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MySQL Installation & Configuration

I recently downloaded the open source version of MySQL & MyODBC (binaries not source code) to practice with before buying the commercial version.

I am running Windows XP Professional with all critical fixes & patches installed on my PC.

I have no DBA background and I have not used a command line interface to any significant degree since Win95 days.

Can anyone give me simple instructions on how to configure MySQL so that I can start using it. Don't assume I know anything:)

As an alternative, can anyone recommend a book that will help me along these lines; again, a beginners text.


Todd D. Levy

TOdd D. Levy
Saturday, September 13, 2003

When I have used MySQL in the past, their online documentation has been fairly decent. If you want to know how to setup a login, it is in the contents, if you want to know the format of an insert, it is in the contents.

The link has some online books as well, but I have been able to get by with their online documentation.

BTW - Isn't your time worth paying a little extra for an MS SQL Server license? Reason I ask is because SQL Server does really well with little maintenance/management for average work and is windows user friendly. Their main tool for management is Enterprise Manager, which IMO is much more polished than what you will find for MySQL. To be sure, I am not saying SQL Server is better than MySQL, but for non-DBA-windows users (as I think you are describing yourself), it might be a better fit.

Good Luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2003

"Reason I ask is because SQL Server does really well with little maintenance/management for average work and is windows user friendly. "

The reason I'd ask is because MySql is still a limited rdbms.  Does it even have ATOMICITY yet? 

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Todd, what is your goal?
Are you trying to learn SQL? Trying to learn MySQL? Trying to learn "databases"?

I'm concerned because you mention paying for it, and I believe that you only have to pay for it if you plan to use it commercially.

So your question sounds something like someone going to an auto aficianado's forum and asking "How do I get my formula 1 racer moving? I'd like to figure it out before I buy one..." - that you're trying to dive into something that could really hurt you (producing a commercial database product before you even know how to run a query)

So - enlighten us! What's your motivation?


Sunday, September 14, 2003

MySQL is also free for commercial use. You only cannot modify or distribute it if your own code is not GPL.

The MySQL manual contains installation instructions.

Here's another guide:

You can use the WinMySQLAdmin application that comes with MySQL on windows. It is in the bin folder. But be warned, it is kind of crappy. To modify databases I prefer to run phpmyadmin in a local web server.

jan Derk
Sunday, September 14, 2003

To back up 'm's suggestion to look into Microsoft SQL Server (if you're intersted in RDBMS's in general as opposed to MySQL specifically) it's worth noting that a developer license is only $49 - although it's called "Developer Edition" it's actually the full monty. There's also the 120-day evaluation version.

You can download Oracle's database servers for development purposes, for free. Although you may find it a little more painful admin'ing it.

Duncan Smart
Sunday, September 14, 2003

Dont forget MSDE 2000, it's the SQL Server "Lite" edition (a throttled SQL Server, 2GB max, 5 users optimal).

You can use it free when you build your app with any of the MS developers tools. And it responds to any of the MS or third-party management tools for SQL Server...

If you've downloaded the .NET SDK, you've already got it installed on your box...

Gary Pupurs
Sunday, September 14, 2003

----"If you've downloaded the .NET SDK, you've already got it installed on your box... "-----

You've already got it on your box if you 've got Office 2000, and it's running at start up, and quite likely allowing your machine to be infected by a load of Trojans.


Stephen Jones
Sunday, September 14, 2003

Stephen, join me - let's imagine a world where some people don't seize every opportunity to make off-topic backhanded comments against Microsoft or their technology. Where, if someone asks about help with learning databases, the replies generally focus on, now bear with me here - helping that person learn databases.

I know it's a radical thought, but just try to picture what it would be like if a thread that's not about viruses or ABM doesn't actually contain references to those things....

And mind you, it's not just the "Microsoft su><ors" stuff; I would think it would be a happier place if some of the "linux doesn't belong on the desktop, use MS" or "Steve Jobs blows goats" off-topic mudslinging was kept down as well. But that doesn't seem to happen like the urban blight of "Gates is the antichrist" stuff seems to...


Sunday, September 14, 2003

I'll stop making snide comments about MS when it's MS and not me that has to go around clearing up the mess caused by tens of million machines needllessly running SQL desktop.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, September 14, 2003


I had no idea you personally cleaned up that whole mess.  That's pretty impressive.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Maybe not, but it goddam feels like it!

Today and yesterday was Lovesan day. Get into work on Saturday (here the week runs Saturday to Wednesday) and find my machine infected with Lovesan. The anti-virus has caught it but the problem is having enough time to do the system32 folder scan before the RPC crash restarts the machine. After a dozen attempts succeed, and then go to clean the registry, and download the patch, and install it.

An hour later get another call, from one of my two bosses, and go off to uninfect his machine, and download the anti-virus. In the afternoon the two lecturers who liase with the computer department over the databases call me because they have the same problem.

