I've been running into some problems with MySQL Workbench that I'm not sure will be able to be fixed (namely, what appears to be an old bug that may have resurfaced), so I'd like to be able to find a good backup to it in the event that I can't use it. I've sifted through several suggested alternatives, such as Navicat (Navicat is not free for business use, it only has a 30-day trial), but none of them have satisfactorily met my current requirements.

What I need:

  • Linux compatible (preferably Linux native, I'm using Ubuntu)
  • Able to connect to remote databases via SSH tunneling
  • Free and/or Open Source (I currently don't have the funds to shell out $100+ for a product and would rather support a good Open Source project, anyway)
  • An interface at least as good a Workbench's (it could just be because I'm used to it, but I like its interface, very clean and rather intuitive tabbed interface; doesn't have to be identical, though)
  • Supports MySQL 5+

While it's nice to have, I don't need the extra data modeling stuff that Workbench has. I also don't need fancy GUI stuff (query designers and the like). A way to view the data in an orderly manner and a place to edit queries is really all I need.

I'm currently checking out HeidiSQL, but it reminds me of something I used to use when I was running Win9x/Win2k, only runs through WINE, has crashed on me once already, and just overall feels clunky, though I do like its easy ability to dump a database or do changes to multiple tables.

  • MySQL Query Browser and MySQL Administrator is still in the product archives of MySQL for FREE !!! The URL is in my answer !!! – RolandoMySQLDBA Aug 5 '11 at 17:57
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    @Rolando - apt-get install mysql-admin mysql-query-browser as Shauna is on Ubuntu – Jack Douglas Aug 6 '11 at 10:01

Believe it or not, although the products went EOL December 18, 2009, the last versions of MySQL Query Browser and MySQL Administrator are still available for download for free. Hey, I still use them today.

Click here and get it while Oracle isn't looking ... QUICK !!!

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  • As cool as the old query browser is, I'm not seeing an SSH tunneling option, at least not in the Linux version. – Shauna Aug 6 '11 at 14:15
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    MySQL Query Browser provides 1) Stored Connection Name, 2) Server Host (I always use IP rather than DNS name), 3) Port, 4) username, 5) password and 6) Default schema. I have used these programs against remote DB servers. However, I do not use them for backups because I script my own backups. I use MONyog for most of my monitoring/advsiories needs. For everything else, I use MySQL Query Browser for my "need-to-know-right-now" monitoring and adhoc queries. I have only used the Windows version these past 7 years. Any SSH tunneling issues should be handled by IT to make IP addresses available. – RolandoMySQLDBA Aug 6 '11 at 23:28
  • My point is, I don't see the ability to connect to a database through an SSH tunnel (ie - SSH to the server using a key file, then connect to the database). Since this is required to access my remote databases, it's a dealbreaker for me if it doesn't have it, and drops it down on a list of comparable software if it's hard to find. – Shauna Aug 8 '11 at 12:58
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    IP tunneling is not an application issue, you'd do that separate on the system. Some apps include it for convenience, but it's not necessary at all, it's completely different issue. You can start ssh forwarding with a single line in a shell, and then tell the app to connect to the forwarded local port (on localhost) instead of the remote ip and port. Howtos are available by googling... – Mörre Aug 11 '11 at 10:25
  • I agree with @Mörre, whenever I use Workbench, in Windows or Linux, I make the ssh connections, tunneling and port forwarding from other tools. There is no need to use Workbench for that, I find it useful to keep it ignorant and connecting to only. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Apr 8 '13 at 11:15

Free and open source SQuirreL?

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  • I tried it quick and it didn't detect the MySQL driver, even though I told it to include the MySQL extension when I installed it. – Shauna Aug 6 '11 at 14:17

Check dbeaver. It's a Java application, so you can use everywhere. Don't know if supports tunneling but is one of the best...

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  • I think it's better if you expand the answer. Add a link to dbeaver site, what it can do, if it is free or not, etc. One-line answers may not get the best attention here. Welcome to DBA.SE. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Apr 12 '13 at 7:44
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    @quantme thanks for editing the answer to add a link. I couldn't find it before, IIRC, which is a shame, because it looks promising at first glance. – Shauna Feb 27 '14 at 16:31
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    @ShaunaDBeaver is a really good tool by defauly it doens't have ssh tunnel support as I know but you can check following link for tunnel support. I use it to connect my remote mysql DB. dbeaver.jkiss.org/2011/05/16/dbeaver-external-database-hosting – erhun Nov 25 '15 at 19:52

MySQL workbench on ubuntu does have issues, you can try Navicat or fabForce DBDesigner. Though both the tools are free Navicat has a Premium version too.

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  • As I said in my post, I already checked out Navicat, it is not free. It only has a 30-day trial and then is $130 for the version I would need (the free "lite" version is for non-commercial use only, as I would be using it for business). DBDesigner, from the looks of the site, has been out of commission for quite some time and doesn't support MySQL 5. – Shauna Aug 6 '11 at 14:09

I got so SICK of MySQL Workbench being slow and sluggish (and sometimes crashing) while merely typing queries, I just switched to HeidiSQL. I'll never look back.

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  • As I mentioned in my question, I already tried HeidiSQL, and found it clunky and more unstable than MySQL Workbench. Given that it's been a few years since I asked this question, and that it's been in pretty heavy active development, I might try it again when I develop on my Linux computer again (right now, I'm using a Mac and Workbench is working fine, and I don't want to have to install Wine just for one application). – Shauna Feb 27 '14 at 16:30

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