MySQL and Linux/Unix  /  BSD Notes  /  FreeBSD Notes

6.1 FreeBSD Notes

FreeBSD 4.x or newer is recommended for running MySQL, because the thread package is much more integrated. To get a secure and stable system, you should use only FreeBSD kernels that are marked -RELEASE.

The easiest (and preferred) way to install MySQL is to use the mysql-server and mysql-client ports available at Using these ports gives you the following benefits:

  • A working MySQL with all optimizations enabled that are known to work on your version of FreeBSD.

  • Automatic configuration and build.

  • Startup scripts installed in /usr/local/etc/rc.d.

  • The ability to use pkg_info -L to see which files are installed.

  • The ability to use pkg_delete to remove MySQL if you no longer want it on your machine.

It is recommended you use MIT-pthreads on FreeBSD 2.x, and native threads on FreeBSD 3 and up. It is possible to run with native threads on some late 2.2.x versions, but you may encounter problems shutting down mysqld.

Unfortunately, certain function calls on FreeBSD are not yet fully thread-safe. Most notably, this includes the gethostbyname() function, which is used by MySQL to convert host names into IP addresses. Under certain circumstances, the mysqld process suddenly causes 100% CPU load and is unresponsive. If you encounter this problem, try to start MySQL using the --skip-name-resolve option.

Alternatively, you can link MySQL on FreeBSD 4.x against the LinuxThreads library, which avoids a few of the problems that the native FreeBSD thread implementation has. For a very good comparison of LinuxThreads versus native threads, see Jeremy Zawodny's article FreeBSD or Linux for your MySQL Server? at

Known problem when using LinuxThreads on FreeBSD is:

  • The connection times (wait_timeout, interactive_timeout and net_read_timeout) values are not honored. The symptom is that persistent connections can hang for a very long time without getting closed down and that a 'kill' for a thread will not take affect until the thread does it a new command

    This is probably a signal handling problem in the thread library where the signal doesn't break a pending read. This is supposed to be fixed in FreeBSD 5.0

The MySQL build process requires GNU make (gmake) to work. If GNU make is not available, you must install it first before compiling MySQL.

The recommended way to compile and install MySQL on FreeBSD with gcc (2.95.2 and up) is:

CC=gcc CFLAGS="-O2 -fno-strength-reduce" \
    CXX=gcc CXXFLAGS="-O2 -fno-rtti -fno-exceptions \
    -felide-constructors -fno-strength-reduce" \
    ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/mysql --enable-assembler
gmake install
cd /usr/local/mysql
bin/mysql_install_db --user=mysql
bin/mysqld_safe &

Be sure that your name resolver setup is correct. Otherwise, you may experience resolver delays or failures when connecting to mysqld. Also make sure that the localhost entry in the /etc/hosts file is correct. The file should start with a line similar to this:       localhost localhost.your.domain

FreeBSD is known to have a very low default file handle limit. See File Not Found and Similar Errors. Start the server by using the --open-files-limit option for mysqld_safe, or raise the limits for the mysqld user in /etc/login.conf and rebuild it with cap_mkdb /etc/login.conf. Also be sure that you set the appropriate class for this user in the password file if you are not using the default (use chpass mysqld-user-name). See mysqld_safe — MySQL Server Startup Script.

FreeBSD limits the size of a process to 512MB, even if you have much more RAM available on the system. So you may get an error such as this:

Out of memory (Needed 16391 bytes)

In current versions of FreeBSD (at least 4.x and greater), you may increase this limit by adding the following entries to the /boot/loader.conf file and rebooting the machine (these are not settings that can be changed at run time with the sysctl command):

kern.maxdsiz="1073741824" # 1GB
kern.dfldsiz="1073741824" # 1GB
kern.maxssiz="134217728" # 128MB

For older versions of FreeBSD, you must recompile your kernel to change the maximum data segment size for a process. In this case, you should look at the MAXDSIZ option in the LINT config file for more information.

If you get problems with the current date in MySQL, setting the TZ variable should help. See Environment Variables.

