How To Connect to MySQL Server?

In this tutorial, we will introduce several tools for connecting to MySQL server.

After you have installed the MySQL server, you can use any client program to connect to the MySQL server, such as mysql command-line client or some GUI tools: MySQL Workbench, phpMyAdmin, HeidiSQL and so on.

If you want to list databases or tables, query data or do anything on MySQL server, you must connect to the server first.

Mysql Command-Line Client

The mysql command-line client mysql is a simple SQL shell. You can use it to connect to server, query data from table or maintain data.

The mysql command-line client is installed by default normally. You can find it in the bin directory MySQL installation folder, such as: c:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 8.0\bin on Windows platform. It is a good idea adding the bin directory path to the PATH environment variable,and you can use mysql easily.

On Linux or MacOS platform, you can use mysql everywhere, since it is in the PATH environment variable after installation.

Follow the steps below to connect to the MySQL server using the mysql command line client:

  1. Open the CMD on windows or terminal on Linux/MacOS. Use the following command to navigate to the bin directory of the MySQL server if it is not in the PATH, or else skip this step.

    cd c:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 8.0\bin

    The location of bin directory may be different on your computer.

  2. Use the following command to connect to the MySQL server:

    mysql -u root -p

    Here, -u root means that you use root account to connect to MySQL server.

    Here, the command is used to connect the port 3306 in the localhost machine. It is default. If you want to connect to another port in another machine, you should use the -h and -P options in the command, like mysql -u root -p -h -P 3307.

    Then follow the prompts to enter the root account’s password, and press Enter. After the verification is passed, you will see the following output:

    Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
    Your MySQL connection id is 27
    Server version: 8.0.26 Homebrew
    Copyright (c) 2000, 2021, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
    Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
    affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective
    Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
  3. Use SHOW DATABASES to display all the Databases on the MySQL Server:

    mysql> show databases;
    | Database           |
    | information_schema |
    | mysql              |
    | performance_schema |
    | sakila             |
    | sys                |
    | world              |
    6 rows in set (0.00 sec)

So far, successfully connected to the MySQL server using the mysql command line client, and queried all the servers.

MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is a GUI tools of MySQL, it is available for Windows, Linux and macOS.

It is easy to create a MySQL connection. To add a connection, click the + icon to the right of the MySQL Connections title on the home screen. This opens the Setup New Connection form, as the following figure shows.

Setup New Connection in MySQL Workbench

Type Connection Name, Hostname, Port, Username and Password, and click Test Connection button. If everything is ok, it will prompt you a success tips.

Save the connection, and you can connect the MySQL server by clicking the connection name.


In this article, we introduced several tools for connecting to MySQL server, including mysql command-line client and MySQL Workbench.