In some cases, you might want to run multiple instances of MySQL on a single machine. You might want to test a new MySQL release while leaving an existing production setup undisturbed. Or you might want to give different users access to different mysqld servers that they manage themselves. (For example, you might be an Internet Service Provider that wants to provide independent MySQL installations for different customers.)
It is possible to use a different MySQL server binary per instance, or use the same binary for multiple instances, or any combination of the two approaches. For example, you might run a server from MySQL 5.1 and one from MySQL 5.5, to see how different versions handle a given workload. Or you might run multiple instances of the current production version, each managing a different set of databases.
Whether or not you use distinct server binaries, each instance that
you run must be configured with unique values for several operating
parameters. This eliminates the potential for conflict between
instances. Parameters can be set on the command line, in option
files, or by setting environment variables. See
Section 4.2.3, “Specifying Program Options”. To see the values used by a given
instance, connect to it and execute a
The primary resource managed by a MySQL instance is the data
directory. Each instance should use a different data directory, the
location of which is specified using the
option. For methods of configuring each instance with its own data
directory, and warnings about the dangers of failing to do so, see
Section 5.3.1, “Setting Up Multiple Data Directories”.
In addition to using different data directories, several other options must have different values for each server instance:
--socket controls the Unix socket
file path on Unix or the named pipe name on Windows. On Windows,
it is necessary to specify distinct pipe names only for those
servers configured to permit named-pipe connections.
This option is used only on Windows. It designates the shared-memory name used by a Windows server to permit clients to connect using shared memory. It is necessary to specify distinct shared-memory names only for those servers configured to permit shared-memory connections.
This option indicates the path name of the file in which the server writes its process ID.
If you use the following log file options, their values must differ for each server:
For further discussion of log file options, see Section 5.2, “MySQL Server Logs”.
To achieve better performance, you can specify the following option differently for each server, to spread the load between several physical disks:
Having different temporary directories also makes it easier to determine which MySQL server created any given temporary file.
If you have multiple MySQL installations in different locations, you
can specify the base directory for each installation with the
option. This causes each instance to automatically use a different
data directory, log files, and PID file because the default for each
of those parameters is relative to the base directory. In that case,
the only other options you need to specify are the
--port options. Suppose that you
install different versions of MySQL using
file binary distributions. These install in different locations, so
you can start the server for each installation using the command
bin/mysqld_safe under its corresponding base
directory. mysqld_safe determines the proper
--basedir option to pass to
mysqld, and you need specify only the
--port options to
As discussed in the following sections, it is possible to start
additional servers by specifying appropriate command options or by
setting environment variables. However, if you need to run multiple
servers on a more permanent basis, it is more convenient to use
option files to specify for each server those option values that
must be unique to it. The
--defaults-file option is useful for