MySQL – MariaDB – The Software

Installing an FTP server

At the heart of what is collectively known as MySQL and MariaDB is the server. The term server in this context refers to software, not a primary computer on which it may be running. The server maintains, controls, and protects your data, storing it in files on the computer where the server is running in various formats. The server listens for requests from other software that is running (called clients in this context). The term client refers to software, not a computer. A client and server software may be running on the same computer, which can be a personal laptop computer.

We’ll start by using a command-line client where you type in requests manually. Then we’ll graduate to issuing the requests from programs that can back up web servers and other uses for the data. It’s not necessary for you to know all of the files and programs that make up MySQL. There are, though, a few key ones of which you should be aware.

One key program is the server itself, mysqld (the d
stands for daemon and is a common term for a server).
The name is the same in both MySQL and MariaDB. This daemon must be running in order for
users to be able to access data and make changes. As an administrator, you have the
ability to configure and set mysqld to suit your database system needs. The
daemon is mentioned where relevant in various chapters throughout this book.

Another key program, used extensively through this book, is the basic MySQL client, called
simply, mysql. With it, you can interact with the mysqld
daemon, and thereby the databases. It’s a textual user interface. There’s nothing fancy
about it—a mouse is not needed to use it. You simply type in the SQL statements that you
will learn about in this book. The results of queries are displayed in ASCII text. It’s
very clean looking, but no graphics are involved. It’s also very fast, as there’s
nothing but text (i.e., there are no binaries or image files). We’ll cover this in Chapter 3. There are GUI clients available, but because most
MySQL developers and administrators prefer the mysql client, and what you
type in mysql is the same as what is passed to the server by a GUI client,
I cover it exclusively.

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