MySQL on Mac — Getting Started

Justin Chae
Mac O’Clock
Published in
7 min readJun 14, 2020

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Getting started with MySQL on a MacBook in 2020.

Photo by Barn Images on Unsplash

Notes For Me | Notes for You

I work on a project or take a self-paced course every few months that requires SQL. However, each time I get started, I forget everything about getting started. Take, for example, a sampling of just four out of many questions I ask in a sweaty panic: I just want SQL, what’s the deal with this server? What was that thing I installed last time? Which version am I running?

Although I always want to get straight to creating a table or writing a SELECT statement, the thing is, there are a few necessary steps to make things happen. As a result, and in all honesty, I’ve written these as notes to my future self on how to get started, but I share them here because I suspect some of you out there might benefit as well. As you will find below, I first wrote this story after getting set up on a MacBook Pro and updated it later after getting set up again on a Mac Mini with the M1 chip.

Operating Environment (As Originally Published)

Operating Environment (Updated in 2021)

The Things

There are a dozen-plus ways to get started with SQL on a MacBook, but I’ll cover one simple way to get started with MySQL. The two things you’ll need to install are MySQL server and one of the following tools: MySQL Workbench or SQLPro for MySQL. The one thing to remember is that you need a SQL server running on your computer and a SQL management tool connected to that server — once your two things are connected, create tables, run queries, and do whatever from the SQL management tool.

Note from the author (May 2021): This article is being updated for 2021 and for Apple M1 — check back for updates!

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Justin Chae
Mac O’Clock

Justin writes about technology, programming, and general interest topics.