2.3.1 MySQL Installation Layout on Microsoft Windows

For MySQL 5.5 on Windows, the default installation directory is C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5. Some Windows users prefer to install in C:\mysql, the directory that formerly was used as the default. However, the layout of the subdirectories remains the same.

All of the files are located within this parent directory, using the structure shown in the following table.

Table 2.4 Default MySQL Installation Layout for Microsoft Windows

DirectoryContents of DirectoryNotes
binClient programs and the mysqld server 
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\Log files, databases (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003)The Windows system variable %ALLUSERSPROFILE% defaults to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data
%PROGRAMDATA%\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\Log files, databases (Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and newer)The Windows system variable %PROGRAMDATA% defaults to C:\ProgramData
examplesExample programs and scripts 
includeInclude (header) files 
libLibraries 
scriptsUtility scripts 
shareMiscellaneous support files, including error messages, character set files, sample configuration files, SQL for database installation 

If you install MySQL using a Windows MSI package, this package creates and sets up the data directory that the installed server will use, but as of MySQL 5.5.5, it also creates a pristine template data directory named data under the installation directory. This directory can be useful when the machine will be used to run multiple instances of MySQL: After an installation has been performed using an MSI package, the template data directory can be copied to set up additional MySQL instances. See Section 5.3, “Running Multiple MySQL Instances on One Machine”.