Jos F. Kirps


Jos F. Kirps > About > Blog

I ran my own blog from November 2006 till October 2014. All posts are still online, but I don't have time to update it anymore. Enjoy!

Snow Leopard - Install MySQL and Perl DBI/DBD

September 13, 2009

I just installed Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro and it runs just fine. Unfortunately some people seem to have problems to get MySQL and/or Perl DBI working on MacOS X, so here's a little post that my help.

One of the big advantages of MacOS X 10.6 is the fact that a lot of disk space is being freed up. Snow Leopard achieves this by removing lots of things from your disk, but in some cases this may also affect some UNIX software you've manually installed on your machine. So don't forget to backup all the weird stuff you've installed on your machine!

So here's what to do if you wish to use MySQL along with Perl on your Snow Leopard workstation or server:

First you'll have to download MySQL from I've opted for the 64 bit x86 disk image. You'll have to create an account on the MySQL site if you don't have one yet.

The downloaded image contains three components: the MySQL installer, the startup item installer (both MacOS X packages) and the preferences pane. Install the database engine and the startup item by double clicking the packages and by following the onscreen instructions.

Move the preference pane to /Library/PreferencePanes. This will allow to start/stop the MySQL engine using the MacOS X preferences app later on.

For some obscure reason you won't be able to start MySQL after installing it, as some access rights are not being correctly applied during the installation process.

To solve this problem, open a terminal and type the following:

cd /usr/local/mysql

Now change the access rights to the data directory so that you can read and write this directory. For example:

chown -R mysql data

I'd also recommend to add a .profile file in your MacOS X home directory (/Users/YourName/.profile) which should contain the following line:

export PATH="$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin"

This will allow to use the commands in /usr/local/mysql/bin in your terminal, no matter what your current working path is.

Use the MySQL preference pane in the MacOS X preferences to start the MySQL database, or type the following in your terminal:

mysql start

If the engine doesn't start up, check the permissions of /usr/local/mysql/data once again and fix them if required.

As soon as the MySQL engine is running, change the mysql root password using mysqladmin:

mysqladmin -u root password "somepassword"

Now you can create your databases, tables and everything else.

To access the MySQL database from your Perl scripts you'll have to install Perl DBI. Snow Leopard upgrades Perl from 5.8 to 5.10, and deletes everything related to Perl 5.8 - if you had DBI/DBD installed then the MacOS X updater will now have removed it.

Install (or reinstall) DBI using the following command in your terminal:

sudo cpan DBD::mysql

For some obscure reason cpan didn't manage to install DBI on my laptop. In this case you'll have to install it manually. Open the following URL in your web browser:

Search for "DBD::mysql" and download the latest package. The zipped package should be saved in your Downloads folder. Open it if it hasn't been unpacked automatically.

Use your terminal and move inside the DBD::mysql directory. Then type the following commands:

perl ./Makefile.PL


sudo make install

If you're lucky you won't get any serious errors (warnings are okay), which means that both MySQL and Perl DBI/DBD have been successfully installed.

Okay, hope this helps - have fun with Perl and MySQL!!!

snow leopard
Nathaniel Tagg said on September 30, 2009:

Hi, I found this site by googling. The method you describe here works under Apache (or at least it seems to), but it fails completely on the command line. Running ./ gives me this message: dyld: lazy symbol binding failed: Symbol not found: _mysql_init Referenced from: /Library/Perl/5.10.0/darwin-thread-multi-2level/auto/DBD/mysql/mysql.bundle Expected in: flat namespace dyld: Symbol not found: _mysql_init Referenced from: /Library/Perl/5.10.0/darwin-thread-multi-2level/auto/DBD/mysql/mysql.bundle Expected in: flat namespace Trace/BPT trap Any notion how I can make it work from the terminal?

Chris Colinsky said on November 25, 2009:

This was very helpful with installing bugzilla under Snow Leopard, thanks for the post.

Grace said on November 25, 2009:

Hello, thank you It worked perfectly. Cpan doesnt work for me either.. I had to compile manually

GG said on April 13, 2010:

Hi, I am trying to install cpan bundle on snow leo. i have perl 5.10.0. I am failing miserably in "make". Could not make: Unknown error Running make test Can't test without successful make This is the error I get for any installation. I need to run bioperl which has a lot of cpan dependencies and I am stuck. I have NEVER had this problem; installed new gnumake from gnu; reinstalled Xcode... no use. Could you pl help?

jhvhs said on July 18, 2010:

Usually, CPAN install of DBD::mysql fails because it is unable to complete the make test phase. The most simple workaround is to install DBD::mysql before changing the root password, or temporarily setting the root password empty during this module installation.

chris said on July 5, 2010:

@ GG Make sure you've got XCODE dev tools installed from your install CD and then make and make install should work

name (required)
e-mail (required, never displayed)
spam protection: what is the sum of 2 + 2?
(c)1999-2016 Jos Kirps & Joopita Research a.s.b.l | Privacy | powered by CorneliOS