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My file structure is:

User/me/www/Craft-2.3.2644/

I am using MAMP and MAMP Points to this folder as my 'server root'.

Everything inside and including my web root has 777 permissions.

Inside this folder are three items:

craft/
public/
readme.txt

I have a MySQL database:

Domain: localhost
User: root

I have pointed the db.php file to my server, with 'root' as the password.

My index.php file in my public folder points to ../craft which reroutes to /app/index.php (a file that does exist in that location).

The most positive result I can get when surfing to localhost/public/index.php is a message that reads as below...

Page not found

What’s worse, a hilarious 404 page can’t be found either.

With any other permissions I cannot access the folder because I'm not allowed (oops message).

And with any other mapping in the index file I receive a message:

File not found

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    I'd recommend naming your project folder something besides Craft-2.3.2644... Craft is incredibly easy to update, and likely won't stay at that version number for long. Instead, you'll probably want to change the folder name to reflect the specific project you're working on.
    – Lindsey D
    May 11 '15 at 15:17
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You need to point your webserver to the public directory as stated in the docs here. So in your case that would mean setting your vhost to point to: User/me/www/Craft-2.3.2644/public.

In that public folder you will find an index.php file, which tells php where Craft can be found, by default (which yours is) that will be ../craft.

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    Just for testing purposes you could also move the contents of the public folder (index.php) one level up (User/me/www/Craft-2.3.2644/). Never do this for live sites though as it means your craft folder then also lives inside the docroot of your webserver. Something you really don't want. Don't forget to change the path in index.php when you do this.
    – user155
    May 11 '15 at 17:43

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