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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  mysqld_multi — Manage Multiple MySQL Servers

4.3.4 mysqld_multi — Manage Multiple MySQL Servers

mysqld_multi is designed to manage several mysqld processes that listen for connections on different Unix socket files and TCP/IP ports. It can start or stop servers, or report their current status.

mysqld_multi searches for groups named [mysqldN] in my.cnf (or in the file named by the --defaults-file option). N can be any positive integer. This number is referred to in the following discussion as the option group number, or GNR. Group numbers distinguish option groups from one another and are used as arguments to mysqld_multi to specify which servers you want to start, stop, or obtain a status report for. Options listed in these groups are the same that you would use in the [mysqld] group used for starting mysqld. (See, for example, Section 2.10.5, “Starting and Stopping MySQL Automatically”.) However, when using multiple servers, it is necessary that each one use its own value for options such as the Unix socket file and TCP/IP port number. For more information on which options must be unique per server in a multiple-server environment, see Section 5.6, “Running Multiple MySQL Instances on One Machine”.

To invoke mysqld_multi, use the following syntax:

shell> mysqld_multi [options] {start|stop|report} [GNR[,GNR] ...]

start, stop, and report indicate which operation to perform. You can perform the designated operation for a single server or multiple servers, depending on the GNR list that follows the option name. If there is no list, mysqld_multi performs the operation for all servers in the option file.

Each GNR value represents an option group number or range of group numbers. The value should be the number at the end of the group name in the option file. For example, the GNR for a group named [mysqld17] is 17. To specify a range of numbers, separate the first and last numbers by a dash. The GNR value 10-13 represents groups [mysqld10] through [mysqld13]. Multiple groups or group ranges can be specified on the command line, separated by commas. There must be no whitespace characters (spaces or tabs) in the GNR list; anything after a whitespace character is ignored.

This command starts a single server using option group [mysqld17]:

shell> mysqld_multi start 17

This command stops several servers, using option groups [mysqld8] and [mysqld10] through [mysqld13]:

shell> mysqld_multi stop 8,10-13

For an example of how you might set up an option file, use this command:

shell> mysqld_multi --example

mysqld_multi searches for option files as follows:

Option files read are searched for [mysqld_multi] and [mysqldN] option groups. The [mysqld_multi] group can be used for options to mysqld_multi itself. [mysqldN] groups can be used for options passed to specific mysqld instances.

The [mysqld] or [mysqld_safe] groups can be used for common options read by all instances of mysqld or mysqld_safe. You can specify a --defaults-file=file_name option to use a different configuration file for that instance, in which case the [mysqld] or [mysqld_safe] groups from that file will be used for that instance.

mysqld_multi supports the following options.

  • --help

    Display a help message and exit.

  • --config-file=file_name

    This option is deprecated. If given, it is treated the same way as --defaults-extra-file, described earlier. --config-file was removed in MySQL 5.5.3.

  • --example

    Display a sample option file.

  • --log=file_name

    Specify the name of the log file. If the file exists, log output is appended to it.

  • --mysqladmin=prog_name

    The mysqladmin binary to be used to stop servers.

  • --mysqld=prog_name

    The mysqld binary to be used. Note that you can specify mysqld_safe as the value for this option also. If you use mysqld_safe to start the server, you can include the mysqld or ledir options in the corresponding [mysqldN] option group. These options indicate the name of the server that mysqld_safe should start and the path name of the directory where the server is located. (See the descriptions for these options in Section 4.3.2, “mysqld_safe — MySQL Server Startup Script”.) Example:

    mysqld = mysqld-debug
    ledir  = /opt/local/mysql/libexec
  • --no-log

    Print log information to stdout rather than to the log file. By default, output goes to the log file.

  • --password=password

    The password of the MySQL account to use when invoking mysqladmin. The password value is not optional for this option, unlike for other MySQL programs.

  • --silent

    Silent mode; disable warnings.

  • --tcp-ip

    Connect to each MySQL server through the TCP/IP port instead of the Unix socket file. (If a socket file is missing, the server might still be running, but accessible only through the TCP/IP port.) By default, connections are made using the Unix socket file. This option affects stop and report operations.

  • --user=user_name

    The user name of the MySQL account to use when invoking mysqladmin.

  • --verbose

    Be more verbose.

  • --version

    Display version information and exit.

Some notes about mysqld_multi:

  • Most important: Before using mysqld_multi be sure that you understand the meanings of the options that are passed to the mysqld servers and why you would want to have separate mysqld processes. Beware of the dangers of using multiple mysqld servers with the same data directory. Use separate data directories, unless you know what you are doing. Starting multiple servers with the same data directory does not give you extra performance in a threaded system. See Section 5.6, “Running Multiple MySQL Instances on One Machine”.


    Make sure that the data directory for each server is fully accessible to the Unix account that the specific mysqld process is started as. Do not use the Unix root account for this, unless you know what you are doing. See Section 6.1.5, “How to Run MySQL as a Normal User”.

