Archives For mac osx

Note: This issue relates to MariaDB but might also happen with MySQL. The key thing seems to be a slightly more rigorous permissions config under El Capitan.

I recently struck an issue where MariaDB would not start under El Capitan. Frustratingly, the only error produced was this: “ERROR!”

The fix for me was simple:

Finder > Go > Go To Folder…
Click mysql and File > Get Info
Click the Unlock Icon at bottom right, and authenticate. Then change the persmissions to ‘Read and Write’ for everyone.
Finally, click the gear icon near the bottom left, and click ‘Apply to Enclosed Items.’

MariaDB should now start correctly.

If you need to do anything with SQL on a Mac, you need an SQL admin tool. Here’s a quick run-down of four of the most popular SQL tools for Mac.


MySQL Workbench

  • Mac / Linux / Windows
  • feature-rich: SQL syntax-highlighting, visual database design
  • Import and export to .sql, databse migration features
  • Cons: complains when used to connect to MariaDB. Seems to work fine apart from annoying pop-up notices when connecting to a MariaDB server.
  • License: free
  • MySQL Workbench

Overall: Mature, many-featured admin tool suited to DBAs and developers, but might be overkill for most developers, and doesn’t like connecting to MariaDB.



If you’ve ever used MAMP, you will have seen PHPMyAdmin. It’s a web app interface to mySQL, and can be confiured to connect to a local MySQL or a remote server.

  • Mature PHP web app
  • Flexible import (SQL) and export (SQL, CSV, XLS)
  • Suitable for general development, especially with a local MySQL server
  • Cons: subject to web app limitations: importing large files is limited by PHP & web server upload configs. Also session timeouts require an occasional browser refresh
  • License: GNU / free
  • PHPMyAdmin

Overall: a good option for general use, more suited to connecting to a local MySQL server.

Do it in Terminal

Nothing wrong with doing it the old-fashioned way.

  • Built in to every mac: nothing to download
  • Terminal tools support both MySQL and MariaDB
  • Scriptable in bash, can also accept piped and redirected input
  • Cons: typing can become annopying, so you might need to have a separte text file of commonly used commands
  • License: free

Sequel Pro

  • Native Mac app
  • Flexible import (SQL, CSV) and export (SQL, CSV, XML, DOT)
  • Cons: doesn’t feature performance info
  • License: Donationware.
  • Sequel Pro

Overall: Good, free native Cocoa app. Recommended for general use, especially if you’re using MariaDB.


So which is best?

I use Sequel Pro daily, and MySQL Workbench sometimes, and occasionally the Terminal app too. I find Sequel Pro good to use becuase it’s uncluttered, so that’s a good choice for most devs.


Hey my Mac Terminal guide has been updated for some new El Capitan Terminal features!

You can get the book on Amazon KindleiBooksSmashwords, and many other ebook retailers.

Whether you are a developer switching to the Mac or you’re just shopping around for a nice new editor, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to text editors. Here are my candidates for best text editor for Mac OS X, with some pros and cons of each. Check out my recommendations (more…)

terminal command ref book

My new reference ebook: covering the mac terminal, and with primers on bash, Automator, AppleScript, and other scripting tools. It also features a guide to the /etc/hosts file. Check out the info page here:

Mac Terminal Ebook

If  you find your wi-fi network is getting slow, there may be interference from another network. If another Wi-Fi network nearby uses the same channel, or even a close channel, the two networks will collide, reducing speed for everyone. Here are some tips about how to troubleshoot Wi-fi… (more…)