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2.1.1. Operating Systems Supported by MySQL

This section lists the operating systems on which you can expect to be able to run MySQL.

We use GNU Autoconf, so it is possible to port MySQL to all modern systems that have a C++ compiler and a working implementation of POSIX threads. (Thread support is needed for the server. To compile only the client code, the only requirement is a C++ compiler.) We use and develop the software ourselves primarily on Linux (SuSE and Red Hat), FreeBSD, and Sun Solaris (versions 8 and 9).

MySQL has been reported to compile successfully on the following combinations of operating system and thread package. Note that for many operating systems, native thread support works only in the latest versions.

Not all platforms are equally well-suited for running MySQL. How well a certain platform is suited for a high-load mission-critical MySQL server is determined by the following factors:

  • General stability of the thread library. A platform may have an excellent reputation otherwise, but MySQL is only as stable as the thread library it calls, even if everything else is perfect.

  • The capability of the kernel and the thread library to take advantage of symmetric multi-processor (SMP) systems. In other words, when a process creates a thread, it should be possible for that thread to run on a CPU different from the original process.

  • The capability of the kernel and the thread library to run many threads that acquire and release a mutex over a short critical region frequently without excessive context switches. If the implementation of pthread_mutex_lock() is too anxious to yield CPU time, this hurts MySQL tremendously. If this issue is not taken care of, adding extra CPUs actually makes MySQL slower.

  • General filesystem stability and performance.

  • If your tables are large, performance is affected by the ability of the filesystem to deal with large files at all and to deal with them efficiently.

  • Our level of expertise here at MySQL AB with the platform. If we know a platform well, we enable platform-specific optimizations and fixes at compile time. We can also provide advice on configuring your system optimally for MySQL.

  • The amount of testing we have done internally for similar configurations.

  • The number of users that have run MySQL successfully on the platform in similar configurations. If this number is high, the likelihood of encountering platform-specific surprises is much smaller.

Based on the preceding criteria, the best platforms for running MySQL at this point are x86 with SuSE Linux using a 2.4 or 2.6 kernel, and ReiserFS (or any similar Linux distribution) and SPARC with Solaris (2.7-9). FreeBSD comes third, but we really hope it joins the top club once the thread library is improved. We also hope that at some point we are able to include into the top category all other platforms on which MySQL currently compiles and runs, but not quite with the same level of stability and performance. This requires some effort on our part in cooperation with the developers of the operating systems and library components that MySQL depends on. If you are interested in improving one of those components, are in a position to influence its development, and need more detailed instructions on what MySQL needs to run better, send an email message to the MySQL internals mailing list. See Section 1.7.1, “MySQL Mailing Lists”.

Please note that the purpose of the preceding comparison is not to say that one operating system is better or worse than another in general. We are talking only about choosing an OS for the specific purpose of running MySQL. With this in mind, the result of this comparison might be different if other factors were considered. In some cases, the reason one OS is better for MySQL than another might simply be that we have been able to put more effort into testing and optimizing for a particular platform. We are just stating our observations to help you decide which platform to use for running MySQL.


 
 
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