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We have a server running Debian squeeze with mysql and until now we manage the db through phpMyAdmin.

In this question I was told that Workbench represents a better choice than PMA in terms of security, regardless how much effort you spend in order to secure it.

So I am going to install Workbench, but I do not know if it is similar to PMA, that is server-side and you connect to it through your browser or it is client side, you install it on the client and connect to server through, I don't know, ssh?

If it is client side as I suppose, which are the important steps in order to secure it?

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It is a client-server application, no different than phpMyAdmin. phpMyAdmin is just a web-based tool that is typically installed on the same MySQL server that you are administering with it. You can, however, administer remote database servers with phpMyAdmin.

MySQL Workbench is what you might call a "fat application" that installs locally with a monolithic binary that you execute, rather than a series of php files that get interpreted through a web server (ala phpMyAdmin). You can install it on the local server, however to utilize it you will need a windowing system / desktop environment (DE). You will have to determine if your server has a DE on it and if you want to install that set of applications and dependencies. That brings up an entire topic unto itself which I'll deftly walk around, except to say: please don't do that.

In most scenarios, because Workbench requires a desktop environment, you will install it on a PC that is running a general purpose OS with a full DE such as Ubuntu with Unity or Microsoft Windows, among others. You will then supply it the network address and login credentials for the database server. You can administer multiple servers from the single Workbench application.

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Yep, indeed I do not have any DE on the server... –  elect Feb 2 '13 at 7:53

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