I use MySQL 5.5 on both Mac OSX (10.6.8) and Windows 7; in both contexts I use Workbench for my administrative needs. I've recently started tinkering with the configuration files (my.cnf/my.ini), and it's been generally problematic. Here is what I am hoping to get from the StackExchange community:
a. General feedback on whether I am doing anything obviously incorrect, below I have listed some of the things I have tried.
b. A set of basic steps for making changes to my.cnf/my.ini via Workbench.
c. The ABSOLUTE SIMPLEST config file that will get my server at least running. (Is it possible to run MySQL without a config file?) This file could then be a starting point for beginning the learning/tuning process. One thing that can be a bit overwhelming about the template files (e.g. my-huge.cnf), as well as many of the example config files on-line, is that they come with a large number of settings/options - it can be hard for a beginner to know what is going on.
Below are some things I've tried, most of which usually result in the server simply not starting.
Making manual modifications to the configuration file. A few weeks ago, I used this method to turn on innodb_file_per_table, and it worked fine. However, recently when I tried modifying other settings like innodb_buffer_pool_size, the server simply would not start.
Making changes via Workbench. In the Server Administration section of Workbench, there is an area called "Options File". Basically, it is a GUI consisting of check-boxes and text-boxes which makes modifications to the text my.cnf/my.ini file. Now, there have been a few instances in which I've made changes by this method and it has worked (i.e. the server actually started), but most of the time, using this interface has resulted in the server not restarting. Generally it seems that this interface works better in Windows than on Mac OSX.
Using the provided templates (e.g. my-huge.cnf). To my suprise, I don't think I've ever been able to get one of these to work, which leads me to think that there is some obvious mistake I'm making (I've really only just copy/pasted them with the appropriate name change).
Thanks in advance! Please let me know if there is additional information I could/should provide.