"How on earth do I tell MAMP to use my own MySQL configuration?"
Chances are you've heard this question one too many times if you're a web-developer... It's also been driving me crazy for about an hour.
Turns out MAMP isn't that bad after all, good thing I refrained from tweeting angry things about them. Granted, they do still suck (their little UI that never disappears is horrid, as well as the incapability of restarting one service, and, they should put their stuff in System Preferences as a PreferencePane, just like the official MySQL has)
In any case, here's what to do if you can't figure out where to put your my.cnf when working with MAMP. To have MySQL print out its help, listing the different paths in which it will look for a my.cnf configuration file, sorted by order of preference, type the following on the command line:
mysql --help | grep cnf
Part of the output should be the following line:
/etc/my.cnf /etc/mysql/my.cnf /Applications/MAMP/conf/my.cnf ~/.my.cnf
Perfect, a couple of locations MAMP's MySQL will look for the my.cnf for and /etc/my.cnf is the first location it will try.
If you were like me you didn't even consider putting it in /etc and tried figuring out where to put it under MAMP's folder. Turns out it's not necessary as /etc/my.cnf will do. But, as an added bonus, it tells you where to put it should you want the my.cnf file under MAMP's folder anyway.
Another tip: in case you've got multiple MySQLs installed make sure you're using MAMP's MySQL by entering the following command: which mysql