In this chapter, Vikram discusses how to obtain, install, configure, and test the MySQL server on Unix and Windows. It also explains the differences between the different MySQL sever versions available, with a view to helping you select the right one for your needs. This excerpt comes from chapter three of MySQL: The Complete Reference, by Vikram Vaswani (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, ISBN 0-07-222477-0, 2004).
One of the nicer things about MySQL is the fact that itís an open-source application licensed under the General Public License (GPL); users are encouraged to download, modify, and use it free of charge. This open licensing policy has played an important role in MySQLís widespread acceptance and popularity in the developer community; according to statistics published on the MySQL web site, MySQL is in use at more than 4 million sites worldwide, with more than 25,000 copies of the MySQL database server downloaded every day!
In this chapter, Iím going to help add to those numbers, by taking you through the process of obtaining, installing, configuring, and testing the MySQL server on your workstation. This chapter covers installation of both binary and source versions on UNIX and Microsoft Windows, and it also explains the differences between the MySQL server versions available, with a view to helping you select the right one for your needs.
The first order of business is to drop by the official MySQL web site (http://www.mysql.com/downloads/mysql.html) and get yourself a copy of the last stable release of the software. This isnít necessarily as easy as it sounds--like ice-cream, MySQL comes in many flavors, and youíll need to select the one thatís most appropriate for your needs.
Youíll need to make two primary decisions when selecting which MySQL distribution to download and use:
Choosing which version to install
Choosing between binary and source distributions
Choosing Which Version to Install
MySQL AB currently makes the following two versions of the MySQL database server available on its web site:
MySQL Standard This is the standard version of the MySQL database server, which includes support for both the regular, non-transactional tables and the newer, transaction-safe tables. It is suited for production environments requiring a stable, flexible, and robust database engine.
MySQL Max This version includes the feature set of the standard version, together with newer, more experimental capabilities. It is not always best suited for production environments, since it usually includes a fair share of not-completely-stable enhancements.
Both these versions of MySQL are licensed under the GPL and may be freely downloaded and used under the terms of that license.
In most cases, MySQL Standard is the version you should use--itís the version used in all the examples in this book, and itís stable, feature-rich, and well-suited for most common applications. You should select MySQL Max only if that version includes new features that you need or are keen to try out--or if youíre a geek with a penchant for living life on the bleeding edge all the time.
Remember: this is chapter three of MySQL: The Complete Reference, by Vikram Vaswani (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, ISBN 0-07-222477-0, 2004). Vikram is the founder of Melonfire, and has had numerous articles featured on Dev Shed. Buy this book now.