MySQL Windows Download Packages

Question: MySQL for Windows has three different download packages. Which one do I download?

A user going to install a new WAMP will find that MySQL (external link) provides three download packages for Windows. Each package will set up the necessities needed for basic web programming, but the level of difficulty and included extended features varies with each package. There are three installer packages - the Essentials Package, the Complete Package, and the Noinstall Archive.

The Essentials Package

This package includes the bare essentials needed for MySQL, including an installer. If you are only going to be using MySQL with a server scripting language, such as PHP or Perl, then most likely you will not require anything excluded in the Essentials Package.

Download Essentials Package (external link)

The Complete Package

If you require a 100% complete MySQL installation then you will want to download the Complete Package. This includes all of the files for a complete MySQL installation, with the addition of an installer.

Download Complete Package (external link)

The Noinstall Archive

The name of this explains its difference from the other packages. This package includes all of the files in the Complete Package, except it does not come with an installer. The Noinstall Archive requires a manual setup and configuration.

Download Noinstall Archive (external link)

Source Code

You can also download the source files for MySQL, it being open source, if you wish to build MySQL from scratch.

Which package do I use?

Obviously, the package you should use truly depends on your needs. If you are going to be doing basic development on your server, then the Essentials Package should suffice. Most web developers will not require the optional components included in the Complete Package.

In Too Easy WAMP Setup, Lowter editor Matt Oakes, uses the Complete Package. If you want the full blow from your personal development server, then you will want the full MySQL package. You may find a need for the optional components of MySQL in your development, but most likely not with PHP.

Ultimately, it depends on the MySQL features you expect your development will require. If you are unsure, then you should install the Complete Package. While it is possible you will not necessitate the use of the optional components, for the meager amount of resources they use it will not be an issue.