MySQL installation

In this part of the MySQL tutorial, we are going to cover the installation of the MySQL database management system. In this chapter, we will install MySQL on Linux.

There are several ways how we can install MySQL on our system. We can install MySQL from packages, from binaries or from the sources.

$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server

On Ubuntu and other Debian based distributions, we can easily install MySQL from packages by using the apt-get tool. This command installs the MySQL server and various other packages. While installing the packages, we are prompted to enter a password for the MySQL root account.

Installing from sources

Installing MySQL from sources gives us the most options to build MySQL according to our preferences. We can customise installation locations, various build parameters or compiler optimisations.

We enter the website. Under Downloads tab, we select generally available MySQL Community Edition. From the Select platform combo box, we choose Source Code.

$ ls -sh mysql-5.5.9.tar.gz 
23M mysql-5.5.9.tar.gz

We have downloaded a compressed archive of MySQL 5.5.9 sources.

$ tar xzvf mysql-5.5.9.tar.gz
$ cd mysql-5.5.9/

We have unpacked the sources to the mysql-5.5.9 directory.

$ sudo apt-get install cmake
$ which cmake bison perl

To build MySQL, we need to have three tools installed on our system: cmake, bison, and Perl. In our case, we had to install the cmake tool. The cmake tool has replaced the configure tool, because it is more portable.

$ cmake -L
-- MySQL 5.5.9
-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /home/vronskij/Downloads/mysql-5.5.9
-- Cache values

The -L option shows some of the default configure options. The system is going to be installed to /usr/loca/mysql directory. For us it is important to have InnoDB storage engine configured to be included.

$ cmake .

We configure the build. We leave all the default settings. In case we wanted to have also the MySQL embedded system, we would provide the -DWITH_EMBEDDED_SERVER=1 option.

$ make
$ sudo make install

We make the system and install it.

$ sudo addgroup --system mysql
$ sudo adduser --system mysql --no-create-home -ingroup mysql

We create a mysql system group and a mysql system user on our computer. Each process in Linux is owned by a specific user. The MySQL daemon will be owned by user mysql. Note that mysql is not a normal user account. It is a system user.

$ pwd
$ sudo chown -R mysql .
$ sudo chgrp -R mysql .

We are located in the /usr/local/mysql directory. We change the group and owner of all files located in the mentioned directory. The -R option means recursive operation. This means that the two commands operate on all files and directories and the contents of the directories.

$ sudo ./scripts/mysql_install_db --user=mysql

Here we install MySQL system tables. These tables are necessary for MySQL to be functional.

$ sudo chown -R root .
$ sudo chown -R mysql data

We change the owner for all files back to the user root, except for the data directory. The MySQL server, which is owned by the mysql user, must have access to the data directory. The database files are stored in this directory.

Changing the root password

By default, the MySQL superuser root has an empty password. We need to set a password for the root account.

$ su
# /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld_safe &
# exit

We start the MySQL server. We change to the Linux root account and launch the mysqld_safe script. It is a MySQL server startup script.

$ sudo passwd root
Enter new UNIX password: 
Retype new UNIX password: 
passwd: password updated successfully
$ su root

On Ubuntu, the (Linux) root account is not enabled by default. Here we show, how to enable it. Then we can use the su (switch user) command to switch to root to start the MySQL daemon.

$ bin/mysqladmin -u root password '345jas7'

Using the mysqladmin we change the password for the root account. Note that command is launched without the sudo.

Other settings

After we have installed the MySQL on our system and changed a password for the root account, there are still some modifications left to do.

MySQL has a configuration file called my.cnf. This is located in the /etc directory. By editing the options in this file, we can configure the server to our needs.

$ cp support-files/my-medium.cnf /etc/my.cnf
$ cp support-files/my-medium.cnf ~/.my.cnf

In the support-files directory there are prepared configuration files. We can choose one of them, which best suits us. In the first command, we create MySQL global configuration file. In the second example, we create a personal file in the home directory of the user. This part is optional.

$ export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin/
$ export MANPATH=$MANPATH:/usr/local/mysql/man/

Another useful thing to do is to add bin direcory to your PATH variable. This way we can launch MySQL commands and scripts without specifying the full path. In addition, we add the path to the manual pages of the MySQL tools and commands to the MANPATH variable. Now we can view MySQL man pages with the man command. Place both commands to your shell configuration file. In case of the bash it is .bashrc.

In this part of the MySQL tutorial, we have covered the installation of the MySQL database system.