PHP/MySQL GUIs: Lightweight phpMyAdmin Alternatives

phpMyAdmin MySQL administrationWhether you are a seasoned developer or just starting out, it is helpful to gain direct visual access to a database. Typically, this is granted via phpMyAdmin or even the newer MonoQL. However, many web hosts do not install or permit the use of phpMyAdmin or MonoQL because of the security risks that vulnerable versions can pose. Other hosts choose not to allow them because of the resources that they can consume. Whatever the reason, there are alternatives.

Lightweight phpMyAdmin Alternatives – 3 FREE PHP Tools

The following tools do not contain ALL of the features of phpMyAdmin, but they do include the core features and are very lightweight. In fact, two of these scripts perform their phpMyAdmin magic via one small file! Even better, these open source GPL tools are 100% free and require no installation — just extract and upload.

phpMiniAdmin for MySQL

If you are looking for the most lightweight and fastest solution possible, then phpMiniAdmin is for you. The total file size is only 30KB and you can get its admin interface up and running in under 5 minutes.

Download phpMiniAdmin from

Adminer – Database management in single PHP file

For something that looks and behaves a little more like phpMyAdmin, choose Adminer. Still one file, it contains an incredible amount of features for its 285KB file size. In addition to being able to manage MySQL, Adminer also supports PostGreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL and Oracle databases.

Download Adminer from or There is also an Adminer WordPress plugin.

SQL Buddy

SQL Buddy is the most robust option, and in many ways, it can be a suitable phpMyAdmin replacement. SQL Buddy has almost the full phpMySQL feature set, but also has a slicker, easy-to-use interface. At just over 1MB, this package is larger than the other options, but it is definitely worth it. Don’t like what it looks like? Decide what it looks like by choosing a theme.

Download SQL Buddy from or

Additional MySQL Admin Options

The great thing about phpMiniAdmin, Adminer, and SQL Buddy is that they are easily installed by just uploading them to a server, and are just as easily uninstalled by deleting their files. However, if you or your host is concerned about security, having such an admin tool on your server can be problematic. If this is the case, the following options might be for you.


MySQL provides desktop applications for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux that can be used to remotely manage your databases. Their administration software, called MySQL GUI Tools, which consists of three separate tools — MySQL Administrator, MySQL Migration Toolkit, and MySQL Query Browser — and has comparable features to phpMyAdmin. (MySQL also has another admin tool called MySQL WorkBench that replaces two of the MySQL GUI Tools.)

To access your database, you can simply enter the server host, mysql port, and the appropriate username and password. Sometimes, based on security, accessing the database can be tricky. In cases like this, you might need to tunnel your way in using SSH (Secure Shell) and an SSH client application like PuTTY. (If you don’t know what this means, check out this article by on Setting up an SSH tunnel with Putty.)

Download MySQL GUI Tools at

Command Line – Do It Like A Pro

While a bit intimidating for some, manipulating your database via the command line is just as easy as using phpMyAdmin. You’ll just need to know which commands to use. Be sure to practice on an empty or dummy table first. has a good MySQL on Linux tutorial for beginners.

More MySQL Administration Tools

When it comes to managing a database, you really just need to find a tool that works best for you. Below are a few more tools. We haven’t tested them out, so use them at your own risk and let us know how they work for you.

  • Chive – Regularly updated and boasts a few more features than SQL Buddy. Download Chive.
  • DBKiss – Supports MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. Download DBKiss.
  • SIDU – Supports MySQL, Postgres, and SQLite. Download SIDU.
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2 Responses to “PHP/MySQL GUIs: Lightweight phpMyAdmin Alternatives”

  • julio March 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I think you need to have a look at this one

    it in its infancy but looks awesome

  • john stone November 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Tried the ones mentioned here and then stumbled upon DbNinja (, which, I think, is much superior to every other web-based tool. I think it deserves to be on top of this list.
    Best of luck!


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