There's a Linux server in our data center that already has MySQL installed in the default location. Is it possible to install my own personal MySQL instance, say in my ~/ directory?
If so, do you know of any instructions on the web for doing this?
Absolutely. At a minimum, you should start MySQL with the following 4 options (set how you need them, of course):
You should also be able to set those values in a new my.cnf file and point the new instance at that my.cnf file when it starts.
Here's the MySQL reference about doing this: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/multiple-servers.html
I'm not sure if you want to install your own binaries or just run a separate server.
To run a separate server, MySQL has a handy chapter in it's manual regarding Running Multiple Servers on Unix.
If you want to compile your own binaries, there is nothing stopping you from compiling your own binaries and running them with your own options (to avoid port collision, etc).
I can't comment yet, so I'm posting this as an answer. :( To add to what baumgart said, you'll have to keep in mind that when using mysql client programs you need to specify which server to connect to.
One caveat is that:
Does not connect to 3307 on localhost. If you do not specify an IP, it uses the socket file it was compiled with -- that is, the socket file of the default system install.
Either connect via socket using:
Or via TCP using: