2.3. Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows

A native Windows distribution of MySQL has been available since version 3.21 and represents a sizable percentage of the daily downloads of MySQL. This section describes the process for installing MySQL on Windows.

Note

If you are upgrading MySQL from an existing installation older than MySQL 4.1.5, you must first perform the procedure described in Section 2.3.7, “Upgrading MySQL on Windows”.

To run MySQL on Windows, you need the following:

  • A Windows operating system such as Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported.

    A Windows operating system permits you to run the MySQL server as a service. See Section 2.3.5.7, “Starting MySQL as a Windows Service”.

    Generally, you should install MySQL on Windows using an account that has administrator rights. Otherwise, you may encounter problems with certain operations such as editing the PATH environment variable or accessing the Service Control Manager. Once installed, MySQL does not need to be executed using a user with Administrator privileges.

  • TCP/IP protocol support.

  • Enough space on the hard drive to unpack, install, and create the databases in accordance with your requirements (generally a minimum of 200 megabytes is recommended.)

For a list of limitations within the Windows version of MySQL, see Section E.9.3, “Windows Platform Limitations”.

There may also be other requirements, depending on how you plan to use MySQL:

MySQL for Windows is available in several distribution formats:

  • Binary distributions are available that contain a setup program that installs everything you need so that you can start the server immediately. Another binary distribution format contains an archive that you simply unpack in the installation location and then configure yourself. For details, see Section 2.3.2, “Choosing An Installation Package”.

  • The source distribution contains all the code and support files for building the executables using the Visual Studio compiler system.

Generally speaking, you should use a binary distribution that includes an installer. It is simpler to use than the others, and you need no additional tools to get MySQL up and running. The installer for the Windows version of MySQL, combined with a GUI Configuration Wizard, automatically installs MySQL, creates an option file, starts the server, and secures the default user accounts.

Caution

Using virus scanning software such as Norton/Symantec Anti-Virus on directories containing MySQL data and temporary tables can cause issues, both in terms of the performance of MySQL and the virus-scanning software mis-identifying the contents of the files as containing spam. This is because of the fingerprinting mechanism used by the virus scanning software, and the way in which MySQL rapidly updates different files, which may be identified as a potential security risk.

After installing MySQL Server, it is recommended that you disable virus scanning on the main directory (datadir) being used to store your MySQL table data. There is usually a system built into the virus scanning software to enable certain directories to be specifically ignored during virus scanning.

In addition, by default, MySQL creates temporary files in the standard Windows temporary directory. To prevent the temporary files also being scanned, you should configure a separate temporary directory for MySQL temporary files and add this to the virus scanning exclusion list. To do this, add a configuration option for the tmpdir parameter to your my.ini configuration file. For more information, see Section 2.3.5.2, “Creating an Option File”.

The following section describes how to install MySQL on Windows using a binary distribution. To use an installation package that does not include an installer, follow the procedure described in Section 2.3.5, “Installing MySQL from a Noinstall Zip Archive”. To install using a source distribution, see Section 2.11, “Installing MySQL from Source”.

MySQL distributions for Windows can be downloaded from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/. See Section 2.1.3, “How to Get MySQL”.

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