on collations and character sets

If you’re new to MySQL, you might not know that in the default configuration ‘a’=’A’. Ie, string comparisons are by default case-insensitive. If this is a surprise to you, read up on Chapter 9 of the online manual, on character sets and collations.

The default character set is latin1 and the default collation is latin1_swedish_ci (‘ci’ stands for ‘case-insensitive). If you don’t want ‘a’ to equal ‘A’, you can change this by setting the variables ‘character-set-server’ and ‘collation-server’ in your config file or your startup options. For example, we want to support unicode, so we use character-set-server=’utf8′ in our config file. We also added the following (in the [mysqld] section) so that clients will use the right character set and collation, too: init_connect=’set names utf8; set collation_connection=utf8_bin’.

On the other hand, by default in linux, table names are case-sensitive, which might also be new to you if you’re new to MySQL. If you try to mysqldump a database from linux to Windows (with its case-insensitive file-system), you might want to preserve this behaviour by setting lower_case_table_names=1 in your Windows config.)

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