Many interactive clients are available for MySQL. The clients range in type from familiar desktop applications that have a graphical user interface (GUI) to web-based applications accessed via an Internet browser to text-only applications that run from a shell.
This chapter focuses on mysql, the interactive text-only command-line client that comes with the MySQL server. Although other tools might be slightly friendlier to novices, learning how to use the mysql tool teaches you the fundamentals required to use any other kind of tool. Additionally, mysql might be the only tool you have for interacting with a given MySQL server, and it is best that you know enough about it to be productive.