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100913 10:21:29 mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /var/lib/mysql
/usr/local/mysql/libexec/mysqld: Table 'mysql.plugin' doesn't exist
100913 10:21:29 [ERROR] Can't open the mysql.plugin table. Please run mysql_upgrade to create it.
100913 10:21:29 [ERROR] Fatal error: Can't open and lock privilege tables: Table '' doesn't exist
100913 10:21:29 mysqld_safe mysqld from pid file /var/run/mysqld/ ended

This is the output from the log-file for mysqld I get when I try to start mysqld with the mysqld_safe command. I tried to run mysql_upgrade to correct the first error, but this command seems to require the server to be started, which is my original problem.

Next, it says that the table does not exist. I was unable to figure out what this is caused by.

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Have you recently upgraded MySQL? Ideally you'll have an SQL dump you can import from (mysql_upgrade is never very reliable in my experience). Also, is that table innodb? If so, check you haven't configured your my.cnf to skip innodb. If all else fails, backup, reinstall, start MySQL, then pull your files back into /var/lib/mysql whilst it's loaded and try a repair.

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In fact, scratch all the above. That's a mysql inbuilt table - backup /var/lib/mysql, uninstall mysql, reinstall it, then pull your tables back into /var/lib/mysql (apart from the mysql table if it exists). Finally, myisamchk/mysqlcheck and do a mysql dump for safekeeping. – James L Sep 13 '10 at 8:53

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