Now remember I'm not a sysadmin and have a full time job that has nothing to do with computers, in which I have never received any training whatsoever. The next day I check out the other machine in the office for my two officemates. Running slow inexplicably, but it turns out it wasn't Lovesan. However, I get a rare and unfortunate attack of civic responsibility and decide to patch the machine anyway. It's a W2K machine (the others were XP) so I go to the MS download centre to get the W2K patch and find it needs Service Pack 2 installed first, and the machine was installed with SP1 and hasn't been updated. So I go to the download centre and download all 127MB of Service Pack 4 - takes 7 hours, and it's a miracle it doesn't abort, but I'm getting the nice warm glow all responsible cyber citizens should have. Then I install it. The fun starts. On reboot I get a Stop error, "unhandled exception L8120.pr2" or something like that. Try reboot, try safe mode, try last known good, get out the W2K CD, try repair, and still get the stop message. Finally I manage to restore all the old system files, and the macnine boots. I now have a machine that reports itself as SP4 but has some or all of its system files SP1 so I try to uninstall SP4. Missing something or other, and also Outlook insists it needs reinstalling but I get access denied to the folder on the HD that the setup files reside it. Reseeting perimissions to everybody can do everything on the HD does the trick, combined with extracting all the SP4 files from the .exe, and two hours later (and two and a half hours after my finishing time) the machine is back where it was at seven in the morning.

Now, what really bugs me is the unnecessary work caused by somebody at MS thinking he's clever. Why on earth does SQL desktop run when you install Office Professionall? How many office users need it. Even the majority of part-time Access programmers don't use it so don't run it at start-up. The same goes for the Windows Debug Manager (WDM) which Office 2000 fires up at start up, even though it's doubtful if 0.1% know what to do with it, and it probably only 0.01% would be able to solve the particular problem with it. Well it doesn't do any harm? Yes it does; Britannia 2000 (I think I've got the version right) uses IE to run, and a bug in their code brings up the goddam debug manager, and prevents you from starting the program. Took me 45 minutes to realize the solution was to stop WDM running at start up, but plenty of people must simply have chuded the CD away.

And Office 2000 has other examples of complete disregard for the end user. You set it up to run all from the Hard disk, but it still doesn't enable everything, and time and time again it asks you for the CD, which you quite likely haven't got, or is with the sysadmin in another building, and he's clocked off for the weekend. We had a lecturer at work who dealt with recrutiment for the electrical engineering department. For months he used his Yahoo mail for everything even though we had a college mail server, because he didn't have Outlook set up, and when I tried to set it up I found it asked for the CD, and I only had the English ones, and it wouldn't even accept another Office 2000 Arabic CE - it had to have the exact CD that it was originally installed with.

Now, I have spoken on this forum highly of MS software, particulary Access, and I have specced a new training centre to use SQLServer instead of My SQL or Oracle, but unlike some who are so far up Bill Gates's 'arse that their neck sticks out of his mouth (which explains why they appear to be speaking for him) there are certain aspects of its behaviour that deserve all the criticism they get (even on days when I'm in a good mood).

Stephen Jones
Sunday, September 14, 2003

Back to the topic at hand, Todd, you will find a number of very good tutorials at as well.

If you downloaded binaries though, getting the database running is as simple as running the install scrip, then starting up their little admin program and starting the server.  It should have been installed somewhere on your start menu.

I've never compared it side by side with SQL Server, but I've used both and so long as your needs are simple I think that MySQL is a fine little database.  I've written a lot of software using it.

Clay Dowling
Sunday, September 14, 2003

People, People, People,

I appreciate the advice; at that which was on topic.

I will certainly look into MS SQL (can't beat a $49 developer edition - does this allow me to distribute commercially?) and Oracle, but I have specific reasons for my interest in MySQL.

In any case, this is exactly what I had in mind:

This is very basic, simple, and does not assume I know anything.

Thanks again,

Todd D. Levy

Todd D. Levy
Sunday, September 14, 2003

As far as I know, the MSDE desktop version of sql server does NOT get installed by default. In fact, it is a separate install.

As for MySql. I found that is installed, loaded, and ran perfectly the first time around. You can also download a GUI to create and manage tables. In fact, I was very impressed how easy it was to setup and run MySql. This “ease” is not doubt a large reason for it popularity.

In fact, that GUI has icons that look JUST LIKE the ones from ms-access. Clearly, the folks at MySql have a great attitude and are willing to grab anything that will help in terms of familiarity. Here is a screen shot of the MySql manager, then a screen shot of ms-access. Notice how many of the icons are EXACTLY the same.

These MySql folks are quite smart, as most Open Souce people would not even consider using the same icons!

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Albert D. kallal
Sunday, September 14, 2003

Dear Albert,
                  You may be right; I can't find it running on a couple of Office 2000 machines I've checked.

                  But I've had it running on the laptop (presumably courtesy of VB.NET) and on the home desktop,, where I did not install VB.NET, so whatever triggers the install it is not always a conscious decision by the user.

Stephen Jones
Monday, September 15, 2003

I've installed both Office XP and Visual Studio .NET at home and neither installed the MSDE - I had to do it explicitly. I also stop the service when I don't need it.

John Topley (
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I know Visio Enterprise (or something) used to install MSDE. The .NET SDK definitely does not. Visual Studio 2002 did if you left the checkbox checked, VS.NET 2003 doesn't install it.

Duncan Smart
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

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