you should use -p 80 before you enable multisite.

Remember that sudo is required for port 80 and you may need to kill a server if you already have on listening on port 80.



After installing on OSX and running whippet you get the following error in your browser:

Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress


Reinstall php, ensuring that you include the --with-mysql option.


We'd welcome help to make Whippet better. If you want to fix a bug or add a feature, please fork the project and Github, make changes, and submit a pull request. If it's something big, you might want to talk to us first. If you need inspiration, check the TODO page on the wiki.


Harry Metcalfe (

Tom Adams (

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