Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
MySQL is definitely one of the leading opensource database projects around and mainstream companies like google and yahoo have successfully incorporated MySQL into their highly powerful and scalable server platforms. LAMP stacks are increasingly becoming popular and MySQL is a great tool for beginners and students to learn databases. As much as developers and server admins love their SQL, it always helps in having GUI tools to make the process more efficient, faster and simplified.
There is a misconception that free tools for this purpose aren't available for Linux. Here I'll describe 3 tools to make our lives easier.
1. MySQL Administrator/Query Browser