MySQL Windows installer mess.

It now seems impossible to maintain different ‘major’ MySQL servers on the same Windows machine using automated installers.  Refer: and . This is an unnecesssary (and stupid) limitation/regression.  Windows perfectly handles multiple MySQL versions at a time without use of Unix utilities like ‘mysql-multi’ or ‘mysql sandbox’, if only basedir, datadir, port and service names are distinct. Unix-people in MySQL organization (no matter the changing ownerships) never seem never to have understood this (I have had discussions with various MySQL people over the last 5-6 years about same and what came out was mostly sheer ignorance about Windows).

Todd Farmer blogged this (but it appeared only one week after the change actually took change – and MySQL 5.6.6 documentation has no record of it).   I actually tried to comment in Todd’s blog.  The comment was not approved as he mailed me back that he would not accept the word ‘idiot’ in his blog.  I never used the word ‘idiot’ however.  I used the word ‘idiocy’ (and I really mean it!) .

Todd’s own blog says  “I ran into a few rough edges while testing (the Windows service created could not be started, and a datadir was created in two different locations”.  And in his mail to me he explained “My testing is done on an incredibly dirty system, and I was trying explicitly to break the product.”.  Well .. it seems that I have a *very* ‘dirty system’ too then (as nothing works for me either).  Todd simply admits that it does not work, and still it is supposed to be an ‘improvement’.  Incredible!  Probably everybody has a ‘dirty system’ after upgrading MySQL a few times – or what else does a ‘dirty system’ mean in a Windows context?

Bottomline: MySQL installers for Windows have simply stopped working if you have ‘a little more than trivial’ setup.

I am not in doubt that a major reason for changing the installer concept  is that Oracle wants to promote Workbench.  This is no problem and also legitimate (our postion to the  “arsenal of GUI tools” MySQL have released over the years appears here


My advice for the time-being: Forget about MySQL installers for Windows for as long as above-mentioned bugs are not fixed.  They will waste your time. Learn how to install MySQL using “mysqld -install servicename” command and remove it with “sc delete servicename” command. It is pretty easy.  But unfortunately lots of Windows users will not do.  They expect a Windows program to be installed by doubleclicking an installer placed on the desktop. PERIOD!

Alternatively use MariaDB.  Here the Windows installers work as expected –  each major version is independent of others.


MySQL/Oracle never did Microsoft/SQL Server a bigger favour than when now introducing this new installer (crap).



Add yours
  1. 1
    Shlomi Noach

    That’s a pity. If there was one thing where Windows users could look down upon Unix users in the MySQL world – it is the oh-so-simple-and-working installer. Multi instance installations in Unix are, and always were, a mess.

    “Idiot” or “Idiocy” – both are unpleasent. “foolishness” would be nicer.

    BTW, I’m trying 10 different CAPTCHA here, and can’t identify the letters…

  2. 3
    Mike Zinner

    Hi Peter. It’s great that you are doing very active testing of our products and you are one of our most important bug reporters. We are glad that you hit a serious bug in a multi-MySQL-version setup that slipped through our QA – we are already working on a fix for it.

    Sadly this bug prevented you from seeing the bigger picture and the basic idea of the MySQL Installer. Let me try to give you a brief insight into our vision going forward.

    MySQL on Windows is becoming more than “just” the most popular open source database running on port 3306. With new tools like MySQL for Excel and MySQL Notifier we are expanding the scope of MySQL beyond the focus of developers. MySQL is turning into a fully featured solution for data management – regardless if you are a developer, data analyst or end user. And this will definitely benfit 3rd party providers of great software like Webyog. You might want to watch my introduction video here

    To reach a broader range of users we have to make sure that installing the full MySQL setup is extremely intuitive and straight forward. If we lose somebody at install-time they go somewhere else. As Shlomi Noach is pointing out above – the MySQL installation experience on Windows has always been quite good already based on the individual installers. To simplify things even more we are now moving to a “single-file” download and installation experience.

