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MySQL in a Nutshell by Russell J.T. Dyer

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Choosing a Distribution

Before beginning to download an installation package, you must decide what version of MySQL to install. The best choice is usually the latest stable version recommended by MySQL AB on its site. It’s not recommended that you install a newer version unless you need some new feature that is contained only in a newer version. It’s also not recommended that you install an older version unless you have an existing database or an API application that won’t function with the current version.

When installing MySQL, you also have the option of using either a source distribution or a binary distribution. It’s easier, and recommended, for you to install a binary distribution. However, you may want to use a source distribution if special configuration must be performed during installation or at compile time. You may also have to use a source distribution if a binary distribution isn’t available for your operating system.

For some distributions, you can download a Standard version, a Max version, or a Debug version. The Standard version is recommended for most users and developers, as it has been thoroughly tested.

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