2.5.1 Installing MySQL on Linux Using RPM Packages

The recommended way to install MySQL on RPM-based Linux distributions is by using the RPM packages. The RPMs that we provide to the community should work on all versions of Linux that support RPM packages and use glibc 2.3. To obtain RPM packages, see Section 2.1.2, “How to Get MySQL”.

For non-RPM Linux distributions, you can install MySQL using a .tar.gz package. See Section 2.2, “Installing MySQL on Unix/Linux Using Generic Binaries”.

Installations created from our Linux RPM distributions result in files under the system directories shown in the following table.

Table 2.15 MySQL Installation Layout for Linux RPM Packages

DirectoryContents of Directory
/usr/binClient programs and scripts
/usr/sbinThe mysqld server
/var/lib/mysqlLog files, databases
/usr/share/infoMySQL manual in Info format
/usr/share/manUnix manual pages
/usr/include/mysqlInclude (header) files
/usr/share/mysqlMiscellaneous support files, including error messages, character set files, sample configuration files, SQL for database installation


RPM distributions of MySQL are also provided by other vendors. Be aware that they may differ from those built by Oracle in features, capabilities, and conventions (including communication setup), and that the instructions in this manual do not necessarily apply to installing them. The vendor's instructions should be consulted instead. Because of these differences, RPM packages built by Oracle check whether such RPMs built by other vendors are installed. If so, the RPM does not install and produces a message explaining this.

Conflicts can arise when an RPM from another vendor is already installed, such as when a vendor's conventions about which files belong with the server and which belong with the client library differ from the breakdown used for Oracle packages. In such cases, attempts to install an Oracle RPM with rpm -i may result in messages that files in the RPM to be installed conflict with files from an installed package (denoted mysql-libs in the following paragraphs).

Each MySQL release provides a MySQL-shared-compat package that is meant to replace mysql-libs and provides a replacement-compatible client library for older MySQL series. MySQL-shared-compat is set up to make mysql-libs obsolete, but rpm explicitly refuses to replace obsoleted packages when invoked with -i (unlike -U), which is why installation with rpm -i produces a conflict.

MySQL-shared-compat can safely be installed alongside mysql-libs because libraries are installed to different locations. Therefore, it is possible to install MySQL-shared-compat first, then manually remove mysql-libs before continuing with the installation. After mysql-libs is removed, the dynamic linker stops looking for the client library in the location where mysql-libs puts it, and the library provided by the MySQL-shared-compat package takes over.

Another alternative is to install packages using yum. In a directory containing all RPM packages for a MySQL release, yum install MySQL*rpm installs them in the correct order and removes mysql-libs in one step without conflicts.

In most cases, you need install only the MySQL-server and MySQL-client packages to get a functional standard MySQL installation. The other packages are not required for a standard installation.

RPMs for MySQL Cluster.  Beginning with MySQL 5.1.24, standard MySQL server RPMs built by MySQL no longer provide support for the NDBCLUSTER storage engine. MySQL Cluster users should check the MySQL Cluster Downloads page at http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/cluster/ for RPMs that should work with most Linux distributions for both of these release series.


When upgrading a MySQL Cluster RPM installation, you must upgrade all installed RPMs, including the Server and Client RPMs.

For more information about installing MySQL Cluster from RPMs, see Section, “Installing MySQL Cluster from RPM”.

For upgrades, if your installation was originally produced by installing multiple RPM packages, it is best to upgrade all the installed packages, not just some. For example, if you previously installed the server and client RPMs, do not upgrade just the server RPM.

The following list shows the available RPM packages. The names shown here use a suffix of .glibc23.i386.rpm, but particular packages can have different suffixes, described later.

In RPM package names, the suffix (following the VERSION value) has the following syntax:


The PLATFORM and CPU values indicate the type of system for which the package is built. PLATFORM indicates the platform and CPU indicates the processor type or family.

All packages are dynamically linked against glibc 2.3. The PLATFORM value indicates whether the package is platform independent or intended for a specific platform, as shown in the following table.

Table 2.16 MySQL Linux RPM Package Platforms

PLATFORM ValueIntended Use
glibc23Platform independent, should run on any Linux distribution that supports glibc 2.3
rhel4, rhel5Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 or 5
sles10, sles11SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 or 11

In MySQL 5.1, only glibc23 packages are available currently.

The CPU value indicates the processor type or family for which the package is built, as shown in the following table.

Table 2.17 MySQL Linux RPM Package CPU Identifiers

CPU ValueIntended Processor Type or Family
i386, i586, i686Pentium processor or better, 32 bit
x86_6464-bit x86 processor
ia64Itanium (IA-64) processor

To see all files in an RPM package (for example, a MySQL-server RPM), run a command like this (modify the platform and CPU identifiers appropriately for your system):

shell> rpm -qpl MySQL-server-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

To perform a standard minimal installation, install the server and client RPMs:

shell> rpm -i MySQL-server-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm
shell> rpm -i MySQL-client-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

To install only the client programs, install just the client RPM:

shell> rpm -i MySQL-client-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

RPM provides a feature to verify the integrity and authenticity of packages before installing them. To learn more about this feature, see Section 2.1.3, “Verifying Package Integrity Using MD5 Checksums or GnuPG”.

The server RPM places data under the /var/lib/mysql directory. The RPM also creates a login account for a user named mysql (if one does not exist) to use for running the MySQL server, and creates the appropriate entries in /etc/init.d/ to start the server automatically at boot time. (This means that if you have performed a previous installation and have made changes to its startup script, you may want to make a copy of the script so that you can reinstall it after you install a newer RPM.) See Section 2.12.5, “Starting and Stopping MySQL Automatically”, for more information on how MySQL can be started automatically at system startup.

In MySQL 5.1.49 and later, during an upgrade installation using RPM packages, if the MySQL server is running when the upgrade occurs, the MySQL server is stopped, the upgrade occurs, and the MySQL server is restarted. If the MySQL server is not already running when the RPM upgrade occurs, the MySQL server is not started at the end of the installation.

If something goes wrong, you can find more information in the binary installation section. See Section 2.2, “Installing MySQL on Unix/Linux Using Generic Binaries”.


The accounts created in the MySQL grant tables for an RPM installation initially have no passwords. After starting the server, you should assign passwords to them using the instructions in Section 2.12, “Postinstallation Setup and Testing”.

An RPM installation creates a user named mysql and a group named mysql on the system using the useradd, groupadd, and usermod commands. Those commands require appropriate administrative privileges, which is required for locally managed users and groups (as listed in the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files) by the RPM installation process being run by root.

If you log in as the mysql user, you may find that MySQL displays Invalid (old?) table or database name errors that mention .mysqlgui, lost+found, .mysqlgui, .bash_history, .fonts.cache-1, .lesshst, .mysql_history, .profile, .viminfo, and similar files created by MySQL or operating system utilities. You can safely ignore these error messages or remove the files or directories that cause them if you do not need them.

For nonlocal user management (LDAP, NIS, and so forth), the administrative tools may require additional authentication (such as a password), and will fail if the installing user does not provide this authentication. Even if they fail, the RPM installation will not abort but succeed, and this is intentional. If they failed, some of the intended transfer of ownership may be missing, and it is recommended that the system administrator then manually ensures some appropriate user and group exists and manually transfers ownership following the actions in the RPM spec file.