Monday, April 27, 2009

Installing MySQL 5.1 on Solaris using MOCA


The following instructions will lay out an installation of MySQL on Solaris using the MySQL Optimal Configuration Architecture (MOCA) for someone knowledgeable in MySQL/Solaris administration. MOCA is a set of best practices I put together to lay out a guidelines for installing and configuring a MySQL database server. MOCA is designed for someone with experience with MySQL, it is not for someone brand new to MySQL.

If you are new to MySQL or to Solaris, I recommend using the default package install for MySQL. The MySQL default install is recommended for someone new to MySQL or the operating system platform. If the default package install makes more sense for you, then you can stop reading. This install is for MySQL 5.1.33 but it would be the same steps for any 5.1.xx installation.

Why Perform a Manual Install

The default install with MySQL is great for users new to MySQL. It is simple, requires a few point and clicks and you are up and running. The problem with a default install is that it is designed to be a very simple install and take minimum resources. The default install also puts MySQL files in different locations on the filesystem dependent on the OS release and platform. The default install is not how an experienced DBA would want to set up a production database environment. It is much better to be able to control the layout and configuration of the database software for production database environments and for platforms where multiple MySQL servers may be installed in the future.

    This install assumes you have a fundamental understanding of Solaris and have an understanding of MySQL database administration fundamentals. Oracle DBAs will find this installation very similar to the concepts of the Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA).
    For experienced MySQL DBAs a manual install is much better. For this purpose I created a best practices configuration and white paper called MOCA (MySQL Optimal Configuration Architecture). This is based on DBA best practices and should be very similar to Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server production DBAs. There are certain fundamental truths about how database servers should be installed, configured and managed. My MOCA whitepaper addresses these fundamental truths. This manual install will follow MOCA standards and conventions.


Visit to get the details of the reasons behind MOCA and why it is based on best practices. There is also an example of installing MySQL on Mac OS that is very similar to a Linux install. In summary, it focuses on:
  1. Separating database software from other software.
  2. Separating data and index files, log files for recovery, administration and backup files.
  3. Developing standard naming conventions.
  4. Defines a flexible configuration that can support multiple database servers on same platform.
  5. A consistent configuration for multiple servers and versions of MySQL database software.

Installation Summary

This installation looks more complex than it is. I use this configuration for all beginning MySQL DBA classes.

  1. Remove old versions of MySQL if they exist. Setup up operating system user mysql and mysql user environment.
  2. Set up directories and directory permissions for all MySQL data files.
  3. Setup MySQL software and install MySQL software as mysql operating system user (not as root). Configure the my.cnf configuration file.
  4. Create the mysql database (mysql_install_db) and setup the security environment (mysql_secure_installation). Start the mysql database server.
  5. Test the shutdown and startup of the database server.

Installation Environment

The environment for this installation is below: Mac OS 10(Leopard) running VM Fusion with Solaris 10 - Downloaded DVD iso image from website. I installed the Solaris 10 05/08 x86/x64 image for this demo (sol-10-u5-ga-x86-dvd.iso). I also used MySQL 5.1 - Downloaded from

    Before installing MySQL on my platform, make sure there are no previous versions of MySQL preinstalled. Unless you want the older version of MySQL, your life will be much easier if you remove any previous releases.
    Read through this installation a few times before starting.

Look for existing MySQL software

This install uses 5.1.33, these installation procedures can be used for any 5.1.x installation. Dependent on the version of Solaris, different packages may need to be installed or removed (old MySQL installations).

Check to see if you see MySQL on your current system.
# grep mysql /etc/passwd #
# find /usr/local -name '*mysql*' - print # look here for MacOS, Unix/Linux
# find /var -name '*mysql*' - print # good place to start with Solaris
# find / -name "*mysql*' - print # look everywhere for MySQL installations

VM Fusion Choices for Installing Solaris 10

My choices for installing Solaris 10 in a VM Fusion environment. During the installation you will be asked to hit F2 to continue. On a MAC that will be EscapeKey-2 or FN-F2. Solaris Interactive US-English Networked - DHCP IPv6 - No You may need to specify the amount of disk space to use. I allocated 10228 MB.

    You should now be able to log in as root. With Solaris choose the Java Desktop Environment or the Common Desktop Environment (CDE), this is a personal preference.

Removing older versions of MySQL

Check for MySQL packages installed and remove them.
# pkginfo | grep mysql
The following packages SUNWmysqlr, SUNWmysqlt, SUNWmysqlu were found and removed.
# pkgrm SUNWmysqlr
# pkgrm SUNWmysqlt
# pkgrm SUNWmysqlu

Remove old MySQL files from common directories.
# sudo rm /usr/local/mysql
# sudo rm -rf /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/

Set up the mysql user. Start by checking to see if there is an existing MySQL user.
# grep mysql /etc/passwd

Setup new mysql user if one does not exist. If a mysql user does exist, set up a password, default shell, default directory, etc.
No mysql user was found so I added one. Add the mysql group, mysql user, password and home directory.
# groupadd -g 300 mysql
# useradd -u 300 -g 300 -d /export/home/mysql -s /usr/bin/bash -c "MySQL DBA" mysql
# passwd mysql
# mkdir /export/home/mysql
# chown -R mysql:mysql /export/home/mysql

Login and verify the mysql user setup

# exec login mysql (or su - mysql)

Then define a default profile file using your favorite text editor.

