The new calendar year is a good time to review what coaches call fundamentals or basics and martial arts senseis call ki-hon.
What version of MySQL should I be using?
Hopefully you are using MySQL 5.5.8 as it is the latest generally available release. If you are running the version 5.1 or older, you need to start reading the release notes and upgrade procedures. 5.5.8 has better performance and has many new features.
What platforms are supported by MySQL 5.5.8 ?
- Windows 32-bit and 64-bit in either MSI Installer format or as a Zip archive.
- SuSE SLES Version 11 in 32-bit and 64-bit RPMs for x86 SLES Version 10 in 32-bit and 64-bit RPMs for x86 or IA-64 RPMs.
- Red Hat & Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 in 32-bit or 64-bit RPMs and IA-64 RPMs. Red Hat & Oracle Enterprise Linux 4 in 32-bit or 64-bit RPMs and IA-64 RPMs
- Linux Generic 2.6 in RPMs or TAR Archives for x86 32-bit and 64bit or IA-64.
- Solaris 10 x86 in 32-bit or 64 bit TAR or PKG and SPARC in TAR or PKG.
- Mac OS X version 10.6 in x86 32-bit or 64 bit TAR or DMG archives. Mac OS X version 10.5 in x86 32-bit or 64 bit TAR or DMG archives.
- HP UX 11.31 in TAR or DEPOT for the IA-64.
- FreeBSD version 8 in x85 32-bit or 64-bit TAR archives. FreeBSD version 7 in x85 32-bit or 64-bit TAR archives.
- Or there is always the source code in RPM or TAR formats.
Should I use a binary distribution or build from source code?
Binary distributions are usually recommended and it is often easier to use the package manager on your platform. If you decided that you need debug support, you will find a mysqld-debug in most distributions.
But you may need to configure your server with features like TCP wrappers support or remove some character sets not needed in your production environment. Then you will want to build your own server from source.
Can I just replace the old server software with 5.5.8 and have everything work perfectly?
No. Be sure to read http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/upgrading.html and http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/upgrading-from-previous-series.html if you are upgrading from 5.1 to 5.5 or http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/upgrading-from-5-4.html if you are using 5.5.4! In some rare cases tables or indexes may need to be rebuilt to allow for changes in table formats or if there are changes in character sets or collations were made in the latest version. And you will need to run mysql_update as 5.5.8 has some changes in the grant tables and information schema.
And make a backup of everything before upgrading to avoid Murphy’s law.
Next time: MySQL configuration files.