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Prior to investigating a possible migration to MariaDB/Percona/Other from official MySQL, on several servers, running either MySQL 5.1.x or 5.5.x, I would like to upgrade each to the latest minor release within the respective series, for interim stability reasons. I am led to believe that this will not require any changes/migration/caveats, but simply shutting down the server, replacing the current minor version with the latest minor version of the same series, running mysql_upgrade, then restarting (after backing everything up, of course).

Is this the most logical, time-saving option to improve stability? If yes, other than a thorough backup of the databases, including the 'mysql' database, and running the mysql_upgrade utility, are there any potential issues I might face in doing so?

The upgrades I'm considering are the following, official (generic) binary releases:

mysql-5.1.51-linux-i686-glibc23 -> mysql-5.1.61-linux-i686-glibc23

mysql-5.5.9-linux2.6-i686 -> mysql-5.5.21-linux2.6-i686

Thank you.

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2 Answers 2

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Upgrading MySQL should be just as simple as you described.

However, it's another tale if that fixes something. You didn't tell us at all what kind of problems you're encountering with MySQL. The changelogs are public; did you read them and see if there was something fixed that even remotely resembled the symptoms you encountered?

Most of the time I've had problems with MySQL the actual reason has been something completely different, such as a forgotten MyISAM table no one remembered anymore, but which received lots of writes mixed with long-running SELECTS, leading to deadlocks.

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Thanks. You have a point, regarding whether an upgrade would fix the issues experienced, as the only issues have been the Linux OOM killer reaping the mysqld process due to resource (memory) exhaustion. Given the repeated mentioning of upgrading (or downgrading) MySQL incrementally, I thought it best to move to the latest minor version and only then migrate to something like MariaDB. i.e. avoid issues wherever possible. I omitted to mention that I would like to build xtrabackup from Percona and am unable to find the 5.1.51 sources, matching the existing installation. Hence another motivation. –  zoot Mar 19 '12 at 13:10
    
Action to be taken: For expedience and because I haven't found any particular related bug in the Changelogs of the newer release, I will download the 5.1.51 sources, found in the MySQL archives and build xtrabackup against that source tree and do the same for 5.5.9. Once happy that I'm able to avert disaster with my current backup regime as well as a regime using xtrabackup, I will proceed with the investigation to migrate to MariaDB/Percona/other. –  zoot Mar 19 '12 at 13:24

What stability reasons exactly? Is your server crashing? If so, it's somewhat unlikely that upgrading MySQL is going to fix the issue (unless of course you've been hitting a crash bug that's fixed in one of the new versions).

Generally, minor version upgrades are pretty safe. As long as you have working backups, you should be fine. The only time I've run into issues doing upgrades was when I was going from 5.0->5.1. Your upgrade process sounds like it would work fine.

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Thank you. both yourself and Janne seem to confirm that a minor upgrade should proceed without event and are wondering what my upgrade motivations might be. At this point in time, perhaps the greatest is the desire to install xtrabackup from Percona, but require the source code from the current running version, which is unavailable; hence my thinking in upgrading to the most recent minor version on the server and building xtrabackup against its source. –  zoot Mar 19 '12 at 13:15

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