--- .bash_profile file ------
PS1='$PWD: '
--- end of .bash_profile file -------

Set your environment by sourcing your profile file.

$ . ./.bash_profile

Downloading MySQL

Go to and go to downloads. Find the distributions and choose the install release you want. I chose 5.1.33. I prefer a manual install so I choose the Solaris Tar Packages the Solaris 10 64-bit install. Select a mirror. On the Select a Mirror page, I choose "No thanks, just take me to the downloads"!

MySQL Directory Organization

Organize how MySQL files and software will be located:
/opt/mysql/5.1.33 - Symbolic link to software directory location
/db01/mysql/mysql01/data - data directory
/db02/mysql/mysql01/binlogs - location of binary log files
/db03/mysql/mysql01/admin - main administration directory
/db04/mysql/mysql01/backups - location of backup files

I created the following directories to download the MySQL software in /opt/mysql/5.1.33.
# mkdir -p /opt/mysql/5.1.33
# export MYSQL_NAME=mysql01

Setup data directory structure
# mkdir -p /db01/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/data

Setup mysql administration directory structure
# mkdir -p /db03/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME
# mkdir /db03/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/logs
# mkdir /db03/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/errors
# mkdir /db03/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/sql

# mkdir /db03/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/startup

# mkdir /db03/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/run

Setup binary log structure
# mkdir -p /db02/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/binlogs

Setup backup directory structure for backups and exports.
# mkdir -p /db04/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME
# mkdir /db04/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/backups
# mkdir /db04/mysql/$MYSQL_NAME/exports

Set permissions and ownership for MySQL file directories.
# chmod -R 750 /db*/mysql/* /opt/mysql/*
# chown -R mysql:mysql /db*/mysql/* /opt/mysql/*

Before going further

Double (triple) check all directory paths and permissions. 99.99% of issues with manual installs are typos in the directory paths, typos in the file names or permission issues with directories. Double check all paths. When you try to bring up database server, if it defaults to the default areas its because it can;t find a directory or doesn't have permission for directories specified so it will then try the default locations.

Setup the MySQL software (as the MySQL OS user, not the root OS user)

All following commands are run as the mysql OS user. In the /opt/mysql directory unzip and untar the MySQL software as the mysql OS user.
$ cd /opt/mysql
$ gunzip mysql-5.1.33-solaris10-64bit.tar.gz
$ tar xvf mysql-5.1.33-solaris10-64bit.tar
$ ln -s mysql-5.1.33-solaris10-64bit 5.1.33

Be careful with the my.cnf configuration file.

At the operating system prompt you can type the following command. If you scroll down you will find the default search path. All commands like mysql_secure_installation, mysql, mysql_install_db, etc. all look in a search path for the configuration file. Make sure any program is finding the right configuration file in the search path. Here are commands that will show you the search path:

$ mysql --help | more

$ mysqld --help --verbose | more

Use one of the sample configuration files provided with the distribution to get started.

$ cp $MYSQL_HOME/support-files/my-small-cnf /dbadmin/mysql/mysql/startup/my.cnf

Add the following entries to the my.cnf file to the [mysqld] group. This separates all your dynamic administration files, data files, and binary log files to different locations. A separate port is defined away from the default.



#port = 3426

Add the following entries to the my.cnf file to the [client] group.
#port = 3426
#socket = /dbadmin/mysql/mysql01/run/mysql.sock

Build a symbolic link from the default location to the real startup file. The step of adding a symbolic to the actual startup file is something I avoid but some environments like this addition.

$ ln -s /dbadmin/mysql/mysql01/startup/my.cnf my.cnf

Create the mysql database files for the MySQL instance. This will create the default database schemas and database files.

$ scripts/mysql_install_db --datadir=/db01/mysql/mysql01/data --basedir=$MYSQL_HOME

Verify data files and directories have been created in the datadir directory.

$ cd /db01/mysql/mysql01/data
$ ls

mysql test

Start the MySQL database server pointing to the defined locations.
$ cd /opt/mysql/5.1.33
$ bin/mysqld_safe --defaults-file=/dbadmin/mysql/mysql01/startup/my.cnf &

If there are socket errors:

i.e. MySQL client cannot star twith the error "cannot connect to the MySQL server through socket


MySQL needs to write to a socket. If you don't specify one, a default one is chosen which may not have the appropriate permissions. You can specify the socket file in the command line as below. Make sure the permissions are set properly (owned by mysql).

$ mysql -uroot -p -socket=/dbadmin/mysql/mysql01/run/mysql.sock

Verify the mysqld background process is running as well as the mysqld_safe monitoring process. The mysqld background process should be up and running.

$ ps -ef |grep mysql

Clean up the database server by adding passwords and getting rid of anonymous users. If there are problems with the mysql_secure_installation script, then set the password manually and get rid of the anonymous accounts and any accounts with no passwords.

$ bin/mysql_secure_installation

Shutdown the MySQL server to verify you can shutdown and startup the MySQL instance. I like switching to the my.cnf in the startup directory versus in the default software directory.

$ mysqladmin --defaults-file=/dbadmin/mysql/mysql01/startup/my.cnf shutdown

$ bin/mysqld_safe --defaults-file= /dbadmin/mysql/mysql01/startup/my.cnf

You're up and running have fun. Once you are confortable with this configuration layout, you can create a Unix shell script that will automate almost the entire process. With a shell script automation the install takes about ten minutes.

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