Once the MySQL DBMS server is running, the command interpreter can be used. The command interpreter can be run using the following command from the shell, assuming you've created a user Alexa with a password shhh:
% /usr/local/bin/mysql -u
The shell prompt is represented here as a percentage character,
Running the command interpreter displays the output:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor. Commands end with ; or \g. Your MySQL connection id is 36 to server version: 3.22.38 Type 'help' for help. mysql>
The command interpreter displays a
mysql> prompt and, after executing any command or statement, it redisplays the prompt. For example, you might issue the statement:
mysql> SELECT NOW( );
This statement reports the time and date by producing the following output:
+---------------------+ | NOW( ) | +---------------------+ | 2002-01-01 13:48:07 | +---------------------+ 1 row in set (0.00 sec) mysql>
After running a statement, the interpreter redisplays the
mysql> prompt. We discuss the
SELECT statement later in this chapter.
As with all other SQL statements, the
SELECT statement ends in a semicolon. Almost all SQL command interpreters permit any amount of whitespace-spaces, tabs, or carriage returns-in SQL statements, and they check syntax and execute statements only after encountering a semicolon that is followed by a press of the Enter key. We have used uppercase for the SQL statements throughout this tutorial. However, any mix of upper- and lowercase is equivalent.
On startup, the command interpreter encourages the use of the
help command. Typing
help produces a list of commands that are native to the MySQL interpreter and that aren't part of SQL. All non-SQL commands can be entered without the terminating semicolon, but the semicolon can be included without causing an error.