Choosing a Distribution Format
After choosing which version of MySQL to install, you should decide whether to use a binary
distribution or a source distribution. In most cases, you should probably use a binary distribution, if one
exists for your platform. Binary distributions are available in native format for many platforms, such as
RPM packages for Linux, DMG packages for Mac OS X, and PKG packages for Solaris. Distributions
are also available in more generic formats such as Zip archives or compressed tar files.
Reasons to choose a binary distribution include the following:
• Binary distributions generally are easier to install than source distributions.
• To satisfy different user requirements, we provide several servers in binary distributions. mysqld
is an optimized server that is a smaller, faster binary. mysqld-debug is compiled with debugging
Each of these servers is compiled from the same source distribution, though with different
configuration options. All native MySQL clients can connect to servers from either MySQL version.
Under some circumstances, you may be better off installing MySQL from a source distribution:
• You want to install MySQL at some explicit location. The standard binary distributions are ready
to run at any installation location, but you might require even more flexibility to place MySQL
components where you want.
• You want to configure mysqld to ensure that features are available that might not be included in the
standard binary distributions. Here is a list of the most common extra options that you may want to
use to ensure feature availability:
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