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2.9.2. Unix Post-Installation Procedures

After installing MySQL on Unix, you need to initialize the grant tables, start the server, and make sure that the server works satisfactorily. You may also wish to arrange for the server to be started and stopped automatically when your system starts and stops. You should also assign passwords to the accounts in the grant tables.

On Unix, the grant tables are set up by the mysql_install_db program. For some installation methods, this program is run for you automatically:

  • If you install MySQL on Linux using RPM distributions, the server RPM runs mysql_install_db.

  • If you install MySQL on Mac OS X using a PKG distribution, the installer runs mysql_install_db.

Otherwise, you'll need to run mysql_install_db yourself.

The following procedure describes how to initialize the grant tables (if that has not previously been done) and then start the server. It also suggests some commands that you can use to test whether the server is accessible and working properly. For information about starting and stopping the server automatically, see Section, “Starting and Stopping MySQL Automatically”.

After you complete the procedure and have the server running, you should assign passwords to the accounts created by mysql_install_db. Instructions for doing so are given in Section 2.9.3, “Securing the Initial MySQL Accounts”.

In the examples shown here, the server runs under the user ID of the mysql login account. This assumes that such an account exists. Either create the account if it does not exist, or substitute the name of a different existing login account that you plan to use for running the server.

  1. Change location into the top-level directory of your MySQL installation, represented here by BASEDIR:

    shell> cd BASEDIR

    BASEDIR is likely to be something like /usr/local/mysql or /usr/local. The following steps assume that you are located in this directory.

  2. If necessary, run the mysql_install_db program to set up the initial MySQL grant tables containing the privileges that determine how users are allowed to connect to the server. You'll need to do this if you used a distribution type for which the installation procedure doesn't run the program for you.

    Typically, mysql_install_db needs to be run only the first time you install MySQL, so you can skip this step if you are upgrading an existing installation, However, mysql_install_db does not overwrite any existing privilege tables, so it should be safe to run in any circumstances.

    To initialize the grant tables, use one of the following commands, depending on whether mysql_install_db is located in the bin or scripts directory:

    shell> bin/mysql_install_db --user=mysql
    shell> scripts/mysql_install_db --user=mysql

    The mysql_install_db script creates the server's data directory. Under the data directory, it creates directories for the mysql database that holds all database privileges and the test database that you can use to test MySQL. The script also creates privilege table entries for root accounts and anonymous-user accounts. The accounts have no passwords initially. A description of their initial privileges is given in Section 2.9.3, “Securing the Initial MySQL Accounts”. Briefly, these privileges allow the MySQL root user to do anything, and allow anybody to create or use databases with a name of test or starting with test_.

    It is important to make sure that the database directories and files are owned by the mysql login account so that the server has read and write access to them when you run it later. To ensure this, the --user option should be used as shown if you run mysql_install_db as root. Otherwise, you should execute the script while logged in as mysql, in which case you can omit the --user option from the command.

    mysql_install_db creates several tables in the mysql database, including user, db, host, tables_priv, columns_priv, and func, as well as others. See Section 5.7, “The MySQL Access Privilege System”, for a complete listing and description of these tables.

    If you don't want to have the test database, you can remove it with mysqladmin -u root drop test after starting the server.

    If you have trouble with mysql_install_db at this point, see Section, “Problems Running mysql_install_db.

  3. Start the MySQL server:

    shell> bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql &

    It is important that the MySQL server be run using an unprivileged (non-root) login account. To ensure this, the --user option should be used as shown if you run mysql_safe as system root. Otherwise, you should execute the script while logged in to the system as mysql, in which case you can omit the --user option from the command.

    Further instructions for running MySQL as an unprivileged user are given in Section 5.6.5, “How to Run MySQL as a Normal User”.

    If you neglected to create the grant tables before proceeding to this step, the following message appears in the error log file when you start the server:

    mysqld: Can't find file: 'host.frm'

    If you have other problems starting the server, see Section, “Starting and Troubleshooting the MySQL Server”.

  4. Use mysqladmin to verify that the server is running. The following commands provide simple tests to check whether the server is up and responding to connections:

    shell> bin/mysqladmin version
    shell> bin/mysqladmin variables

    The output from mysqladmin version varies slightly depending on your platform and version of MySQL, but should be similar to that shown here:

    shell> bin/mysqladmin version
    mysqladmin  Ver 14.12 Distrib 5.1.7-beta, for pc-linux-gnu on i686
    Copyright (C) 2000 MySQL AB & MySQL Finland AB & TCX DataKonsult AB
    This software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software,
    and you are welcome to modify and redistribute it under the GPL license
    Server version          5.1.7-beta-Max
    Protocol version        10
    Connection              Localhost via UNIX socket
    UNIX socket             /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock
    Uptime:                 14 days 5 hours 5 min 21 sec
    Threads: 1  Questions: 366  Slow queries: 0  
    Opens: 0  Flush tables: 1  Open tables: 19  
    Queries per second avg: 0.000

    To see what else you can do with mysqladmin, invoke it with the --help option.

  5. Verify that you can shut down the server:

    shell> bin/mysqladmin -u root shutdown
  6. Verify that you can start the server again. Do this by using mysqld_safe or by invoking mysqld directly. For example:

    shell> bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql --log &

    If mysqld_safe fails, see Section, “Starting and Troubleshooting the MySQL Server”.

  7. Run some simple tests to verify that you can retrieve information from the server. The output should be similar to what is shown here:

    shell> bin/mysqlshow
    | Databases |
    | mysql     |
    | test      |
    shell> bin/mysqlshow mysql
    Database: mysql
    |          Tables           |
    | columns_priv              |
    | db                        |
    | func                      |
    | help_category             |
    | help_keyword              |
    | help_relation             |
    | help_topic                |
    | host                      |
    | proc                      |
    | procs_priv                |
    | tables_priv               |
    | time_zone                 |
    | time_zone_leap_second     |
    | time_zone_name            |
    | time_zone_transition      |
    | time_zone_transition_type |
    | user                      |
    shell> bin/mysql -e "SELECT Host,Db,User FROM db" mysql
    | host | db     | user |
    | %    | test   |      |
    | %    | test_% |      |
  8. There is a benchmark suite in the sql-bench directory (under the MySQL installation directory) that you can use to compare how MySQL performs on different platforms. The benchmark suite is written in Perl. It requires the Perl DBI module that provides a database-independent interface to the various databases, and some other additional Perl modules:


    These modules can be obtained from CPAN ( See also Section 2.13.1, “Installing Perl on Unix”.

    The sql-bench/Results directory contains the results from many runs against different databases and platforms. To run all tests, execute these commands:

    shell> cd sql-bench
    shell> perl run-all-tests

    If you don't have the sql-bench directory, you probably installed MySQL using RPM files other than the source RPM. (The source RPM includes the sql-bench benchmark directory.) In this case, you must first install the benchmark suite before you can use it. There are separate benchmark RPM files named mysql-bench-VERSION-i386.rpm that contain benchmark code and data.

    If you have a source distribution, there are also tests in its tests subdirectory that you can run. For example, to run auto_increment.tst, execute this command from the top-level directory of your source distribution:

    shell> mysql -vvf test < ./tests/auto_increment.tst

    The expected result of the test can be found in the ./tests/auto_increment.res file.

  9. At this point, you should have the server running. However, none of the initial MySQL accounts have a password, so you should assign passwords using the instructions found in Section 2.9.3, “Securing the Initial MySQL Accounts”.

The MySQL 5.1 installation procedure creates time zone tables in the mysql database. However, you must populate the tables manually using the instructions in Section 5.10.8, “MySQL Server Time Zone Support”.

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