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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  Installing MySQL on Linux Using RPM Packages

2.5.1 Installing MySQL on Linux Using RPM Packages


To install or upgrade to MySQL 5.5.31, be sure to read the special instructions at the end of this section.

The recommended way to install MySQL on RPM-based Linux distributions is by using the RPM packages. The RPMs that we provide to the community should work on all versions of Linux that support RPM packages and use glibc 2.3. To obtain RPM packages, see Section 2.1.2, “How to Get MySQL”.

For non-RPM Linux distributions, you can install MySQL using a .tar.gz package. See Section 2.2, “Installing MySQL on Unix/Linux Using Generic Binaries”.

Installations created from our Linux RPM distributions result in files under the system directories shown in the following table.

Table 2.12 MySQL Installation Layout for Linux RPM Packages

Directory Contents of Directory
/usr/bin Client programs and scripts
/usr/sbin The mysqld server
/var/lib/mysql Log files, databases
/var/lib/mysql-files Value of secure_file_priv
/usr/share/info MySQL manual in Info format
/usr/share/man Unix manual pages
/usr/include/mysql Include (header) files
/usr/lib/mysql Libraries
/usr/share/mysql Miscellaneous support files, including error messages, character set files, sample configuration files, SQL for database installation
/usr/share/sql-bench Benchmarks


RPM distributions of MySQL are also provided by other vendors. Be aware that they may differ from those built by Oracle in features, capabilities, and conventions (including communication setup), and that the instructions in this manual do not necessarily apply to installing them. The vendor's instructions should be consulted instead. Because of these differences, RPM packages built by Oracle check whether such RPMs built by other vendors are installed. If so, the RPM does not install and produces a message explaining this.

Conflicts can arise when an RPM from another vendor is already installed, such as when a vendor's conventions about which files belong with the server and which belong with the client library differ from the breakdown used for Oracle packages. In such cases, attempts to install an Oracle RPM with rpm -i may result in messages that files in the RPM to be installed conflict with files from an installed package (denoted mysql-libs in the following paragraphs).

Each MySQL release provides a MySQL-shared-compat package that is meant to replace mysql-libs and provides a replacement-compatible client library for older MySQL series. MySQL-shared-compat is set up to make mysql-libs obsolete, but rpm explicitly refuses to replace obsoleted packages when invoked with -i (unlike -U), which is why installation with rpm -i produces a conflict.

MySQL-shared-compat can safely be installed alongside mysql-libs because libraries are installed to different locations. Therefore, it is possible to install MySQL-shared-compat first, then manually remove mysql-libs before continuing with the installation. After mysql-libs is removed, the dynamic linker stops looking for the client library in the location where mysql-libs puts it, and the library provided by the MySQL-shared-compat package takes over.

Another alternative is to install packages using yum. In a directory containing all RPM packages for a MySQL release, yum install MySQL*rpm installs them in the correct order and removes mysql-libs in one step without conflicts.

In most cases, you need install only the MySQL-server and MySQL-client packages to get a functional standard MySQL installation. The other packages are not required for a standard installation.

RPMs for NDB Cluster.  Standard MySQL server RPMs built by MySQL do not provide support for the NDBCLUSTER storage engine.


When upgrading an NDB Cluster RPM installation, you must upgrade all installed RPMs, including the Server and Client RPMs.

For more information about installing NDB Cluster from RPMs, see Section 18.2, “NDB Cluster Installation”.

For upgrades, if your installation was originally produced by installing multiple RPM packages, it is best to upgrade all the installed packages, not just some. For example, if you previously installed the server and client RPMs, do not upgrade just the server RPM.

If the data directory exists at RPM installation time, the installation process does not modify existing data. This has the effect, for example, that accounts in the grant tables are not initialized to the default set of accounts.

If you get a dependency failure when trying to install MySQL packages (for example, error: removing these packages would break dependencies: is needed by ...), you should also install the MySQL-shared-compat package, which includes the shared libraries for older releases for backward compatibility.

The following list shows the available RPM packages. The names shown here use a suffix of .glibc23.i386.rpm, but particular packages can have different suffixes, described later. If you plan to install multiple RPM packages, you may wish to download the RPM Bundle tar file instead, which contains multiple RPM packages so that you need not download them separately.

  • MySQL-server-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The MySQL server. You need this unless you only want to connect to a MySQL server running on another machine.

  • MySQL-client-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The standard MySQL client programs. You probably always want to install this package.

  • MySQL-devel-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The libraries and include files needed to compile other MySQL clients, such as the Perl MySQL module. Install this RPM if you intend to compile C API applications.

  • MySQL-shared-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The shared libraries (*) that certain languages and applications need to dynamically load and use MySQL. It contains single-threaded and thread-safe libraries. Install this RPM if you intend to compile or run C API applications that depend on the shared client library. Prior to MySQL 5.5.6, if you install this package, do not install the MySQL-shared-compat package.

  • MySQL-shared-compat-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The shared libraries for older releases. It contains single-threaded and thread-safe libraries. Install this package if you have applications installed that are dynamically linked against older versions of MySQL but you want to upgrade to the current version without breaking the library dependencies. Before MySQL 5.5.6, MySQL-shared-compat also includes the libraries for the current release, so if you install it, you should not also install MySQL-shared. As of 5.5.6, MySQL-shared-compat does not include the current library version, so there is no conflict.

    As of MySQL 5.5.23, the MySQL-shared-compat RPM package enables users of Red Hat-provided mysql-*-5.1 RPM packages to migrate to Oracle-provided MySQL-*-5.5 packages. MySQL-shared-compat replaces the Red Hat mysql-libs package by replacing files of the latter package, thus satisfying dependencies of other packages on mysql-libs. This change affects only users of Red Hat (or Red Hat-compatible) RPM packages. Nothing is different for users of Oracle RPM packages.

