How to use MySQLdb with Python and Django in OSX 10.6?

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This is a much discussed issue for OSX 10.6 users, but I haven’t been able to find a solution that works. Here’s my setup:

Python 2.6.1 64bit
Django 1.2.1
MySQL 5.1.47 osx10.6 64bit

I create a virtualenvwrapper with –no-site-packages, then installed Django. When I activate the virtualenv and run python syncdb, I get this error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 11, in <module>
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 438, in execute_manager
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 379, in execute
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 257, in fetch_command
  klass = load_command_class(app_name, subcommand)
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 67, in load_command_class
  module = import_module('' % (app_name, name))
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/utils/", line 35, in import_module
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/core/management/commands/", line 7, in <module>
from import custom_sql_for_model, emit_post_sync_signal
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 5, in <module>
from django.contrib.contenttypes import generic
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/contrib/contenttypes/", line 6, in <module>
  from django.db import connection
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/db/", line 75, in <module>
  connection = connections[DEFAULT_DB_ALIAS]
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/db/", line 91, in __getitem__
  backend = load_backend(db['ENGINE'])
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/db/", line 32, in load_backend
  return import_module('.base', backend_name)
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/utils/", line 35, in import_module
File "/Users/joerobinson/.virtualenvs/dj_tut/lib/python2.6/site-packages/django/db/backends/mysql/", line 14, in <module>
  raise ImproperlyConfigured("Error loading MySQLdb module: %s" % e)
django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Error loading MySQLdb module: No module named MySQLdb

I’ve also installed the MySQL for Python adapter, but to no avail (maybe I installed it improperly?).

Anyone dealt with this before?

I had the same error and pip install MySQL-python solved it for me.

Alternate installs:

  • If you don’t have pip, easy_install MySQL-python should work.
  • If your python is managed by a packaging system, you might have to use
    that system (e.g. sudo apt-get install ...)

Below, Soli notes that if you receive the following error:

EnvironmentError: mysql_config not found

… then you have a further system dependency issue. Solving this will vary from system to system, but for Debian-derived systems:

sudo apt-get install python-mysqldb

Running Ubuntu, I had to do:

sudo apt-get install python-mysqldb

Adding to other answers, the following helped me finish the installation mysql-python:

virtualenv, mysql-python, pip: anyone know how?

On Ubuntu…

apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev
apt-get install python-dev
pip install mysql-python

Don’t forget to add ‘sudo’ to the beginning of commands if you don’t have the proper permissions.

Try this the commands below. They work for me:

brew install mysql-connector-c 
pip install MySQL-python

mysql_config must be on the path. On Mac, do

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin/
pip install MySQL-python

pip install mysql-python

raised an error:

EnvironmentError: mysql_config not found

sudo apt-get install python-mysqldb

fixed the problem.

How I got it working:

virtualenv -p python3.5 env/test

After sourcing my env:

pip install pymysql
pip install django

Then, I ran the startproject and inside the, I added this:

+ try:
+     import pymysql
+     pymysql.install_as_MySQLdb()
+ except:
+     pass

Also, updated this inside settings:

    'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
        'NAME': 'foobar_db',
        'USER': 'foobaruser',
        'PASSWORD': 'foobarpwd',

I also have configparser==3.5.0 installed in my virtualenv, not sure if that was required or not…

Hope it helps,

The following worked perfectly for me, running Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit:

sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev
sudo apt-get install python-dev

Now, navigate to your virtualenv (such as env folder) and execute the following:

sudo ./bin/pip install mysql-python

I actually found the solution in a separate question and I am quoting it below:

If you have created the virtualenv with the –no-site-packages switch
(the default), then system-wide installed additions such as MySQLdb
are not included in the virtual environment packages.

You need to install MySQLdb with the pip command installed with the
virtualenv. Either activate the virtualenv with the bin/activate
script, or use bin/pip from within the virtualenv to install the
MySQLdb library locally as well.

