Running a fresh XAMPP install on Fedora 17 this morning, I kept getting this error. I even RTFM!

I can't guarantee if this will work for you, but I re-extracted the archive with the -p to preserve file permissions:

# xvpfz xampp-linux-1.8.1.tar.gz -C /opt

Now MySQL in XAMPP starts:

# /opt/lampp/lampp startStarting XAMPP for Linux 1.8.1…XAMPP: Starting Apache with SSL (and PHP5)…XAMPP: Starting MySQL…XAMPP: Starting ProFTPD…XAMPP for Linux started.

I'm thinking I should have a separate blog for tips like this. My neglected university hosted site, perhaps?

As an aside, the XAMPP icon in this post is by anekdamian on DeviantART. Much nicer than the default icon.