MySQL Workbench

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MySQL Workbench is a cross-platform, visual database design and administration tool developed by MySQL. The workbench is available on Windows, Linux and OS X (different editions).

This software system is both a programming software and system software tool. It is a programming software tool because developers use it to design databases and code in SQL. It is a system software tool because database administrators use it to manage a database management system.


To download

MySQL Workbench Download Screen Shot
Official Download Page
  • Scroll down to the download section
  • Select your operating system and download the self installer (.MSI for Windows)
  • You do not have to register with the site scroll down to bypass registration.
  • Run the Setup file after you download it.

To Install

  1. Choose complete install.
  2. Confirm the location of the install.
  3. Click Install.
  4. Click Finish when complete.


By now you should have ChatZilla up and running, if not this article with show you how to get it. Once you open ChatZilla execute the command /server and once connected /join #workbench or just click here.

MySQL Workbench Exercise

MySQL Workbench Screen Shot

This is an exercise design to help you get familiar with database creation. This exercise is based off of the MySQL Utility exercise and accomplishes the same task.

Define Your Database

  1. Start MySQL Workbench, you will see three columns SQL Development, Data Modeling and Server Administration.
  2. Go to server Data Modeling and click New EER Model.
  3. It will create a database MyDB double click MyDB and change the name to collection.

Define Your Tables

  1. Double click add table icon, rename the newly created table1 to item.
  2. Then select the database engine MyISAM.
  3. At the bottom of the page there are tabs, click the Columns tab.
  4. Add table columns by double clicking an empty row, and entering the column name.
  5. Select the data-type from the drop-down list or enter manually.
  6. Check any boxes that apply to that column PK, NN ect... (all unchecked for this exercise.)
  7. You should save the model before moving on store the .mwb in a convenient place.

Create Model

MySQL Workbench Model Screen Shot
  1. Go to the Main menu bar(top) and click Model then select Create Diagram From Cataloged Objects.
  2. Now click the MySQL Model* (see red box in picture) tab to go back, if the MySQL Model has an asterisks next to the name, this means that it is not yet saved.

Create Your Database

  1. We are ready to create the database now. In the main menu go to Database and select Forward Engineer this will create the SQL script to create the database.
  2. Look at the options available if you're not sure what databases are already created you may want to check the first box this will drop any existing tables with the name of the table you're creating.
  3. Review the next page then click next.
  4. Now we can see the script created for us, review it and submit when your satisfied that its correct.
  5. Lastly we return to the Database Connection information click finish to accept the default setting (DB:localhost user:root password:no password).

Insert Data

  1. Select the table item then on the bottom of the screen click the inserts tab.
  2. Enter the sample data and click the green check icon in the tool bar directly above the data to apply changes.

Congratulations! You created a Database.

Connecting to a Remote Host

MySQL Workbench New Connection

Now that we have the basics down, we will learn how to connect to a remote host. Up until this point you may only have experience with a localhost, (meaning this computer) is the standard hostname given to the address of the loopback network interface. A remote host is simply a separate computer somewhere in a network that we want to connect too.

In order to connect to a remote host you'll need the system administrator to set up an account for you. Likely if your reading this that should be all set.

New Connection

Open MySQL Workbench, under SQL Development click the option that says New Connection.

  • Name the Connection for the host, something descriptive like "MyCisDB" that you will remember.
  • Enter the IP address or host name, the default is the localhost .
  • The default port is 3306, this is acceptable but check with your admin to be sure.
  • Enter your user-name provided by your admin or previously set up locally. root is likely disabled.
  • Click the "Store in Vault" Button, Then enter your password.
  • Click the "Test Connection" Button.
  • If it passes click "OK", If not check your settings and test again.

Q & A

This Q & A section is to help you get a better grasp on MySQL Workbench and related concepts.

General Questions

Q. What is MySQL Workbench?

A. MySQL Workbench is a visual database design tool that is developed by MySQL. It is the successor application of the DBDesigner4 project.

Q. I have a question that is not answered on this page, what should I do?

A. Please ask your question on the Workbench forum. If you do not get an answer there try posting your questions on the IRC channel. If the same question is asked by several people we will add it here.

Q. What does OSS mean and why are there different editions of MySQL Workbench?

A. OSS stands for Open Source Software and means that source code is available under a license such as the GPL. To learn more about the different MySQL Workbench Editions please check the corresponding FAQ section and the About section.

Workbench Editions Questions

Q. Is MySQL Workbench Open Source or is it Commercial?

A. There are two different editions of MySQL Workbench at this point in time – an open source edition and a standard edition that is only available for paying customers.

