first thing is first, phpMyAdmin works, and i can add db's and users.... so it would seem that mysql is running. but when sending mysqli(localhost, user, pw) i get: Code: Connection error (2002) No such file or directory i added "mysql.default_socket = /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/var/mysql/mysql.sock" to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/etc/php.ini first and restarted apache and mysql. still a no go. so to check that it is actually mysql running the phpMyAdmin page, and not say sqlite fooling me, i ran: Code: # ./mysqladmin version ./mysqladmin Ver 8.42 Distrib 5.1.44, for apple-darwin8.11.1 on i386 Copyright 2000-2008 MySQL AB, 2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc. This software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software, and you are welcome to modify and redistribute it under the GPL license Server version 5.1.44 Protocol version 10 Connection Localhost via UNIX socket UNIX socket /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/var/mysql/mysql.sock Uptime: 43 min 1 sec Threads: 1 Questions: 383 Slow queries: 0 Opens: 476 Flush tables: 1 Open tables: 4 Queries per second avg: 0.148 not sure here, but mysqladmin wasn't a command available - i had to navigate to /Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/bin to run it like a script. so any suggestions? edit: found that i can connect and use db thru MySQL Workbench. but still not mysqli. ..