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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  mysql.server — MySQL Server Startup Script

4.3.3 mysql.server — MySQL Server Startup Script

MySQL distributions on Unix and Unix-like system include a script named mysql.server, which starts the MySQL server using mysqld_safe. It can be used on systems such as Linux and Solaris that use System V-style run directories to start and stop system services. It is also used by the macOS Startup Item for MySQL.

mysql.server is the script name as used within the MySQL source tree. The installed name might be different; for example, mysqld or mysql. In the following discussion, adjust the name mysql.server as appropriate for your system.

To start or stop the server manually using the mysql.server script, invoke it from the command line with start or stop arguments:

shell> mysql.server start
shell> mysql.server stop

mysql.server changes location to the MySQL installation directory, then invokes mysqld_safe. To run the server as some specific user, add an appropriate user option to the [mysqld] group of the global /etc/my.cnf option file, as shown later in this section. (It is possible that you must edit mysql.server if you've installed a binary distribution of MySQL in a nonstandard location. Modify it to change location into the proper directory before it runs mysqld_safe. If you do this, your modified version of mysql.server may be overwritten if you upgrade MySQL in the future; make a copy of your edited version that you can reinstall.)

mysql.server stop stops the server by sending a signal to it. You can also stop the server manually by executing mysqladmin shutdown.

To start and stop MySQL automatically on your server, you must add start and stop commands to the appropriate places in your /etc/rc* files:

  • If you use the Linux server RPM package (MySQL-server-VERSION.rpm), or a native Linux package installation, the mysql.server script may be installed in the /etc/init.d directory with the name mysqld or mysql. See Section 2.5.1, “Installing MySQL on Linux Using RPM Packages”, for more information on the Linux RPM packages.

  • If you install MySQL from a source distribution or using a binary distribution format that does not install mysql.server automatically, you can install the script manually. It can be found in the support-files directory under the MySQL installation directory or in a MySQL source tree. Copy the script to the /etc/init.d directory with the name mysql and make it executable:

    shell> cp mysql.server /etc/init.d/mysql
    shell> chmod +x /etc/init.d/mysql

    After installing the script, the commands needed to activate it to run at system startup depend on your operating system. On Linux, you can use chkconfig:

    shell> chkconfig --add mysql

    On some Linux systems, the following command also seems to be necessary to fully enable the mysql script:

    shell> chkconfig --level 345 mysql on
  • On FreeBSD, startup scripts generally should go in /usr/local/etc/rc.d/. Install the mysql.server script as /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ to enable automatic startup. The rc(8) manual page states that scripts in this directory are executed only if their base name matches the *.sh shell file name pattern. Any other files or directories present within the directory are silently ignored.

  • As an alternative to the preceding setup, some operating systems also use /etc/rc.local or /etc/init.d/boot.local to start additional services on startup. To start up MySQL using this method, append a command like the one following to the appropriate startup file:

    /bin/sh -c 'cd /usr/local/mysql; ./bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql &'
  • For other systems, consult your operating system documentation to see how to install startup scripts.

mysql.server reads options from the [mysql.server] and [mysqld] sections of option files. For backward compatibility, it also reads [mysql_server] sections, but to be current you should rename such sections to [mysql.server].

You can add options for mysql.server in a global /etc/my.cnf file. A typical my.cnf file might look like this:



The mysql.server script supports the options shown in the following table. If specified, they must be placed in an option file, not on the command line. mysql.server supports only start and stop as command-line arguments.

Table 4.4 mysql.server Option-File Options

Option NameDescriptionType
basedirPath to MySQL installation directorydirectory name
datadirPath to MySQL data directorydirectory name
pid-fileFile in which server should write its process IDfile name
service-startup-timeoutHow long to wait for server startupinteger

  • basedir=dir_name

    The path to the MySQL installation directory.

  • datadir=dir_name

    The path to the MySQL data directory.

  • pid-file=file_name

    The path name of the file in which the server should write its process ID.

    If this option is not given, mysql.server uses a default value of The PID file value passed to mysqld_safe overrides any value specified in the [mysqld_safe] option file group. Because mysql.server reads the [mysqld] option file group but not the [mysqld_safe] group, you can ensure that mysqld_safe gets the same value when invoked from mysql.server as when invoked manually by putting the same pid-file setting in both the [mysqld_safe] and [mysqld] groups.

  • service-startup-timeout=seconds

    How long in seconds to wait for confirmation of server startup. If the server does not start within this time, mysql.server exits with an error. The default value is 900. A value of 0 means not to wait at all for startup. Negative values mean to wait forever (no timeout).

User Comments
  Posted by David Tonhofer on October 5, 2007
As the main goal of mysql.server is to:

1) Find a program that can read MySQL "my.cnf" argument files (preferably "./bin/my_print_defaults"),
2) Find an applicable "my.cnf" argument file (preferably "$datadir/my.cnf"),
3) Extract attribute-value pairs from sections "[mysqld]", "[server]", "[mysql_server]", "[mysql.server]" from the found "my.cnf" and several default "my.cnf" files,
4) Transform the resulting bunch of pairs into command line arguments to be passed to MySQL server, are probably interested in the resulting command line and the command that generated it.


parse_server_arguments `$print_defaults $extra_args mysqld server mysql_server mysql.server`

# Look for the pidfile
parse_manager_arguments `$print_defaults $extra_args manager`


# Get arguments for server, which may cause reshuffle
COLLECT_COMMAND="$print_defaults $extra_args mysqld server mysql_server mysql.server"
echo "Now running for server: $COLLECT_COMMAND"
echo "Collected for server: $COLLECT_RESULT"
parse_server_arguments $COLLECT_RESULT

# Look for the (manager) pidfile
COLLECT_COMMAND="$print_defaults $extra_args manager"
echo "Now running for manager: $COLLECT_COMMAND"
echo "Collected for manager: $COLLECT_RESULT"
parse_manager_arguments $COLLECT_RESULT

And also add

echo "Manager PID file is $pid_file, Server PID file is $server_pid_file"

directly before the line 'case "$mode" in'

for some great debugging justice.

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