I just installed MySQL Server and MySQL Workbench on a clean Snow Leopard MacBook. I hooked up Workbench with the server and was able to start the MySQL Server from within the Workbench. I enter the Administration menue of MySQL Workbench it tells me there is no /etc/my.cnf. And if I click on Option File on the left side in the Workbench it tells me, that it will generate a my.cnf file after hitting Apply.

Now I see many configuration possibilitys. Is there a documentation for that? The best I could find was this MySQL-Dev-Page, but it does not help much.

Even better would be an explanatory default file, which I could adapt, since I am no expert with MySQL and I only want to use python sqlalchemy and django with the MySQL Server as localhost.

Every hint is appreciated.


You many need to take a look at the comprehensive list of all Server Variables. Some of them you can change for the duration of your session, some you may change with the SET GLOBAL command, and other options may require a restart of MySQL.

Here is the list of all options. This will also show which options can be used in option files.

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  • This is exactly what I was looking for, thanks a lot! – Aufwind Jun 11 '11 at 11:51

I don't have experience with snow leopard, but I know that when I use the MySQL Admin app on my linux desktop I have to remember to start the app with admin permissions. Otherwise I cannot write back to the my.cnf file. Even though it look like I have the changes don't propogate down to the file.

Again as I say I don't know how the admin of OSX works, and I'm coming from an Ubuntu instalation that needs SUDO to do admin work on this file.


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