  • Make sure that the MySQL account used for stopping the mysqld servers (with the mysqladmin program) has the same user name and password for each server. Also, make sure that the account has the SHUTDOWN privilege. If the servers that you want to manage have different user names or passwords for the administrative accounts, you might want to create an account on each server that has the same user name and password. For example, you might set up a common multi_admin account by executing the following commands for each server:

    shell> mysql -u root -S /tmp/mysql.sock -p
    Enter password:
    mysql> CREATE USER 'multi_admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'multipass';
    mysql> GRANT SHUTDOWN ON *.* TO 'multi_admin'@'localhost';

    See Section 6.2, “The MySQL Access Privilege System”. You have to do this for each mysqld server. Change the connection parameters appropriately when connecting to each one. Note that the host name part of the account name must permit you to connect as multi_admin from the host where you want to run mysqld_multi.

  • The Unix socket file and the TCP/IP port number must be different for every mysqld. (Alternatively, if the host has multiple network addresses, you can use --bind-address to cause different servers to listen to different interfaces.)

  • The --pid-file option is very important if you are using mysqld_safe to start mysqld (for example, --mysqld=mysqld_safe) Every mysqld should have its own process ID file. The advantage of using mysqld_safe instead of mysqld is that mysqld_safe monitors its mysqld process and restarts it if the process terminates due to a signal sent using kill -9 or for other reasons, such as a segmentation fault.

  • You might want to use the --user option for mysqld, but to do this you need to run the mysqld_multi script as the Unix superuser (root). Having the option in the option file doesn't matter; you just get a warning if you are not the superuser and the mysqld processes are started under your own Unix account.

The following example shows how you might set up an option file for use with mysqld_multi. The order in which the mysqld programs are started or stopped depends on the order in which they appear in the option file. Group numbers need not form an unbroken sequence. The first and fifth [mysqldN] groups were intentionally omitted from the example to illustrate that you can have gaps in the option file. This gives you more flexibility.

# This is an example of a my.cnf file for mysqld_multi.
# Usually this file is located in home dir ~/.my.cnf or /etc/my.cnf

mysqld     = /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld_safe
mysqladmin = /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin
user       = multi_admin
password   = my_password

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock2
port       = 3307
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/data2/hostname.pid2
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/data2
language   = /usr/local/mysql/share/mysql/english
user       = unix_user1

mysqld     = /path/to/mysqld_safe
ledir      = /path/to/mysqld-binary/
mysqladmin = /path/to/mysqladmin
socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock3
port       = 3308
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/data3/hostname.pid3
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/data3
language   = /usr/local/mysql/share/mysql/swedish
user       = unix_user2

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock4
port       = 3309
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/data4/hostname.pid4
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/data4
language   = /usr/local/mysql/share/mysql/estonia
user       = unix_user3

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock6
port       = 3311
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/data6/hostname.pid6
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/data6
language   = /usr/local/mysql/share/mysql/japanese
user       = unix_user4

See Section 4.2.6, “Using Option Files”.

User Comments
  Posted by Tim Young on March 8, 2011
The mysqld_multi script does not have everything that an rc.d file would expect (status/restart are missing, no chkconfig information). And it does more than just a standard script does (you can tell it which servers to act on, etc). I wrote this wrapper for my /etc/init.d/mysqld_multi file:

# mysqld This shell script takes care of starting and stopping
# the MySQL subsystem (mysqld) using mysql_multi.
# chkconfig: - 64 36
# description: MySQL database server.
# processname: mysqld
# config: /etc/my.cnf

#put your MySql root pass here with the --password=
#example: pass="--password=ChangeThisPassword"

mysqld_start() {
echo "Starting mysqld..."
mysqld_multi start $* $pass

mysqld_stop() {
echo "Stopping mysqld..."
mysqld_multi stop $* $pass

mysqld_restart() {
mysqld_stop $*
sleep 1
mysqld_status $*
sleep 1
mysqld_start $*
sleep 1
mysqld_status $*
mysqld_which() {
b=`grep "\[mysqld[0-9][0-9]*\]" /etc/my.cnf | sed 's/[^A-Za-z0-9]//g' | wc -l`
echo "The following $b instances are configured:"
grep "\[mysqld[0-9][0-9]*\]" /etc/my.cnf | sed 's/[^A-Za-z0-9]//g'

mysqld_status() {
mysqld_multi report $*

#Set these variables so mysqld finds the right information
export PATH=/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:$PATH

case "$option" in
'start') mysqld_start $*;;
'stop') mysqld_stop $*;;
'restart') mysqld_restart $*;;
'which') mysqld_which $*;;
mysqld_status $* ;;
echo "Usage: $0 [start|stop|restart|status|which]"
echo "Optional info: "
echo " This uses mysql_multi, which allows control of individual mysqld "
echo " instances. Do this by specifying a list of numbers following the"
echo " command (start/stop/etc.). For example:"
echo " $0 stop 1,3"
echo " $0 stop 1-3"
echo " $0 stop 1"
echo " $0 stop 1-3,5"
echo " do $0 which to list the mysql instances that are configured"

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