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I have read some tutorials about install LAMP and I have seen that they install differents packages for MySQL and PHP.

For example to install MySQL:

 1. mysql-server
 2. mysql-server libapache2-mod-auth-mysql php5-mysql
 3. mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient-dev
 4. mysql-server mysql-client

For PHP:

 1. php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt
 2. php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-cli php5-mysql
 3. libapache2-mod-php5
 4. php5 php-pear 

Also I noticed that LAMP can be installed with only one command:

lamp-server^

And also with tasksel:

sudo apt-get install tasksel
sudo tasksel install lamp-server

This all very confusing. I have two machines one ubuntu 12.04 and other ubuntu 14.04. How can I know what packages I need to install?

1

Those tutorials are probably "helping" by having you install multiple things at the same time that they'll be using later; mostly libraries to glue the different technologies together. So, to install a MySQL server, mysql-server is the only package you need, but if you wanted to have Apache authenticate to MySQL you'd want libapache2-mod-auth-mysql, and to get PHP talking to MySQL you'd want php5-mysql.

tasksel installs a pre-set group of packages, and probably has most of what you need, and you can always install the additional library packages later if you need them.

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