After initializing phpMyAdmin on my server, I created a test database in the GUI platform. I realized that I had then received a notification in the phpMyAdmin browser that I needed to set up an initial configuration, in any database, and to "click here" to do it. So, I clicked the link and the database I was in was populated with a bunch of tables beginning with pma, which I believe represents the control user? I'm not really sure what this means or why every table begins with "pma_".

So, since the database I was in is now my "configuration storage" database, I renamed it and am just leaving it as is; no extra tables or data other than what the automatic configuration executed when I clicked the button that I mentioned previously.

The wiki for phpMyAdmin explains the configuration storage setup, but I don't believe I need to do that because the button that I had clicked in the alert space of the GUI did that for me.

So, what's the point of this database, what is pivotal information that I should know about it, and is it safe for me to just leave it alone and move on about my business? Thank you.

NOTE: I've used MySQL and phpMyAdmin before but it was under my university's environment and provided database; I never had to set up one of my own or do this confutation step.


1 Answer 1


There was a broken link in that wiki page (which I've just fixed), but it was supposed to take you to http://docs.phpmyadmin.net/en/latest/setup.html#linked-tables

Basically, they're additional features including bookmarked queries, comments, SQL-history, tracking mechanism, PDF-generation, transformations, relations, and more. By adding the tables (which you can do manually or phpMyAdmin often can do for you, which you have taken advantage of), you get access to these features. If you don't need the features, then you don't need the tables.

So you're correct that you don't need to manually run the SQL statements now.

The tables start with the pma__ prefix for the same reason WordPress tables start with wp_ and other applications use similar prefixes: in shared hosting situations, users often only get access to one database and several applications need to peacefully coexist. By adding a namespace prefix, you can have gallery_users, wp_users, and gramps_users (I'm making up these table names for the sake of example)

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