@roryheaney I use EE exclusively for localhost development sites, but I’m not sure my setup is exactly standard.
I use Vagrant to set up a base Ubuntu box (currently using Bento’s Ubuntu 18.04) running in a VMWare machine, then simply install EE into the VM.
Takes about 20 minutes in total to create a new base server and install EE + WordPress, and once the base server template exists it can be cloned multiple times in the future (taking only a few minutes to set up each new server).
I’ve never tried doing this in other types of localhost environment, but if you use a Mac then there are some basic instructions here.
It should in theory be a similar process as the VMWare/Vagrant combination I’m using in other localhost machines set up in MAMP or XAMPP etc, as long as you stick to the basic requirements that EE has. i.e, Ubuntu version 12.04 , 14.04, 16.04, 18.04 and Debian 7 & 8.
You only need a very basic installation, and the EE installation script will take care of everything else you need.