MySQL at Debian and Ubuntu

Good news, mysql-server package doesn’t suck miserably on Debian 5.0 or Ubuntu 8.10, unlike previous versions did (there were quite a few rants about CHECK TABLES being ran on huge healthy InnoDB tables, mysqld_safe would suddenly use 100% CPU, binlogs would be placed on /var/run/ and cleaned up on restart, etc).

Now, Ubuntu provides you with AppArmor (my new favorite security thing :) profile that doesn’t suck either, and Debian is a bit rude:
There is ‘tasksel’ tool, which allows you to install groups of packages. Debian has a task ‘Database server’ which will install PostgreSQL. Ubuntu is more politically correct and has renamed that task to “PostgreSQL server”.

MySQL has to do quite some work to repair its image in OS-engineer-geek mindsets, these people tend to love PG more, and once project is community-led, most active participants win the decisive power.

Quite important to look at versions – Ubuntu Intrepid carries 5.0.67, and Debian carries 5.0.51. As I’m way more exposed to everyday issues within MySQL, I value distributions that don’t just backport security fixes, but use MySQL bugfix releases way more proactively. The difference between those two versions has a nearly full year of performance, stability and feature maturity work (and thats really LOTS of real hard intensive work by my teammates). Debian will probably stay at that exact version, unless one uses ‘testing’ or ‘unstable’ packages – so over time the gap will just widen.

Oh, and why I ended up writing this today – Ubuntu/Canonical people were really nice and open, and tried to get as much as possible of feedback to make MySQL shine on their distribution. Gotta say, they’re already leading :)

13 thoughts on “MySQL at Debian and Ubuntu”

  1. Did you ask the Ubuntu guys why the default install also includes mysql-ndb and mysql-ndb-mgr, and sets them both to start at boot? It is unnecessary for 95% of Ubuntu users, they aren’t warned it’s happening, and it eats up system resources, leaving the impression that running mysql server is a resource hog.

    Knowledgeable users who need and want cluster know what to do. This is not a good plan.

  2. So are you recommending building MySQL from sources on Ubuntu and Debian boxes?

    I’m stuck on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS which puts MySQL at 5.0.51a.

    Also, if you’re looking for something constantly updated and doesn’t start ndb and ndb manager, ArchLinux is currently running 5.0.77:

  3. Debian was unable to switch to 5.0.67 before lenny got released for various reasons, one was MySQL bug #41728, which is still not fixed in 5.0.77.

  4. @Don: When you don’t have a MySQL Cluster configured in your my.cnf config file, the mysql-ndb and mysql-ndb-mgr init scripts exit without starting anything.

  5. > Debian has a task ‘Database server’ which will install PostgreSQL.

    Because PostgreSQL provides features of a real DB, whereas MySQL simply doesn’t.

  6. I really love Debian, but MySQL is one of the softwares that I will never use Debian’s packages for.
    Old versions, bad scripts for huge DB, it’s enough.

    Also, MySQL binaries are quite easy to install / upgrade on a debian server.

  7. Why on earth ubuntu init.d script has the start timeout at only 14 seconds ? There are many situations where this is far too low, like when you set large Innodb transaction logs.
    In my opinion it should be at least 60 seconds.

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