MySQL PHP API  /  Overview of the MySQL PHP drivers  /  Choosing a library

2.4 Choosing a library

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The mysqli and PDO_MySQL PHP extensions are lightweight wrappers on top of a C client library. The extensions can either use the mysqlnd library or the libmysqlclient library. Choosing a library is a compile time decision.

The mysqlnd library is part of the PHP distribution. It offers features like lazy connections and query caching, features that are not available with libmysqlclient, so using the built-in mysqlnd library is highly recommended. See the mysqlnd documentation for additional details, and a listing of features and functionality that it offers.

Example 2.2 Configure commands for using mysqlnd or libmysqlclient

// Recommended, compiles with mysqlnd
$ ./configure --with-mysqli=mysqlnd --with-pdo-mysql=mysqlnd

// Alternatively recommended, compiles with mysqlnd
$ ./configure --with-mysqli --with-pdo-mysql

// Not recommended, compiles with libmysqlclient
$ ./configure --with-mysqli=/path/to/mysql_config --with-pdo-mysql=/path/to/mysql_config


Library feature comparison

It is recommended to use the mysqlnd library instead of the MySQL Client Server library (libmysqlclient). Both libraries are supported and constantly being improved.

 MySQL native driver (mysqlnd)MySQL client server library (libmysqlclient)
Part of the PHP distributionYesNo
PHP version introduced5.3.0N/A
LicensePHP License 3.01Dual-License
Development statusActiveActive
LifecycleNo end announcedNo end announced
Compile default (for all MySQL extensions)YesNo
Compression protocol supportYesYes
SSL supportYesYes
Named pipe supportYesYes
Non-blocking, asynchronous queriesYesNo
Performance statisticsYesNo
LOAD LOCAL INFILE respects the open_basedir directiveYesNo
Uses PHP's native memory management system (e.g., follows PHP memory limits)YesNo
Return numeric column as double (COM_QUERY)YesNo
Return numeric column as string (COM_QUERY)YesYes
Plugin APIYesLimited
Read/Write splitting for MySQL ReplicationYes, with pluginNo
Load BalancingYes, with pluginNo
Fail overYes, with pluginNo
Lazy connectionsYes, with pluginNo
Query cachingYes, with pluginNo
Transparent query manipulations (E.g., auto-EXPLAIN or monitoring)Yes, with pluginNo
Automatic reconnectNoOptional