  • MySQL-embedded-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The embedded MySQL server library.

  • MySQL-test-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The MySQL test suite.

  • MySQL-VERSION.src.rpm

    The source code for all of the previous packages. It can also be used to rebuild the RPMs on other architectures (for example, SPARC).

In RPM package names, the suffix (following the VERSION value) has the following syntax:


The PLATFORM and CPU values indicate the type of system for which the package is built. PLATFORM indicates the platform and CPU indicates the processor type or family.

All packages are dynamically linked against glibc 2.3. The PLATFORM value indicates whether the package is platform independent or intended for a specific platform, as shown in the following table.

Table 2.13 MySQL Linux RPM Package Platforms

PLATFORM Value Intended Use
glibc23 Platform independent, should run on any Linux distribution that supports glibc 2.3
rhel4, rhel5 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 or 5
el6 Enterprise Linux 6
sles10, sles11 SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 or 11

In MySQL 5.5, only glibc23 packages are available currently.

The CPU value indicates the processor type or family for which the package is built, as shown in the following table.

Table 2.14 MySQL Linux RPM Package CPU Identifiers

CPU Value Intended Processor Type or Family
i386, i586, i686 Pentium processor or better, 32 bit
x86_64 64-bit x86 processor
ia64 Itanium (IA-64) processor

To see all files in an RPM package (for example, a MySQL-server RPM), run a command like this (modify the platform and CPU identifiers appropriately for your system):

shell> rpm -qpl MySQL-server-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

To perform a standard minimal installation, install the server and client RPMs:

shell> rpm -i MySQL-server-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm
shell> rpm -i MySQL-client-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

To install only the client programs, install just the client RPM:

shell> rpm -i MySQL-client-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

RPM provides a feature to verify the integrity and authenticity of packages before installing them. To learn more about this feature, see Section 2.1.3, “Verifying Package Integrity Using MD5 Checksums or GnuPG”.

The server RPM places data under the /var/lib/mysql directory. The RPM also creates a login account for a user named mysql (if one does not exist) to use for running the MySQL server, and creates the appropriate entries in /etc/init.d/ to start the server automatically at boot time. (This means that if you have performed a previous installation and have made changes to its startup script, you may want to make a copy of the script so that you can reinstall it after you install a newer RPM.) See Section 2.10.5, “Starting and Stopping MySQL Automatically”, for more information on how MySQL can be started automatically at system startup.

In MySQL 5.5.5 and later, during a new installation using RPM packages, the server boot scripts are installed, but the MySQL server is not started at the end of the installation, since the status of the server during an unattended installation is not known.

In MySQL 5.5.5 and later, during an upgrade installation using RPM packages, if the MySQL server is running when the upgrade occurs, the MySQL server is stopped, the upgrade occurs, and the MySQL server is restarted. If the MySQL server is not already running when the RPM upgrade occurs, the MySQL server is not started at the end of the installation.

If something goes wrong, you can find more information in the binary installation section. See Section 2.2, “Installing MySQL on Unix/Linux Using Generic Binaries”.


The accounts created in the MySQL grant tables for an RPM installation initially have no passwords. After starting the server, you should assign passwords to them using the instructions in Section 2.10, “Postinstallation Setup and Testing”.

An RPM installation creates a user named mysql and a group named mysql on the system using the useradd, groupadd, and usermod commands. Those commands require appropriate administrative privileges, which is required for locally managed users and groups (as listed in the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files) by the RPM installation process being run by root.

If you log in as the mysql user, you may find that MySQL displays Invalid (old?) table or database name errors that mention .mysqlgui, lost+found, .mysqlgui, .bash_history, .fonts.cache-1, .lesshst, .mysql_history, .profile, .viminfo, and similar files created by MySQL or operating system utilities. You can safely ignore these error messages or remove the files or directories that cause them if you do not need them.

For nonlocal user management (LDAP, NIS, and so forth), the administrative tools may require additional authentication (such as a password), and will fail if the installing user does not provide this authentication. Even if they fail, the RPM installation will not abort but succeed, and this is intentional. If they failed, some of the intended transfer of ownership may be missing, and it is recommended that the system administrator then manually ensures some appropriate user and group exists and manually transfers ownership following the actions in the RPM spec file.

In MySQL 5.5.31, the RPM spec file has been updated, which has the following consequences:

  • For a non-upgrade installation (no existing MySQL version installed), it possible to install MySQL using yum.

  • For upgrades, it is necessary to clean up any earlier MySQL installations. In effect, the update is performed by removing the old installations and installing the new one.

Additional details follow.

For a non-upgrade installation of MySQL 5.5.31, it is possible to install using yum:

shell> yum install MySQL-server-NEWVERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

For upgrades to MySQL 5.5.31, the upgrade is performed by removing the old installation and installing the new one. To do this, use the following procedure:

  1. Remove the existing 5.5.X installation. OLDVERSION is the version to remove.

    shell> rpm -e MySQL-server-OLDVERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    Repeat this step for all installed MySQL RPMs.

  2. Install the new version. NEWVERSION is the version to install.

    shell> rpm -ivh MySQL-server-NEWVERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

Alternatively, the removal and installation can be done using yum:

shell> yum remove MySQL-server-OLDVERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm
shell> yum install MySQL-server-NEWVERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

For some Linux distributions, it might be necessary to increase the limit on number of file descriptors available to mysqld. See Section B.4.2.18, “File Not Found and Similar Errors”