Alternatively, create a new virtualenv with system site-packages
included by using the –system-site-package switch.

I think this should also work with OSX. The only problem would be getting an equivalent command for installing libmysqlclient-dev and python-dev as they are needed to compile
mysql-python I guess.

Hope this helps.

Try this: This solved the issue for me .

pip install MySQL-python

This issue was the result of an incomplete / incorrect installation of the MySQL for Python adapter. Specifically, I had to edit the path to the mysql_config file to point to /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql_config – discussed in greater detail in this article:

sudo apt-get install python-mysqldb works perfectly in ubuntu

pip install mysql-python raises an Environment Error

This worked for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.4

sudo yum install mysql-devel
sudo yum install python-devel
pip install mysql-python

You can install as pip install mysqlclient

I made the upgrade to OSX Mavericks and Pycharm 3 and start to get this error, i used pip and easy install and got the error:

command’/usr/bin/clang’ failed with exit status 1.

So i need to update to Xcode 5 and tried again to install using pip.

pip install mysql-python

That fix all the problems.

The error raised here is in importing the python module. This can be solved by adding the python site-packages folder to the environment variable $PYTHONPATH on OS X. So we can add the following command to the .bash_profile file:

export PYTHONPATH="$PYTHONPATH:/usr/local/lib/pythonx.x/site-packages/"

*replace x.x with the python version you are using

If you are using python3, then try this(My OS is Ubuntu 16.04):

sudo apt-get install python3-mysqldb

pip did not work for me on windows 8 64 bits system.
easy_install mysql-python works for me.
You can use easy_install to avoid building binaries on windows if pip does not work.

I had the same problem on OSX 10.6.6. But just a simple easy_install mysql-python on terminal did not solve it as another hiccup followed:

error: command 'gcc-4.2' failed with exit status 1.

Apparently, this issue arises after upgrading from XCode3 (which is natively shipped with OSX 10.6) to XCode4. This newer ver removes support for building ppc arch. If its the same case, try doing as follows before easy_install mysql-python

sudo bash
export ARCHFLAGS='-arch i386 -arch x86_64'
rm -r build
python build
python install

Many thanks to Ned Deily for this solution. Check here

For me the problem got solved by simply reinstalling mysql-python

pip uninstall mysql-python
pip install mysql-python

Install Command Line Tools Works for me:

xcode-select --install

I overcame the same problem by installing MySQL-python library using pip. You can see the message displayed on my console when I first changed my database settings in and executed makemigrations command(The solution is following the below message, just see that).

  (vir_env) admins-MacBook-Pro-3:src admin$ python makemigrations
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 10, in <module>
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 338, in execute_from_command_line
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/core/management/", line 312, in execute
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/", line 18, in setup
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/apps/", line 108, in populate
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/apps/", line 198, in import_models
    self.models_module = import_module(models_module_name)
  File "/usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.12_1/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/importlib/", line 37, in import_module
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/contrib/auth/", line 41, in <module>
    class Permission(models.Model):
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/models/", line 139, in __new__
    new_class.add_to_class('_meta', Options(meta, **kwargs))
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/models/", line 324, in add_to_class
    value.contribute_to_class(cls, name)
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/models/", line 250, in contribute_to_class
    self.db_table = truncate_name(self.db_table, connection.ops.max_name_length())
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/", line 36, in __getattr__
    return getattr(connections[DEFAULT_DB_ALIAS], item)
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/", line 240, in __getitem__
    backend = load_backend(db['ENGINE'])
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/", line 111, in load_backend
    return import_module('%s.base' % backend_name)
  File "/usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.12_1/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/importlib/", line 37, in import_module
  File "/Users/admin/Desktop/SetUp1/vir_env/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/db/backends/mysql/", line 27, in <module>
    raise ImproperlyConfigured("Error loading MySQLdb module: %s" % e)
django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Error loading MySQLdb module: No module named MySQLdb

