More on MySQLdb on Snow Leopard

Well, my frustrations with MySQL and MacOSX continue. This time after a copmlete clean reinstall of everything I have stumbled upon the ‘old friend’ MySQLdb Python module. Apparently setting up this one causes a lot of frustration and blogging. Here is what I have found.

1. Check your platform. I have an old MacBook and naively installed 32 bit MySQL on it. Man, I was wrong. Since I wanted to use the default MacOSX Python I should have checked that one fist. You can do that by executing the following commands in the Python interactive shell:

import sys
import math
math.log(sys.maxint, 2)

It gave me… “63.0”. Wow… Apparently I do have 64-bit Python!

2. Having 64 bit Python you must install 64 bit MySQL. So go and get the proper version.

3. If you think you’re there you’re not getting my frustration yet. If you would get MySQLdb, build it now and run as I did, the following statement

import MySQLdb

will likely to result in

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 1, in
File "build/bdist.macosx-10.6-universal/egg/MySQLdb/", line 19, in
File "build/bdist.macosx-10.6-universal/egg/", line 7, in
File "build/bdist.macosx-10.6-universal/egg/", line 6, in __bootstrap__
ImportError: dlopen(/Users/oleksii/.python-eggs/MySQL_python-1.2.3-py2.6-macosx-10.6-universal.egg-tmp/, 2): Library not loaded: libmysqlclient.18.dylib
Referenced from: /Users/oleksii/.python-eggs/MySQL_python-1.2.3-py2.6-macosx-10.6-universal.egg-tmp/
Reason: image not found

Ok, this was it. I had to dig around and finally found out that it is a known bug in the at least 5.5 version of MySQL, explanation and the fix can be looked up at the MySQL bugs website.

In short you have to perform the following

sudo install_name_tool -id /usr/local/mysql/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib libmysqlclient.dylib

where ’18’ needs to be replaced with your version.

4. Finally get the MySQLdb (I’ve got 1.2.3). Build it, make sure the proper architecture is used. The architecture can be enforced with e.g. the following commands:


(or the coresponding one for 32 bits)

Wow, finally import worked as I had expected. WTFx10…

…and all this after several hours debugging for a problem that existed for 10+ years and appeared due to changes in the new Visual Studio compiler optimizations… great… another sleepless night…