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how to start/setup mysql

I am trying to setup mysql version 14.12 on my Linux, slackware distro, kernel 2.6.27. I am not finding the on-line help very useful. I have never use mysql before.

mysql -V, gives: Ver 14.12 Distrib 5.0.67, for slackware-linux-gnu (i486) using  EditLine wrapper

running /etc/rc.d/rc.mysqld start, gives:

nohup: redirecting stderr to stdout
Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /var/lib/mysql
STOPPING server from pid file /var/run/mysql/mysql.pid
120706 08:46:15  mysqld ended

but nothing appears to be started. Attempting to change the root password:

mysqladmin -u root password new-password, gives:

error: 'Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/run/mysql/mysql.sock' (2)'
Check that mysqld is running and that the socket: '/var/run/mysql/mysql.sock' exists!

So, I think I'm stuck right at the beginning. How do I get mysql running?
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netcmh
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100% my.cnf is having issue.

Please check you must be configured something wrong.
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Mark

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netcmh: I followed your 2nd link and got mysql set up and running! In fact, I am COMPLETELY new at mysql, so although it was installed when I installed Linux, it was never configured. There was no my.cnf at all, I had to copy over one of the templates (as specified in that link).

Frankly, I am quite surprised that I got no message logged when trying to run /etc/rc.d/rc.mysqld (like: "my.cnf not found", for example), and that the mysql man pages don't give or reference a nice step-by-step like the basicconfig.com site does. I can't imagine how people set this up the first time without extensive web surfing, or access to EE!

Thanks! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once I get into the nutz-n-boltz of mysql.
:) EE Rocks! :) Thanks for the grade. Good luck.