Okay, thanks for all the help. I finally ditched the binary install that I have been wrestling with and have gone with a nice rpm install instead. With all the suggestions here, I may try the binary install again. However, I have a few questions. 1. what is the difference between mysql and mysql-server? 2. What exactly does chkdonfig do? Where can I learn more about that, it sounds like it is somewhat important. 3. How powerfull is rc.local on Red Hat 7.2 and are there any limitations in using it. Can I simply place a command such as /path/mysql/safe_mysqld & in it and expect to run or do I really need to go through the fancy chkconfig process? For now, that is it. Thank you all for your help. /chris PS. Feeling a little cooler now, sorry.