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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

About MySQL

MySQL Services at Durham

The Durham MySQL service is currently running MySQL 5.1, having been upgraded from MySQL 4.1 in August 2008. To use MySQL you need a MySQL account, in addition to your CIS account, and you can request this through the IT Service Desk.

CIS actually runs a number of MySQL services with names of the form, each holding a different set of user accounts and databases. The vast majority of users will only need to access the "End User" service, For historical reasons, this can also be accessed as it makes no difference which of these 2 names you use.

Creating and using MySQL databases

When you have been given a MySQL account, it will have the same username as your main CIS account, but a different password. You will then be able to create databases, but their names must begin with one of the letters P, I, C or X, followed by your username, followed by an underscore, and then any combination of letters, digits and underscores, for example a user dxy0fab could create a database called Xdxy0fab_my_publications:

The initial letter determines who else can access your database:

  • P: If a database name begins with "P", its tables can be read by anyone (see below), but only you can create, update and drop tables, and insert, update and delete records.

  • I: Databases with names beginning "I" can have new rows inserted into its tables by anyone (see below), but only you can create, update and drop tables in it, and other people cannot read the data they have inserted.

  • C: A database whose name begins with "C" combines the behaviour of "P" and "I". In other words, anyone can read data from it and insert data into its tables, but only you can do more.

  • X: If you create a database with name beginning "X", then only you can use it: other users have no access to it at all.

Note that the names of databases and tables are case-sensitive. Where we referred to "anyone" above, we meant anybody connecting to MySQL using the username "nobody", which can connect without needing to give a password.

Further details about using MySQL databases at Durham are provided in CIS Guide 106, Accessing databases from the World Wide Web. This includes details of how to access MySQL databases from Microsoft Access.

Managing Databases using phpMyAdmin

You may find it convenient to use the phpMyAdmin application. It enables you to create and drop databases, manipulate tables, browse tables, execute SQL queries, and so on. It can be accessed at:

When using phpMyAdmin, You will initially be prompted for your username and CIS password (not your MySQL password) to gain access to the "Welcome to phpMyAdmin" login page. You will then need to type in your username and your MySQL password and choose the server name (unless told otherwise, select or, these 2 are equivalent).

Official MySQL documentation

For further details about MySQL, see: