2.2. Installing MySQL from Generic Binaries on Unix/Linux

Oracle provides a set of binary distributions of MySQL. These include binary distributions in the form of compressed tar files (files with a .tar.gz extension) for a number of platforms, as well as binaries in platform-specific package formats for selected platforms.

This section covers the installation of MySQL from a compressed tar file binary distribution. For other platform-specific package formats, see the other platform-specific sections. For example, for Windows distributions, see Section 2.3, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows”.

To obtain MySQL, see Section 2.1.3, “How to Get MySQL”.

MySQL compressed tar file binary distributions have names of the form mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz, where VERSION is a number (for example, 5.5.9), and OS indicates the type of operating system for which the distribution is intended (for example, pc-linux-i686 or winx64).

To install MySQL from a compressed tar file binary distribution, your system must have GNU gunzip to uncompress the distribution and a reasonable tar to unpack it. If your tar program supports the z option, it can both uncompress and unpack the file.

GNU tar is known to work. The standard tar provided with some operating systems is not able to unpack the long file names in the MySQL distribution. You should download and install GNU tar, or if available, use a preinstalled version of GNU tar. Usually this is available as gnutar, gtar, or as tar within a GNU or Free Software directory, such as /usr/sfw/bin or /usr/local/bin. GNU tar is available from http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/.


If you have previously installed MySQL using your operating system native package management system, such as yum or apt-get, you may experience problems installing using a native binary. Make sure your previous MySQL previous installation has been removed entirely (using your package management system), and that any additional files, such as old versions of your data files, have also been removed. You should also check the existence of configuration files such as /etc/my.cnf or the /etc/mysql directory have been deleted.

If you run into problems and need to file a bug report, please use the instructions in Section 1.7, “How to Report Bugs or Problems”.

On Unix, to install a compressed tar file binary distribution, unpack it at the installation location you choose (typically /usr/local/mysql). This creates the directories shown in the following table.

Table 2.2. MySQL Installation Layout for Generic Unix/Linux Binary Package

DirectoryContents of Directory
binClient programs and the mysqld server
dataLog files, databases
docsManual in Info format
manUnix manual pages
includeInclude (header) files
shareMiscellaneous support files, including error messages, sample configuration files, SQL for database installation

Debug versions of the mysqld binary are available as mysqld-debug. To compile your own debug version of MySQL from a source distribution, use the appropriate configuration options to enable debugging support. For more information on compiling from source, see Section 2.11, “Installing MySQL from Source”.

To install and use a MySQL binary distribution, the basic command sequence looks like this:

shell> groupadd mysql
shell> useradd -r -g mysql mysql
shell> cd /usr/local
shell> tar zxvf /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz
shell> ln -s full-path-to-mysql-VERSION-OS mysql
shell> cd mysql
shell> chown -R mysql .
shell> chgrp -R mysql .
shell> scripts/mysql_install_db --user=mysql
shell> chown -R root .
shell> chown -R mysql data
# Next command is optional
shell> cp support-files/my-medium.cnf /etc/my.cnf
shell> bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql &
# Next command is optional
shell> cp support-files/mysql.server /etc/init.d/mysql.server

A more detailed version of the preceding description for installing a binary distribution follows.


This procedure assumes that you have root (administrator) access to your system. Alternatively, you can prefix each command using the sudo (Linux) or pfexec (OpenSolaris) command.

The procedure does not set up any passwords for MySQL accounts. After following the procedure, proceed to Section 2.12, “Postinstallation Setup and Testing”.

Create a mysql User and Group

If your system does not already have a user and group for mysqld to run as, you may need to create one. The following commands add the mysql group and the mysql user. You might want to call the user and group something else instead of mysql. If so, substitute the appropriate name in the following instructions. The syntax for useradd and groupadd may differ slightly on different versions of Unix, or they may have different names such as adduser and addgroup.

shell> groupadd mysql
shell> useradd -r -g mysql mysql

Because the user is required only for ownership purposes, not login purposes, the useradd command uses the -r option to create a user that does not have login permissions to your server host. Omit this option to permit logins for the user (or if your useradd does not support the option).

Obtain and Unpack the Distribution

Pick the directory under which you want to unpack the distribution and change location into it. The example here unpacks the distribution under /usr/local. The instructions, therefore, assume that you have permission to create files and directories in /usr/local. If that directory is protected, you must perform the installation as root.

shell> cd /usr/local

Obtain a distribution file using the instructions in Section 2.1.3, “How to Get MySQL”. For a given release, binary distributions for all platforms are built from the same MySQL source distribution.

Unpack the distribution, which creates the installation directory. Then create a symbolic link to that directory. tar can uncompress and unpack the distribution if it has z option support:

shell> tar zxvf /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz
shell> ln -s full-path-to-mysql-VERSION-OS mysql

The tar command creates a directory named mysql-VERSION-OS. The ln command makes a symbolic link to that directory. This enables you to refer more easily to the installation directory as /usr/local/mysql.

If your tar does not have z option support, use gunzip to unpack the distribution and tar to unpack it. Replace the preceding tar command with the following alternative command to uncompress and extract the distribution:

shell> gunzip < /path/to/mysql-VERSION-OS.tar.gz | tar xvf -

Perform Postinstallation Setup

The remainder of the installation process involves setting up the configuration file, creating the core databases, and starting the MySQL server. For instructions, see Section 2.12, “Postinstallation Setup and Testing”.


The accounts that are listed in the MySQL grant tables initially have no passwords. After starting the server, you should set up passwords for them using the instructions in Section 2.12, “Postinstallation Setup and Testing”.

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