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If I have a server named sql running mysql and a server named web running phpmyadmin, do I need to have mysql running on the "web" server as well or can I just tell it to connect to the mysql that is running on the "sql" server?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

phpMyAdmin can very well connect to a MySQL server running on another host. Just remember that you have to configure your mysqld allowing connecting from your web host, as well as allowing your mysql user accounts access from said host.

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