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I just installed mysql via homebrew (with brew install mysql, on Mac OS X Mountain Lion - recently installed from scratch). Following the installation, there is a "caveats" section with options around further necessary actions to take:

==> Caveats
Set up databases to run AS YOUR USER ACCOUNT with:
    unset TMPDIR
    mysql_install_db --verbose --user=`whoami` --basedir="$(brew --prefix mysql)" --datadir=/usr/local/var/mysql --tmpdir=/tmp

To set up base tables in another folder, or use a different user to run
mysqld, view the help for mysqld_install_db:
    mysql_install_db --help

and view the MySQL documentation:

To run as, for instance, user "mysql", you may need to `sudo`:
    sudo mysql_install_db ...options...

Start mysqld manually with:
    mysql.server start

    Note: if this fails, you probably forgot to run the first two steps up above

A "/etc/my.cnf" from another install may interfere with a Homebrew-built
server starting up correctly.

To connect:
    mysql -uroot

To launch on startup:
* if this is your first install:
    mkdir -p ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    cp /usr/local/Cellar/mysql/5.5.27/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
    launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist

* if this is an upgrade and you already have the homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist loaded:
    launchctl unload -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist
    cp /usr/local/Cellar/mysql/5.5.27/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
    launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist

You may also need to edit the plist to use the correct "UserName".

On previous versions of Mac OS X I ran mysql as mysql user, but now I am confronted by the idea of running it as myself. I am the only one who uses this computer (which happens to be my laptop), and I do programming for work and for pleasure.

What are the pros & cons, or best practices, around choosing whether to run mysql AS YOUR USER ACCOUNT or as mysql or something else still?

share|improve this question
Are you exposing the database service to the internet? – stuartd Oct 12 '12 at 15:32
I have not done so yet from my own machine, and I highly doubt that I ever will; after all, it's a laptop, and can be put to sleep at any given moment. Why do you ask? – user664833 Oct 12 '12 at 15:37
Because if it was you might worry about the server being compromised, in which case the user account it's running under becomes more important. As it isn't, you might as well choose the option which is most convenient for you. – stuartd Oct 12 '12 at 15:52

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