This section provides guidelines for compiling C programs that use the MySQL C API.
The examples here use gcc as the compiler. A different compiler might be appropriate on some systems (for example, clang on macOS or FreeBSD, or Sun Studio on Solaris). Adjust the examples as necessary.
You may need to specify an
-I option when you
compile client programs that use MySQL header files, so that the
compiler can find them. For example, if the header files are
this option in the compile command:
You can link your code with either the dynamic or static MySQL C
client library. The dynamic library base name is
libmysqlclient and the suffix differs by
platform (for example,
.so for Linux,
.dylib for macOS). The static library is
libmysqlclient.a on all platforms.
MySQL clients must be linked using the
-lmysqlclient option in the link command. You
may also need to specify a
-L option to tell
the linker where to find the library. For example, if the
library is installed in
/usr/local/mysql/lib, use these options in
the link command:
The path names may differ on your system. Adjust the
-L options as
To make it simpler to compile MySQL programs on Unix, use the mysql_config script. See mysql_config — Display Options for Compiling Clients.
mysql_config displays the options needed for compiling or linking:
mysql_config --cflags mysql_config --libs
You can invoke those commands at the command line to get the proper options and add them manually to compilation or link commands. Alternatively, include the output from mysql_config directly within command lines using backticks:
gcc -c `mysql_config --cflags` progname.c gcc -o progname progname.o `mysql_config --libs`
On Unix, linking uses dynamic libraries by default. To link to
the static client library instead, add its path name to the link
command. For example, if the library is located in
/usr/local/mysql/lib, link like this:
gcc -o progname progname.o /usr/local/mysql/lib/libmysqlclient.a
Or use mysql_config to provide the path to the library:
gcc -o progname progname.o `mysql_config --variable=pkglibdir`/libmysqlclient.a
mysql_config does not currently provide a way
to list all libraries needed for static linking, so it might be
necessary to name additional libraries on the link command (for
-lnsl -lsocket on Solaris). To get
an idea which libraries to add, use mysql_config
--libs and ldd libmysqlclient.so
(or otool -L libmysqlclient.dylib on macOS).
To specify header and library file locations, use the facilities provided by your development environment.
To build C API clients on Windows, you must link in the C client library, as well as the Windows ws2_32 sockets library and Secur32 security library.
You can link your code with either the dynamic or static MySQL C client library:
The dynamic library is named
libmysql.dll. In addition, the
libmysql.libstatic import library is needed for using the dynamic library.
The static library is named
mysqlclient.lib. To link with the static C client library, the client application must be compiled with the same version of Visual Studio used to compile the C client library (which is Visual Studio 2010 for the static C client library built by Oracle).
When using the Oracle-built MySQL C client library, follow these rules when it comes to linking the C runtime for your client application:
For the MySQL C client library from a Community distribution of MySQL:
For MySQL 5.6.36 and higher: Always link dynamically to the C runtime (use the
/MDcompiler option), whether you are linking to the static or dynamic C client library. Also, target hosts running the client application must have the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2010 installed. The redistributable packages are available at the Microsoft Download Center.
For MySQL 5.6.35 and lower:
If linking to the static C client library, link statically to the C runtime (use the
If linking to the dynamic C client library, link either statically or dynamically to the C runtime (use either
For the MySQL C client library from a Commercial distribution of MySQL:
In general, when linking to a static MySQL C client library, the
client library and the client application must use the same
compiler options when it comes to linking the C
runtime—that is, if your C client library is compiled with
/MT option, your client application
should also be compiled with the
and so on (see
MSDN page describing the C library linking options for
more details). Follow this rule when you build your own static
MySQL C client library from a source distribution of MySQL and
link your client application to it.
Debug Mode: Because of the
just-mentioned linking rule, you cannot build your
application in debug mode (with the
/MDd compiler option) and link it to a
static C client library built by Oracle, which is
not built with the debug options.
Instead, you must build the static client library from
source with the debug options.
The MySQL client library includes SSL support built in. If your
-lcrypto from the OpenSSL libraries at link
time, you must specify them before
If the linker cannot find the MySQL client library, you might
get undefined-reference errors for symbols that start with
mysql_, such as those shown here:
/tmp/ccFKsdPa.o: In function `main': /tmp/ccFKsdPa.o(.text+0xb): undefined reference to `mysql_init' /tmp/ccFKsdPa.o(.text+0x31): undefined reference to `mysql_real_connect' /tmp/ccFKsdPa.o(.text+0x69): undefined reference to `mysql_error' /tmp/ccFKsdPa.o(.text+0x9a): undefined reference to `mysql_close'
You should be able to solve this problem by adding
-L at the end of your link command, where
dir_path represents the path name of
the directory where the client library is located. To determine
the correct directory, try this command:
The output from mysql_config might indicate other libraries that should be specified on the link command as well. You can include mysql_config output directly in your compile or link command using backticks. For example:
gcc -o progname progname.o `mysql_config --libs`
If an error occurs at link time that the
floor symbol is undefined, link to the math
library by adding
-lm to the end of the
compile/link line. Similarly, if you get undefined-reference
errors for other functions that should exist on your system,
connect(), check the manual page for
the function in question to determine which libraries you should
add to the link command.
If you get undefined-reference errors such as the following for functions that do not exist on your system, it usually means that your MySQL client library was compiled on a system that is not 100% compatible with yours:
mf_format.o(.text+0x201): undefined reference to `__lxstat'
In this case, you should download a source distribution for the latest version of MySQL and compile the MySQL client library yourself. See Installing MySQL from Source.