MySQL 8.4 C API Developer Guide  /  MySQL C API Implementations

Chapter 2 MySQL C API Implementations

The MySQL C API is a C-based API that client applications written in C can use to communicate with MySQL Server. Client programs refer to C API header files at compile time and link to a C API library file, libmysqlclient, at link time.

To obtain the C API header and library files required to build C API client programs, install a MySQL Server distribution.

You can install a binary distribution that contains the C API files pre-built, or you can use a MySQL Server source distribution and build the C API files yourself. Building MySQL Server also builds libmysqlclient; see Installing MySQL from Source. It cannot be built alone, but configuring with the optional -DWITHOUT_SERVER=ON CMake option is related.

The names of the library files to use when linking C API client applications depend on the library type and platform for which a distribution is built:

  • On Unix (and Unix-like) systems, the static library is libmysqlclient.a. The dynamic library is on most Unix systems and libmysqlclient.dylib on macOS.

  • On Windows, the static library is mysqlclient.lib and the dynamic library is libmysql.dll. Windows distributions also include libmysql.lib, a static import library needed for using the dynamic library.

    Windows distributions also include a set of debug libraries. These have the same names as the nondebug libraries, but are located in the lib/debug library. You must use the debug libraries when compiling clients built using the debug C runtime.

On Unix, you may also see libraries that include _r in the names. Before MySQL 5.5, these were built as thread-safe (re-entrant) libraries separately from the non-_r libraries. As of 5.5, both libraries are the same and the _r names are symbolic links to the corresponding non-_r names. There is no need to use the _r libraries. For example, if you use mysql_config to obtain linker flags, you can use mysql_config --libs in all cases, even for threaded clients. There is no need to use mysql_config --libs_r.