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MySQL Installation Guide  /  Installing MySQL on Unix/Linux Using Generic Binaries

Chapter 3 Installing MySQL on Unix/Linux Using Generic Binaries

Oracle provides a set of binary distributions of MySQL. These include generic binary distributions in the form of compressed tar files (files with a .tar.gz extension) for a number of platforms, and binaries in platform-specific package formats for selected platforms.

This section covers the installation of MySQL from a compressed tar file binary distribution on Unix/Linux platforms. For other platform-specific binary package formats, see the other platform-specific sections in this manual. For example, for Windows distributions, see Chapter 5, Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows. See Section 2.3, “How to Get MySQL” on how to obtain MySQL in different distribution formats.

MySQL compressed tar file binary distributions have names of the form mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz, where VERSION is a number (for example, 5.6.51), and OS indicates the type of operating system for which the distribution is intended (for example, pc-linux-i686 or winx64).

  • If you have previously installed MySQL using your operating system native package management system, such as Yum or APT, you may experience problems installing using a native binary. Make sure your previous MySQL installation has been removed entirely (using your package management system), and that any additional files, such as old versions of your data files, have also been removed. You should also check for configuration files such as /etc/my.cnf or the /etc/mysql directory and delete them.

    For information about replacing third-party packages with official MySQL packages, see the related APT guide or Yum guide.

  • MySQL has a dependency on the libaio library. Data directory initialization and subsequent server startup steps fail if this library is not installed locally. If necessary, install it using the appropriate package manager. For example, on Yum-based systems:

    $> yum search libaio  # search for info
    $> yum install libaio # install library

    Or, on APT-based systems:

    $> apt-cache search libaio # search for info
    $> apt-get install libaio1 # install library
  • SLES 11: As of MySQL 5.6.37, the Linux Generic tarball package format is EL6 instead of EL5. As a side effect, the MySQL client bin/mysql needs

    A workaround is to create a symlink, such as ln -s /lib64/ on 64-bit systems or ln -s /lib/ on 32-bit systems.

To install a compressed tar file binary distribution, unpack it at the installation location you choose (typically /usr/local/mysql). This creates the directories shown in the following table.

Table 3.1 MySQL Installation Layout for Generic Unix/Linux Binary Package

Directory Contents of Directory
bin, scripts mysqld server, client and utility programs
data Log files, databases
docs MySQL manual in Info format
include Include (header) files
lib Libraries
mysql-test Test suite
man Unix manual pages
share Error messages, dictionary, and SQL for database installation
sql-bench Benchmarks
support-files Miscellaneous support files, including sample configuration files

Debug versions of the mysqld binary are available as mysqld-debug. To compile your own debug version of MySQL from a source distribution, use the appropriate configuration options to enable debugging support. See Chapter 4, Installing MySQL from Source.

To install and use a MySQL binary distribution, the command sequence looks like this:

$> groupadd mysql
$> useradd -r -g mysql -s /bin/false mysql
$> cd /usr/local
$> tar zxvf /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz
$> ln -s full-path-to-mysql-VERSION-OS mysql
$> cd mysql
$> scripts/mysql_install_db --user=mysql
$> bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql &
# Next command is optional
$> cp support-files/mysql.server /etc/init.d/mysql.server

This procedure assumes that you have root (administrator) access to your system. Alternatively, you can prefix each command using the sudo (Linux) or pfexec (Solaris) command.


The procedure does not assign passwords to MySQL accounts. To do so, use the instructions in Section 9.4, “Securing the Initial MySQL Accounts”.

mysql_install_db creates a default option file named my.cnf in the base installation directory. This file is created from a template included in the distribution package named my-default.cnf. For more information, see Using a Sample Default Server Configuration File.

A more detailed version of the preceding description for installing a binary distribution follows.

Create a mysql User and Group

If your system does not already have a user and group to use for running mysqld, you may need to create them. The following commands add the mysql group and the mysql user. You might want to call the user and group something else instead of mysql. If so, substitute the appropriate name in the following instructions. The syntax for useradd and groupadd may differ slightly on different versions of Unix/Linux, or they may have different names such as adduser and addgroup.

$> groupadd mysql
$> useradd -r -g mysql -s /bin/false mysql

Because the user is required only for ownership purposes, not login purposes, the useradd command uses the -r and -s /bin/false options to create a user that does not have login permissions to your server host. Omit these options if your useradd does not support them.

Obtain and Unpack the Distribution

Pick the directory under which you want to unpack the distribution and change location into it. The example here unpacks the distribution under /usr/local. The instructions, therefore, assume that you have permission to create files and directories in /usr/local. If that directory is protected, you must perform the installation as root.

$> cd /usr/local

Obtain a distribution file using the instructions in Section 2.3, “How to Get MySQL”. For a given release, binary distributions for all platforms are built from the same MySQL source distribution.

Unpack the distribution, which creates the installation directory. tar can uncompress and unpack the distribution if it has z option support:

$> tar zxvf /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz

The tar command creates a directory named mysql-VERSION-OS.

To install MySQL from a compressed tar file binary distribution, your system must have GNU gunzip to uncompress the distribution and a reasonable tar to unpack it. If your tar program supports the z option, it can both uncompress and unpack the file.

GNU tar is known to work. The standard tar provided with some operating systems is not able to unpack the long file names in the MySQL distribution. You should download and install GNU tar, or if available, use a preinstalled version of GNU tar. Usually this is available as gnutar, gtar, or as tar within a GNU or Free Software directory, such as /usr/sfw/bin or /usr/local/bin. GNU tar is available from

If your tar does not have z option support, use gunzip to unpack the distribution and tar to unpack it. Replace the preceding tar command with the following alternative command to uncompress and extract the distribution:

$> gunzip < /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz | tar xvf -

Next, create a symbolic link to the installation directory created by tar:

$> ln -s full-path-to-mysql-VERSION-OS mysql

The ln command makes a symbolic link to the installation directory. This enables you to refer more easily to it as /usr/local/mysql. To avoid having to type the path name of client programs always when you are working with MySQL, you can add the /usr/local/mysql/bin directory to your PATH variable:

$> export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin

Perform Postinstallation Setup

The remainder of the installation process involves setting distribution ownership and access permissions, initializing the data directory, starting the MySQL server, and setting up the configuration file. For instructions, see Chapter 9, Postinstallation Setup and Testing.