Graphical user interface (GUI) applications for managing MySQL

When working with MySQL, it can be very difficult to visualize an entire database of information, especially if there are relational databases that all work in tandem to present data. Fortunately for us, there are numerous GUI based applications that can be downloaded and installed on a Linux system that make the process of managing databases much easier. Many users prefer interacting with MySQL through a GUI rather than a command line, where it is difficult to visualize multiple columns of data and understanding how they correspond to each other.

In this tutorial, we will go over a few different GUI based applications for managing MySQL that can be installed in Linux. This will serve as an introduction to some of the most popular MySQL managing apps available, and give you enough information to determine which one you might want to try for your own needs.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • List of top GUI applications for managing MySQL on Linux
Graphical user interface (GUI) applications for managing MySQL
Graphical user interface (GUI) applications for managing MySQL
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any Linux distro
Software MySQL Workbench, phpMyAdmin, adminer, HeidiSQL, Navicat for MySQL, SQLyog
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is one of the best graphical applications that lets us manage data and perform administrative tasks on MySQL databases. It is an all in one solution with features to design, model, and administer all of your MySQL databases. It can design schema, migrate databases, manage user accounts, monitor performance, create relationship models, and much more. All of this is done from an easy to use and intuitive interface, which makes MySQL Workbench one of our top picks for database management software.


phpMyAdmin is another very popular and common tool used to manage databases. Unlike some other tools, phpMyAdmin is entirely web based, and usually may be installed on the same server as the MySQL database itself. The interface is user friendly and allows you to easily complete tasks like database creation, management, modification, create users, etc. It is also a breeze to import or export data from phpMyAdmin, and manage permissions, run SQL queries, and more.


Adminer is a lightweight tool that can be used to manage MySQL databases as well as other types like PostgreSQL, Oracle databases, SQLite, among others. Even with its tiny size, it packs as many advanced features as the previous mentions, and makes common tasks very easy, such as database creation, management, deletion, and viewing tables, rows, users, etc. Queries and simple management tasks are made easy with Adminer.


HeidiSQL is another free and open source MySQL client that comes with a lot features like queries, database design, database management, importing and exporting data, and managing users and permissions. It also includes some more advanced features such as the ability to debug databases and SQL queries, and exporting data into multiple formats.

Navicat for MySQL

Navicat is a great multi purpose and all in one solution MySQL management tool. Of course it has all of the expected features to complete common tasks like SQL queries, database management and design, data modeling and synchronization, etc. But it also has some advanced features like backup and restore of databases, and integration with cloud database services. Navicat can definitely tick all of the boxes for the vast majority of database administrators.


SQLyog is another beefy MySQL management tool with convenient features like query building, database backup, database restore, and management of user accounts and permissions. It also has the ability to build and compare database schema, and tunnel data through SSH or HTTP. Both developers and system administrators can get a lot of use out of SQLyog, as it supports a variety of languages and common functions that close the gap between MySQL development and administation.


When it comes to MySQL management on Linux, users have a lot of different choices for GUI based applications that can do the job. These applications can make working with MySQL drastically easier than interacting with the command line and trying to visualize exactly how data is stored inside of a schema and how databases relate to each other. All the apps here provide slightly different interfaces and sets of features, so it is recommended you try a few of them to see which one will fit your needs the best.

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