Kihon (基本, きほん?) is a Japanese term meaning “basics” or “fundamentals.” The term is used to refer to the basic techniques that are taught and practiced as the foundation of most Japanese martial arts. — Wikipedia
A new year and a new look at the basics of MySQL. Before I was a MySQL Community Manager and started traveling too much, I loved studying martial arts. The instructors in Japanese martial arts stress Kihon as you have to be able to do the basic actions at a high level or the advanced actions will simply not work. Oh, and by the way, most the advanced stuff is made of up the basic stuff. Each new year would start with practices emphasizing Kihon. So with a new year, I would like to start a series of blog postings on MySQL basics.
MySQL is a relational database that has a community edition that is free and runs on a variety of platforms (binaries for Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, MacOS, and source code to build your own). Millions have installed this edition and use it every day for millions of projects. There is also an enterprise edition that is not free that comes with extra tools for things like backup, monitoring, and authentication. Plus you get a support contract, a phone number to call when you have questions, and access to amazing support team. Do you need the enterprise edition for the Drupal site for your fan site for How to Avoid Large Ships? Probably not. Is your paycheck heavily dependent on keeping your MySQL instances flying at all times? Then you should to talk to MySQL Sales.
You should be running version 5.5 and aware that version 5.6 will be available for production soon. Your Linux distro may only have packages for 5.1 but 5.5 has been out for a couple of years, is much faster, and you can find packages in all the popular formats at http://dev/mysql.com. MySQL 5.1 is about five years old and you probably do not run your systems on other software that is that old without updates and patches.
Most people new to MySQL can make do with an older, slower box while learning. One person just starting out does not need an i7 processor and gigs of memory. One person can do quite nicely on an Centrino, Pentium or similar system. Databases are much different than the majority of processes a Linux or Window admin runs and novices can quickly cause themselves harm. Remember that you are building skills for the future. The older system will not be blazing fast but it is like juggling where you start with tossing one soft bean bag and move on to more items.
Next time: Install Tricks