Q. What is the Difference Between the Workbench Editions?

A. The commercial edition adds a number of advanced modules that help users to work more efficiently with the tool. These modules range from workflow optimizations to extended object handling.

Q. I do not want to pay for anything, should I still consider MySQL Workbench?

A. Yes, the commnity Edition is fully featured and one of the most powerful database schema designers around. Please feel free to compare it with other tools available and see if it can be used for your purposes.


Q. What is the minimum hardware system requirement for MySQL Workbench?

A. MySQL Workbench requires a current system to run smoothly. Running on a three year old machine might work but can result in slow performance.

The minimum hardware requirements are:

  • CPU: Intel Core or Xeon 3GHz (or Dual Core 2GHz) or equal AMD CPU
  • Cores: Single (Dual/Quad Core is recommended)
  • RAM: 4 GB (6 GB recommended)
  • Graphic Accelerators: nVidia or ATI with support of OpenGL 1.5 or higher
  • Display Resolution: 1920×1200 is recommended, 1280×1024 is minimum.
Q. Will Workbench run on my laptop?

A. That depends on whether you have a nVidia or ATI graphic card with OpenGL 1.5 support or higher. If not, MySQL Workbench can only be used in Software Rendering mode.

Operating Systems

Q. Which Operating Systems are supported for Ver. 5.2?

A. MySQL Workbench is officially supported on the following list of client platforms. Please note that MySQL Workbench is a GUI client application and therefore the list of supported platforms is not as long as for the MySQL Server.

OS 32bit 64bit
Apple Mac OS X v10.6.1+ x
Microsoft Windows 7 x x
Oracle Enterprise Linux 6 x x
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 x x
Fedora 13 x x
Ubuntu 10.04 x x


Q. Which versions of Windows are supported?

A. Starting with MySQL Workbench 5.2 only Windows 7 is officially supported. Nevertheless MySQL Workbench is know to work on Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista when the .Net 3.5 framework has been installed (Windows 2000 is not supported.)

Q. Do I need the .Net framework?

A. Yes, in order to run MySQL Workbench you need the .Net 3.5 framework installed. Windows XP users need to manually install the .Net 3.5 framework – it can be downloaded from here. If you run on Windows Vista you do not need to install anything because it is included in OS.

Q. Do I need special drivers for my graphics card on Windows?

A. Yes, you need the latest drivers for your nVidia or ATI graphics card to be installed. Windows itself only ships with OpenGL 1.1 support which is too old for MySQL Workbench. If you do not install dedicated drivers MySQL Workbench will only work in Software Rendering mode.


Q. When will Linux support become available?

A. Linux is supported starting with MySQL Workbench 5.1.

Q. Which Linux distributions are supported?

A. The list of supported platforms is available is located above at Operating System Q & A. Further, there are unofficial builds for other Linuxes available through the community.

Mac OS X

Q. When will OS X support become available?

A. OS X will be supported starting with MySQL Workbench 5.1.

Q. Which OS X versions will be supported?

A. As of MySQL Workbench 5.2, Mac OS X Snow Leopard is supported.


Q. What is OpenGL?

A. OpenGL is an open standard for programming high performance computer graphics. It is normally used in 3D games and other applications that require fast 3D graphics, but it is also be used in 2D applications with rich graphics. Workbench uses OpenGL for displaying diagrams on screen.OpenGL can be accelerated when the video hardware supports it, which in recent hardware is quite common. For optimal performance, WB will require that kind of acceleration, but software based OpenGL rendering is also supported, in which case no special hardware is needed.

Q. I read that Workbench uses OpenGL but my graphic card does not support that. Can I still use the tool?

A. Yes. If the machine you are running MySQL Workbench on does not support native OpenGL then software rendering is used. Depending on the speed of the machine the UI experience may suffer. If you are working on larger models you should think about switching to a machine with native OpenGL support. Almost every Nvidia or ATI graphic card released in the past 4 years does support OpenGL. If you are using a virtual environment you should prefer Parallels Desktop at this point because of its OpenGL support.

Q. Which version of OpenGL is required for native rendering?

A. OpenGL 1.5 or higher is required to benefit from the hardware acceleration. When you run on Windows you need a graphic card driver from the graphic card manufacturer because Windows only ships with OpenGL 1.1 drivers out of the box.

Q. Windows XP crashes with ATI OpenGL Graphics Card

A. Please download the latest drivers from

Here is a explanation of how this user fixed the crash,374458,375619