Finally I overcame this problem as follows:

(vir_env) admins-MacBook-Pro-3:src admin$ pip install MySQLdb
Collecting MySQLdb
  Could not find a version that satisfies the requirement MySQLdb (from versions: )
No matching distribution found for MySQLdb
(vir_env) admins-MacBook-Pro-3:src admin$ pip install MySQL-python
Collecting MySQL-python
  Downloading (108kB)
    100% |????????????????????????????????| 112kB 364kB/s 
Building wheels for collected packages: MySQL-python
  Running bdist_wheel for MySQL-python ... done
  Stored in directory: /Users/admin/Library/Caches/pip/wheels/38/a3/89/ec87e092cfb38450fc91a62562055231deb0049a029054dc62
Successfully built MySQL-python
Installing collected packages: MySQL-python
Successfully installed MySQL-python-1.2.5
(vir_env) admins-MacBook-Pro-3:src admin$ python makemigrations
No changes detected
(vir_env) admins-MacBook-Pro-3:src admin$ python migrate
Operations to perform:
  Synchronize unmigrated apps: staticfiles, rest_framework, messages, crispy_forms
  Apply all migrations: admin, contenttypes, sessions, auth, PyApp
Synchronizing apps without migrations:
  Creating tables...
    Running deferred SQL...
  Installing custom SQL...
Running migrations:
  Rendering model states... DONE
  Applying PyApp.0001_initial... OK
  Applying PyApp.0002_auto_20170310_0936... OK
  Applying PyApp.0003_auto_20170310_0953... OK
  Applying PyApp.0004_auto_20170310_0954... OK
  Applying PyApp.0005_auto_20170311_0619... OK
  Applying PyApp.0006_auto_20170311_0622... OK
  Applying PyApp.0007_loraevksensor... OK
  Applying PyApp.0008_auto_20170315_0752... OK
  Applying PyApp.0009_auto_20170315_0753... OK
  Applying PyApp.0010_auto_20170315_0806... OK
  Applying PyApp.0011_auto_20170315_0814... OK
  Applying PyApp.0012_auto_20170315_0820... OK
  Applying PyApp.0013_auto_20170315_0822... OK
  Applying PyApp.0014_auto_20170315_0907... OK
  Applying PyApp.0015_auto_20170315_1041... OK
  Applying PyApp.0016_auto_20170315_1355... OK
  Applying PyApp.0017_auto_20170315_1401... OK
  Applying PyApp.0018_auto_20170331_1348... OK
  Applying PyApp.0019_auto_20170331_1349... OK
  Applying PyApp.0020_auto_20170331_1350... OK
  Applying PyApp.0021_auto_20170331_1458... OK
  Applying PyApp.0022_delete_postoffice... OK
  Applying PyApp.0023_posoffice... OK
  Applying PyApp.0024_auto_20170331_1504... OK
  Applying PyApp.0025_auto_20170331_1511... OK
  Applying contenttypes.0001_initial... OK
  Applying auth.0001_initial... OK
  Applying admin.0001_initial... OK
  Applying contenttypes.0002_remove_content_type_name... OK
  Applying auth.0002_alter_permission_name_max_length... OK
  Applying auth.0003_alter_user_email_max_length... OK
  Applying auth.0004_alter_user_username_opts... OK
  Applying auth.0005_alter_user_last_login_null... OK
  Applying auth.0006_require_contenttypes_0002... OK
  Applying sessions.0001_initial... OK
(vir_env) admins-MacBook-Pro-3:src admin$ 

Run this command

sudo pip install mysql-python;

now you can run your command.

python startapp filename;

I encountered similar situations like yours that I am using python3.7 and django 2.1 in virtualenv on mac osx.
Try to run command:

pip install mysql-python
pip install pymysql

And edit file in your project folder and add following:

import pymysql


Then run: python3 runserver
or python runserver

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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