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i am installing a machine in production for a client of mine. they insist on a linux os with mysql.

can some one recommend which is the best linux distro for a mysql dedicated server machine

a link to some information about installing a mysql dedicated machine can also helps.


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migrated from Sep 13 '10 at 17:33

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Also, when you're creating a production server, and you don't know which distro to use (From which I conclude you don't have any experience), do you think is it a good idea to do this yourself? – BloodPhilia Sep 13 '10 at 17:14
@loodphilia - you are right, but since it's not time crucial, hence it can be done in a few months, i guess it is a good time for me to study, and this is why i am here – aviv Sep 13 '10 at 17:26
Okay! =) Just a suggestion really! – BloodPhilia Sep 13 '10 at 17:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Performance wise most Linux choices will be similar. More important considerations are which version of mySQL you need (if something recent is required, some distros like Debian/Stable may be too far back and if something very recent is required then you'll need to hand-compile), long-term support for security updates, and your familiarity with that Linux flavour.

Off the top of my head my recommendation would be either Ubuntu/LTS Server (i.e. 10.04) or CentOS (the most recent major version) as they have official security patch support for longer in the future without needing to completely upgrade the OS, with Debian/Stable usually not being a bad choice either. I'd go with Ubuntu or Debian myself as I am more familiar with Debian style setups than RedHat ones.

What-ever you go for refrain from installing more than you need - i.e. don't bother with a desktop environment.

Once the base OS is installed, assuming the mySQL build offered in the standard repo is sufficient, running something like aptitude install mysql-server (Debian/Ubuntu) or yum install mysql-server is all you need to do to install (using the distro's default packages like this makes keeping up-to-date with security releases easier as you can just do something like aptitude update && aptitude safe-upgrade (Debian/Ubuntu) rather than needing to rebuild the latest version from source or obtain and install binaries from elsewhere.

Once installed you will find the configuration files under /etc. The content of these will be almost exactly the same as for Windows and significant differences tend to be well commented in the files themselves (at least in Debian's case, though I assume this is the same elsewhere as the bulk of the details probably come from the sample config files in the official mySQL documentation and/or source) - so if you are familiar with configuring mySQL on Windows this should offer you few (if any) surprises.

Edit: having time to familiarise yourself with the setup (as per your response to Bloodphlia's concern) is very much a good thing - I wish there were far less servers out there installed by people who did not have time to experiment and learn first! If you can find the time I suggest installing a couple of systems in virtual machines under vbox or similar. You can use these "throw-away" VMs to play and see which Linux variant you prefer and to test things out in an environment where you can experiment in detail without fear of upsetting a production machine.

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thanks. i am going to use your advise and use a vm to play with some configurations. default ubuntu comes with a gui desktop, i will search how to remove it. windows mysql installation asks for a few different configurations when being installed, guess you can configure it manually on the mysql.cnf file. – aviv Sep 14 '10 at 6:48
If you download the Ubuntu Server ISO this installs very little initially, including no desktop environment. The packages available are the same though - it is just a default package selection more optimised for server use. – David Spillett Sep 14 '10 at 7:31

For any Linux server machine, I'd recommend something Debian or Red Hat based. Both are very mature in production and also have very mature spinoffs. Slackware is also very mature, although I find it easier to find documentation for server-specific tasks for the other 2 distributions. What it usually boils down to for me is preference. Personally I am much more experienced with Red Hat based systems so that is the route I usually take, although I am very comfortable working with Debian as well.

Debian has a massive software repository, prompt security updates, and is free to use. CentOS is a spinoff of Red Hat Linux and also has lots of software available, frequent updates, and is free to use. The advantage with using Debian is that Ubuntu is based on it, and most articles you find that cover Ubuntu problems will also work in Debian.

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I never do understand how people with rep like you, manage to answer off topic questions... really... – BloodPhilia Sep 13 '10 at 17:20
Knowing the question will be migrated (with 1 vote more required, as I also voted) it is easier for me to answer here prior to migration so the answer is already there on serverfault. I'd rather not go over to and log in to answer 1 question, but if you're going to neg me so be it. – John T Sep 13 '10 at 17:24
@BloodPhilia: when a question is migrated the answers go with it so if I have something useful to say I will say it at the time rather than waiting for migration to happen. And if migration doesn't happen because not enough people find the question off-topic (I'm not always right about these things, it would seem) the question isn't sat here without useful answers because we've all ignored it! – David Spillett Sep 13 '10 at 17:32
And tadaaaa: over it goes with John's answer, and mine, and all the other discussion. No continuity is lost. – David Spillett Sep 13 '10 at 17:36
@David Okay, good point... I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong... Didn't look at it from that perspective! ;) – BloodPhilia Sep 13 '10 at 17:48

The most important thing you're looking for is not just maturity, but stability--you don't want a lot of packages changing underneath your production server, potentially affecting customer services. Two popular ones are RHEL (costs a little), and CentOS (forked from RHEL, but free--also much more stable in terms of new packages).

Good luck, although make sure to heed @BloodPhilia's advice!


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