User Comments
  Posted by Konstantin Smirnov on December 11, 2003
If you're going to use MySQL on FreeBSD at 2 or
more CPU's machine, please note, that MySQL would
use only one CPU.
It's because of FreeBSD cannot optimize threads
between multiple CPUs (this feature should appear
in 5.0).
If you want to get full efficiency of
such system, you should compile MySQL with
LinuxThreads, and all optimization, recomended
below. NB: you SHOULD use FreeBSD 4.4 or later,
since older versions work bugly with
  Posted by FreeBSD Forums on March 9, 2002
On high volume servers using MySQL with FreeBSD
it is also recommended increasing MAXUSERS (i.e.
basically recompiling/rebuilding your kernel). <a
  Posted by FreeBSD Forums on May 25, 2002
For a guide to securing MySQL on FreeBSD, check
out <a
ad.php?threadid=835">this</a> informative article!
  Posted by on January 17, 2003
jeremy zawodny's got a heap of interesting info relative to running mysql on freebsd (4.x). check it out here:
  Posted by shilling lee on March 23, 2003
When the DB server encounters many query,
I got these error messages when I upgrade from
MySQL 3.23 to MySQL 4.0.12 on a FreeBSD 4.8-PRERELEASE
I query the database via JDBC with the 3.0.6-stable Java API

It seems that there is no problem when using C API

=== cut ===

ERROR 1030: Got error 12 from table handler

ERROR 1135: Can't create a new thread (errno 35). If you are not out of available memory, you can consult the manual for a possible OS-dependent bug

=== cut ===

  Posted by Robert Ross on November 5, 2003
For those of you using FreeBSD 4.8/4.9 (at least, I don't know about prior to those versions), you can use /usr/ports/databases to install MySQL. If you configure the Makefile with the line
MySQL will automatically compile and install LinuxThreads for you, as well as compiling and installing itself in the default directories.
Something rather convenient, after you've been beating your head against the wall for 13 hours because it can't find LinuxThreads when you compile MySQL from source.
  Posted by Martin Friebe on January 5, 2005
freebsd 5.3 (but I believe 4.x aswell)

the MAXDSIZ has been discussed above. You might want to increase MAXSSIZE aswell; I found that a low MAXSSIZ limited the amount of simultaneos connections (and therefore running threads) to the mysql server. (build with linux-thread)

this is if you have several 100 connections at the same time (even if they are idle)
  Posted by Peter Beckman on August 23, 2005
On FreeBSD 5.x, there is a hard limit default compiled into the kernel which limits the amount of memory a process can use to 512MB. You can see this by running the command "limits."

You can, without recompiling the kernel, increase this maximum process size memory limit to something higher, but absolutely below your physical memory. I.e. if you have 1GB of memory, do not set your per process memory limit equal to or higher than that! FreeBSD 5.x will crash and not be able to be recovered without a local change being made if you set that limit higher than the amount of physical memory . (FreeBSD Bug:

In /boot/loader.conf, add these lines (on a 1.5GB box or greater):
kern.maxdsiz="1073741824" # 1GB
kern.dfldsiz="1073741824" # 1GB
kern.maxssiz="134217728" # 128MB

Then reboot, and increase your my.cnf memory configuration values in order to increase mysql memory usage.

The Operating system error number you will see is 12 (ENOMEM) Out of memory:

InnoDB: Error: cannot allocate 797284 bytes of
InnoDB: memory with malloc! Total allocated memory
InnoDB: by InnoDB 6299504 bytes. Operating system errno: 12
InnoDB: Check if you should increase the swap file or
InnoDB: ulimits of your operating system.
InnoDB: On FreeBSD check you have compiled the OS with
InnoDB: a big enough maximum process size.
InnoDB: We keep retrying the allocation for 60 seconds...
InnoDB: Fatal error: cannot allocate the memory for the buffer pool
  Posted by Tristan Crombez on May 14, 2006
For FreeBSD 6 tests show that using libthr gives the best performance (search on the net for some benchmarks).
To use libthr, just download the precompiled mysql for FreeBSD 6, and add the following lines to your /etc/libmap.conf :


After that restart your mysqld, and from then on it should be using libthr.

  Posted by Eugene Varnav on September 15, 2009
Since there are no any "make config" options in mysql51-server port (thanx to the mantainer) we can still set compile options by editing /etc/make.conf

Try adding this to /etc/make.conf:



.if ${.CURDIR} == ${PORTSDIR}/databases/mysql51-server

.if ${.CURDIR} == ${PORTSDIR}/databases/mysql51-client


Of course you may use any other options you like.

It's still not clear for me is it good idea to use:

and it's not clear what they do
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