    It has always been very easy to install several MySQL versions on one machine as we treat major MySQL Server versions as different MSI products. This way it is possible to install MySQL 5.5 in parallel to MySQL 5.6. But in order to keep those different versions updated you had to check for available updates manually and you needed to download separate installers every time a new version was out.

    The new MySQL Installer radically simplifies this process. There is only one single instance of the MySQL Installer on your system – but it knows about all MySQL products available and locally installed. Updating *all* your installed products can be done in one single step. The installer can check for updates, download and perform the updates. Same is true for installing new products.

    And you don’t even have to keep checking for updates manually. The MySQL Notifier is tightly integrated with the MySQL Installer and notifies you about new available updates if you want to.

    Please keep watching out for new releases of the MySQL Installer and also keep testing and reporting bugs. As long as you are not seeing the vision above implemented we have work to do. Your contribution to the MySQL community is very valuable and I am sure the changes we are introducing with MySQL 5.6 will not only help to make MySQL even more popular but also benefit everybody in the MySQL ecosystem.

  3. 6
    Hugh H. Sands
    “MySQL Installer is compatible with pre-existing installations, and adds them to its list of installed components. And while the MySQL Installer is bundled with a specific version of MySQL Server, a single MySQL Installer instance can install and manage multiple MySQL Server versions. For example, a single MySQL Installer instance can install versions 5.1, 5.5, and 5.6. It can also manage both commercial and community versions of the MySQL Server.”

    Just wondering how a single installer instance, bundled with a specific version of MySQL, can install other server versions without a menu where you can choose

    I downloaded 5.5.28 installer and tried in an XP machine with 5.1 version installed. It entered in maintenance mode offering to upgrade the current version, I didn’t see a way to install 5.5 or any other one

  4. 7

    I found this discussion while looking for solution of another problem. I dont have admin access on my desktop, and that’s the corporate policy which can’t be changed. As the result, I cannot install MySQL. The installler stuff is great, for all billions of users around the world, if it works. But if it doesn’t work, you are lost. It would be great to have an alternative, just for few suckers like myself.

  5. 8
    Todd Farmer


    A late reply to your comment, but thought it worth noting that there certainly is an alternative to Windows Installer, and that’s the no-install .ZIP packages:

    I’m also not sure that the difference between the stand-alone .MSI packages and the Installer (also a .MSI package, which bootstraps .MSI packages for components like MySQL Server) that Peter is commenting on here affects you – seems you need admin privileges, either way.

    Because I frequently spin up a specific version for limited testing purposes, I often prefer using the .ZIP no-install packages over a full-blown Installer deployment. For more permanent deployments, the Installer is my preference.

  6. 9

    Since this discussion is not completely dead yet, let me add that on two different systems – a 32 bit system and a 64 bit system – with previous (5.1, 5.5) version(s) installed, I was able to install 5.6.10 with the ‘integrated installer’ succesfully and without corrupting the existing installations. One of the two systems is the laptop where I experienced the problems described with previous versions of the installer(s). One of the installations was an upgrade from 5.6.9 and the other a fresh installation.

    I was actually surprised not to bump into any problem at all this time! So maybe the ‘mess’ has now finally stopped. We can hope!

  7. 10

    I am here because Google returned this page high on a search “MySQL Installer stopped working” when trying to run the mysql-installer-community- file.

    No other details were provided about the error.

    It seems Oracle, or Windows 7, or both still have a problem.

  8. 12
    Nazim Ansari

    I got this blog while searching for another problem in mysql. i successfully installed mysql 5.6 in my machine but when i started mysql workbench and just created a schema then after clicking apply i got my cursor revolving round and round and round and after some times it’s popped up mysql is not responding.
    I tried many times but got the same problem. Then i completely removed it and reinstalled it also but still facing the same problem. Then i tried to install the older version of mysql on which i was working previously using olde mysql installer that i already had, but now it can’t download the four products and these are mysql server 5.6.10, connector/odbc 5.2.4, connector/C++ 1.1.2 and connector/J 5.1.23 .
    I was using mysql from 3 years very well but now i am stuck. So plz give me some solution here, ASAP.
    Thank you

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