2.5.1. Installing MySQL from RPM Packages on Linux

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 2.1.3, “How to Get MySQL”.

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

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

Table 2.11. MySQL Installation Layout for Linux RPM

DirectoryContents of Directory
/usr/binClient programs and scripts
/usr/sbinThe mysqld server
/var/lib/mysqlLog files, databases
/usr/share/infoManual 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 often are provided by other vendors. Be aware that they may differ in features and capabilities from those built by us, and that the instructions in this manual do not necessarily apply to installing them. The vendor's instructions should be consulted instead.

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

RPMs for MySQL Cluster.  Standard MySQL server RPMs built by MySQL do not provide support for the NDBCLUSTER storage engine.


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 MySQL Cluster Multi-Computer Installation.

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

If you get a dependency failure when trying to install MySQL packages (for example, error: removing these packages would break dependencies: libmysqlclient.so.10 is needed by ...), you should also install the MySQL-shared-compat package, which includes both the shared libraries for backward compatibility (libmysqlclient.so.12 for MySQL 4.0 and libmysqlclient.so.10 for MySQL 3.23).

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

  • MySQL-server-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The MySQL server. You need this unless you only want to connect to a MySQL server running on another machine.

  • MySQL-client-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The standard MySQL client programs. You probably always want to install this package.

  • MySQL-devel-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The libraries and include files that are needed if you want to compile other MySQL clients, such as the Perl modules.

  • MySQL-debuginfo-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    This package contains debugging information. debuginfo RPMs are never needed to use MySQL software; this is true both for the server and for client programs. However, they contain additional information that might be needed by a debugger to analyze a crash.

  • MySQL-shared-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    This package contains the shared libraries (libmysqlclient.so*) that certain languages and applications need to dynamically load and use MySQL. It contains single-threaded and thread-safe libraries. Prior to MySQL 5.5.6, if you install this package, do not install the MySQL-shared-compat package.

  • MySQL-shared-compat-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    This package includes the shared libraries for MySQL 3.23, 4.0, and so on. It contains single-threaded and thread-safe libraries. Install this package if you have applications installed that are dynamically linked against older versions of MySQL but you want to upgrade to the current version without breaking the library dependencies. Before MySQL 5.5.6, MySQL-shared-compat also includes the libraries for the current release, so if you install it, you should not also install MySQL-shared. As of 5.5.6, MySQL-shared-compat does not include the current library version, so there is no conflict.

  • MySQL-embedded-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    The embedded MySQL server library.

  • MySQL-test-VERSION.glibc23.i386.rpm

    This package includes the MySQL test suite.

  • MySQL-VERSION.src.rpm

    This contains the source code for all of the previous packages. It can also be used to rebuild the RPMs on other architectures (for example, Alpha or SPARC).

The suffix of RPM package names (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 2.12. MySQL Linux Installation Packages

PLATFORM ValueIntended Use
glibc23Platform independent, should run on any Linux distribution that supports glibc 2.3
rhel3, rhel4Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4
sles9, sles10SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 or 10

In MySQL 5.5, only glibc23 packages are available currently.

The CPU value indicates the processor type or family for which the package is built.

Table 2.13. MySQL Installation Packages for Linux CPU Identifier

CPU ValueIntended Processor Type or Family
i386x86 processor, 386 and up
i586x86 processor, Pentium and up
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:

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. If you would like to learn more about this feature, see Section 2.1.4, “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 do not lose it when you install a newer RPM.) See Section, “Starting and Stopping MySQL Automatically”, for more information on how MySQL can be started automatically on system startup.

If you want to install the MySQL RPM on older Linux distributions that do not support initialization scripts in /etc/init.d (directly or through a symlink), you should create a symbolic link that points to the location where your initialization scripts actually are installed. For example, if that location is /etc/rc.d/init.d, use these commands before installing the RPM to create /etc/init.d as a symbolic link that points there:

shell> cd /etc
shell> ln -s rc.d/init.d .

However, all current major Linux distributions should support the new directory layout that uses /etc/init.d, because it is required for LSB (Linux Standard Base) compliance.

In MySQL 5.5.5 and later, during a new installation, the server boot scripts are installed, but the MySQL server is not started at the end of the installation, since the status of the server during an unattended installation is not known.

In MySQL 5.5.5 and later, during an upgrade installation using the 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 from Generic Binaries on Unix/Linux”.


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”.

During RPM installation, a user named mysql and a group named mysql are created on the system. This is done 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.

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