Update 2012-04-25: mysql workbench has now appeared in the universe package archive. You should be able to install it with a simple:
sudo apt-get install mysql-workbench
Read on if you still want to compile from source.
Right now (2012-04-04), Ubuntu 12.04 hasn’t been released yet, and so there is no binary package from Oracle of MySQL Workbench for Precise. I managed to get the MySQL Workbench binaries for Oneiric to run, by manually installing libzip1_0.9.3-1_amd64.deb from Oneiric, but this wasn’t stable (crashed as soon as I tried to run a SQL Query).
So I decided to build from source. Here’s how I did it:
wget http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/ftp.mysql.com/Downloads/MySQLGUITools/mysql-workbench-gpl-5.2.38-src.tar.gz md5sum mysql-workbench-gpl-5.2.38-src.tar.gz # should be cd2a0cec9dffd5465b6999f5d9c8de78 (from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/workbench/#downloads). tar xvzf mysql-workbench-gpl-5.2.38-src.tar.gz cd mysql-workbench-gpl-5.2.38-src # from http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=63898 fgrep -rlZ pkglib_DATA --include Makefile.am . | xargs -0 sed -i 's/pkglib_DATA/pkgdata_DATA/g' # from https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=750023 vim ./modules/db.mysql.sqlparser/src/mysql_sql_parser_fe.cpp
change line 23 from:
apt-get update # from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1792874 sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake libtool libzip-dev libxml2-dev libsigc++-2.0-dev libglade2-dev libgtkmm-2.4-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libmysqlclient-dev uuid-dev liblua5.1-dev libpcre3-dev g++ libgnome2-dev libgtk2.0-dev libpango1.0-dev libcairo2-dev libsqlite3-dev python-dev libboost-dev libctemplate-dev ./autogen.sh # I use -j4 below to use all four of my CPUs, set this appropriately for your setup. make -j 4 install DESTDIR=/home/`echo $USER`/mysql-workbench ~/mysql-workbench/usr/local/bin/mysql-workbench