mysql_config provides you with useful information for compiling your MySQL client and connecting it to MySQL. It is a shell script, so it is available only on Unix and Unix-like systems.
pkg-config can be used as an alternative to mysql_config for obtaining information such as compiler flags or link libraries required to compile MySQL applications. For more information, see Building C API Client Programs Using pkg-config.
mysql_config supports the following options.
C Compiler flags to find include files and critical compiler flags and defines used when compiling the
libmysqlclientlibrary. The options returned are tied to the specific compiler that was used when the library was created and might clash with the settings for your own compiler. Use
--includefor more portable options that contain only include paths.
--cflags, but for C++ compiler flags.
Compiler options to find MySQL include files.
Libraries and options required to link with the MySQL client library.
Libraries and options required to link with the thread-safe MySQL client library. In MySQL 8.0, all client libraries are thread-safe, so this option need not be used. The
--libsoption can be used in all cases.
The default plugin directory path name, defined when configuring MySQL.
The default TCP/IP port number, defined when configuring MySQL.
The default Unix socket file, defined when configuring MySQL.
Display the value of the named configuration variable. Permitted
pkgincludedir(the header file directory),
pkglibdir(the library directory), and
plugindir(the plugin directory).
Version number for the MySQL distribution.
If you invoke mysql_config with no options, it displays a list of all options that it supports, and their values:
$> mysql_config Usage: /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql_config [options] Options: --cflags [-I/usr/local/mysql/include/mysql -mcpu=pentiumpro] --cxxflags [-I/usr/local/mysql/include/mysql -mcpu=pentiumpro] --include [-I/usr/local/mysql/include/mysql] --libs [-L/usr/local/mysql/lib/mysql -lmysqlclient -lpthread -lm -lrt -lssl -lcrypto -ldl] --libs_r [-L/usr/local/mysql/lib/mysql -lmysqlclient_r -lpthread -lm -lrt -lssl -lcrypto -ldl] --plugindir [/usr/local/mysql/lib/plugin] --socket [/tmp/mysql.sock] --port  --version [5.8.0-m17] --variable=VAR VAR is one of: pkgincludedir [/usr/local/mysql/include] pkglibdir [/usr/local/mysql/lib] plugindir [/usr/local/mysql/lib/plugin]
You can use mysql_config within a command line using backticks to include the output that it produces for particular options. For example, to compile and link a MySQL client program, use mysql_config as follows:
gcc -c `mysql_config --cflags` progname.c gcc -o progname progname.o `mysql_config --libs`