SQLitepress is the answer to the question “How quickly can I get a local instance of WordPress up and running?”
The answer, about one minute. Clone the repository:
git clone http://github.com/joemalott/sqlitepress your-project-name
Then simply move into your project directory
Then fire up PHP server. On OSX this is
php -S localhost:8000
Open a browser at http://localhost:8000 and after inputting admin credentials you are immediately in a new instance of WordPress. With the power of SQLite you now have a highly portable instance to begin tinkering with.
It is NOT recommended for production environments. More for curious developers to begin tinkering with and later migrate over the theme/plugin to a normal instance of WordPress.
Happy theme/plugin development.