MySQL is a database server, software that stores and retrieves data for other applications. You might need a database that will work with an application you're developing, or you may just want a database so you can run web applications like WordPress or Drupal. MySQL should serve you well in either instance.
The articles linked below are intended to help a MySQL novice get a server up and running, with just enough information for basic operation. If you're going to use MySQL in a busy production environment you'd do better to get a database administrator to help you run it - someone who specializes in running and tuning database software.
If you just want to get started with a minimum of fuss, the first two articles cover installing and configuring MySQL. There are versions of the series for several Linux distributions:
The third article is a list of common tasks you might need to perform on a MySQL server:
The best place to start learning more about MySQL server than what we cover would be the official MySQL documentation site. The site has reference manuals written for each major version of MySQL server.
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