Here's how this played out....
I installed XAMPP on my Arch Linux machine intent on dabbling in development, and it worked great for the first day or so. Then one day when I went to localhost/phpMyAdmin, Chrome tells me it can't access localhost and shows ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED. I tried changing the XAMPP config file to communicate via several different ports but that just produced the same error. Uninstalled Chrome and installed Chromium... same error. Closed all applications... disabled all plugins that might interfere.... same error.
After looking around for other solutions, I came across Ampps and really liked what I saw! Downloaded and installed! Went to localhost/phpMyAdmin and got the same error.
At this point I can only guess it's a security setting somewhere given I'm now running a different software package under a different browser and still get the same error. The tricky thing is that it worked great for a while... possibly until reboot? Not sure what triggered it... it just stopped allowing access. Now I can't access anything via localhost in a browser. Also tried 127.0.0.1, localhost:80, localhost:88, and so on. No luck.
Any ideas? This is not my area of expertise... and Google and I are both out of ideas.
Many thanks in advance!