On the NT family (Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003), the recommended way to run MySQL is to install it as a Windows service. With the MySQL server installed as a service, Windows starts and stops it server automatically when Windows starts and stops. A MySQL server installed as a service can also be controlled from the command line using NET commands, or with the graphical Services utility. Generally, to install MySQL as a Windows service you should be logged in using an account that has administrator rights.
The Services utility (the Windows Service Control Manager) can be found in the Windows Control Panel (under Administrative Tools on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Server 2003). To avoid conflicts, it is advisable to close the Services utility while performing server installation or removal operations from the command line.
Before installing MySQL as a Windows service, you should first stop the current server if it is running by using the following command:
C:\mysql\bin\mysqladmin -u root shutdown
If the MySQL
root user account has a
password, you need to invoke mysqladmin
-p option and supply the password
This command invokes the MySQL administrative utility
mysqladmin to connect to the server and tell
it to shut down. The command connects as the MySQL
root user, which is the default
administrative account in the MySQL grant system. Note that
users in the MySQL grant system are wholly independent from any
login users under Windows.
Install the server as a service using this command:
The service-installation command does not start the server. Instructions for that are given later in this section.
Before MySQL 4.0.2, no command-line arguments can be given
--install option. MySQL 4.0.2 and
up offers limited support for additional arguments:
You can specify a service name immediately following the
--install option. The default service name
As of MySQL 4.0.3, if a service name is given, it can be
followed by a single option. By convention, this should be
to specify the name of an option file from which the server
should read options when it starts.
The use of a single option other than
--defaults-file is possible
--defaults-file is more
flexible because it enables you to specify multiple startup
options for the server by placing them in the named option
For a MySQL server that is installed as a Windows service, the following rules determine the service name and option files that the server uses:
If the service-installation command specifies no service
name or the default service name (
--install option, the server
uses the a service name of
reads options from the
[mysqld] group in
the standard option files.
If the service-installation command specifies a service name
MySQL following the
--install option, the server uses that
service name. It reads options from the group that has the
same name as the service, and reads options from the
standard option files.
As of MySQL 4.0.17, the server also reads options from the
[mysqld] group from the standard option
files. This enables you to use the
[mysqld] group for options that should be
used by all MySQL services, and an option group with the
same name as a service for use by the server installed with
that service name.
If the service-installation command specifies a
--defaults-file option after
the service name, the server reads options only from the
[mysqld] group of the named file and
ignores the standard option files.
As a more complex example, consider the following command:
C:\mysql\bin\mysqld --install MySQL --defaults-file=C:\my-opts.cnf
Here, the default service name (
given after the
--install option. If no
--defaults-file option had been
given, this command would have the effect of causing the server
to read the
[mysqld] group from the standard
option files. However, because the
--defaults-file option is
present, the server reads options from the
[mysqld] option group, and only from the
You can also specify options in Start parameters in the Windows Services utility before you start the MySQL service.
Prior to MySQL 4.0.17, a server installed as a Windows service
has problems starting if its path name or the service name
contains spaces. For this reason, with older versions, avoid
installing MySQL in a directory such as
Files or using a service name containing spaces.
Once a MySQL server has been installed as a service, Windows starts the service automatically whenever Windows starts. The service also can be started immediately from the Services utility, or by using a NET START MySQL command. The NET command is not case sensitive.
When run as a service, mysqld has no access
to a console window, so no messages can be seen there. If
mysqld does not start, check the error log to
see whether the server wrote any messages there to indicate the
cause of the problem. The error log is located in the MySQL data
directory (for example,
is the file with a suffix of
When a MySQL server has been installed as a service, and the
service is running, Windows stops the service automatically when
Windows shuts down. The server also can be stopped manually by
Services utility, the NET
STOP MySQL command, or the mysqladmin
From MySQL 3.23.44 on, you have the choice of installing the
server as a Manual service if you do not
wish the service to be started automatically during the boot
process. To do this, use the
option rather than the
To remove a server that is installed as a service, first stop it
if it is running by executing NET STOP MySQL.
Then use the
--remove option to remove it:
For MySQL versions older than 3.23.49, one problem with
automatic MySQL service shutdown is that Windows waited only for
a few seconds for the shutdown to complete, and then killed the
database server process if the time limit was exceeded. This had
the potential to cause problems. (For example, the
InnoDB storage engine would have to perform
crash recovery at the next startup.) Starting from MySQL
3.23.49, Windows waits longer for the MySQL server shutdown to
complete. If you notice this still is not enough for your
installation, it is safest not to run the MySQL server as a
service. Instead, start it from the command-line prompt, and
stop it with mysqladmin shutdown.
This change to tell Windows to wait longer when stopping the
MySQL server works for Windows 2000 and XP. It does not work for
Windows NT, where Windows waits only 20 seconds for a service to
shut down, and after that kills the service process. You can
increase this default by opening the Registry
\winnt\system32\regedt32.exe) and editing
the value of
in the Registry tree. Specify the new larger value in
milliseconds. For example, the value
tells Windows NT to wait up to 120 seconds.
If mysqld is not running as a service, you can start it from the command line. For instructions, see Section 2.3.10, “Starting MySQL from the Windows Command Line”.
Please see Section 2.3.13, “Troubleshooting a MySQL Installation Under Windows”, if you encounter difficulties during installation.