I am using XAMPP for almost 2 years. Recently i found some articles that suggests that XAMPP is loading some extra libraries/dlls which is not required for a Drupal development environment. Is there any other options that i can adopt for Drupal development besides XAMPP?

I found nginx.

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    The question is interesting, but I disagree with how it's formulated. "Development environment" doesn't really have a proper definition, and what components are part of it varies greatly from person to person. You are also comparing a "full stack" of (OS), Apache, Mysql and PHP with a different webserver, nginx. Which loaded libraries that are un-neccessary will depend on what you are developing.
    – Letharion
    Apr 5 '12 at 9:45
  • "XAMPP is loading some extra libraries/dlls which is not required for a Drupal development environment" - most of them can be easily disabled by commenting out the appropriate lines in some config files, if someone has some experience with Apache configuration.
    – Sk8erPeter
    Apr 6 '12 at 14:54

I think it's best if your local development environment matches the environment of the servers your site(s) are actually hosted on as much as possible. I've used XAMPP with Drupal and I haven't ever had problems relating to extra libraries being loaded.

That said, if you're looking for a Drupal-optimized solution, Acquia, the company run by the founder of Drupal, provides a Dev Desktop which allows you to set up and host Drupal quickly on Windows or OS X. This works similarly to XAMPP but it's easier to set up. (Warning: Acquia's Drupal distribution is slightly different than the standard Drupal from drupal.org. However, you can easily replace the Acquia Drupal distribution with the one from drupal.org if you want.)

For a different approach, you can try Drupal Quickstart, which is a Virtualbox VM that includes an install of Ubuntu Linux pre-configured with (as per the project page):

  • Support for Drupal 7 and Drupal 6
  • Ubuntu Linux, Apache, MySQL, APC, XDebug, IMAP, UploadProgress
  • Firefox (with developer plugins) and Chrome
  • Drush, drush make, and custom drush commands
  • Install scripts for: Apache Solr, Aegir, Hudson, and Oracle
  • Netbeans and Eclipse, configured with XDebug
  • XHProf and Webgrind profilers. Emails logged as files
  • cvs, subversion, git, bazaar

This is the "whole development environment in a box" solution.

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    A very nice fully loaded answer. Lets wait some minutes for others.
    – niksmac
    Apr 5 '12 at 9:06

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