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Installing MySQL

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So you want to take the plunge and install MySQL on your system? It's not as difficult as you might think. In fact, if you're using a popular operating system, you can probably bypass the intricate compilation process and download a ready-to-install binary file.

The first step in installing MySQL is to make sure that MySQL supports your operating system. If you're a Microsoft user, that means any version of Windows later than Windows 95. Users of other operating systems should consult the Operating Systems Supported by MySQL.

Next, you'll need to choose the version of MySQL that you'd like to install. As of this writing, the most recent production version is MySQL 4.1. You'll probably find that there have been several minor releases that follow the release of 4.1. These will be indicated by adding a third number to the filename. For example, as of October 31, 2004, the current release is 4.1.7. In general, you should select the highest numbered release that doesn't have the word "alpha" "beta" or "gamma" after it. Those keywords indicate pre-release versions of MySQL that are currently being tested by the open source community.

Then it's time to download the correct file! You can obtain a complete listing of available MySQL downloads from the MySQL site. Select the file that corresponds to the version you wish to install and your operating system. Note that unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, you should select the "standard" version. If you're attempting to install MySQL on a non-supported operating system, you'll need to download the source files instead. Note that this is not a process suggested for beginners. In fact, if you aren't familiar with the word "compile," steer clear of this process.

Once you've downloaded the correct file, you'll need to follow the installation procedures for your operating system. You can find common OS instructions using the links below: That's all there is to it! In the next page of this article, we take a look at configuring MySQL on a Windows system.
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