We recently picked up a client that has a site hosted on a FreeBSD box. The stack is FAMP. Things were chugging along just fine until recently mysql seems to have stopped running.

There is no mysql log under /var/log/mysql.log.

service mysql-server status says mysql is not running.

service mysql-server start says Starting mysql. but it doesn't actually start.

Where do I start to find out what happened and how to get mysql up and running again?

  • How familiar are you with FreeBSD?
    – EEAA
    Dec 9, 2015 at 21:30
  • This is literally the first instance of FreeBSD I've ever touched. Dec 9, 2015 at 21:41
  • you need to locate log (and my.cnf) to see actual error why it's wouldn't start...
    – alexus
    Dec 9, 2015 at 21:54
  • The problem can be replicated by installing FreeBSD 11.2 and mariadb103-server OOTB. find / -name "my.cnf" returns nothing.
    – user441987
    Jul 30, 2018 at 21:13

2 Answers 2


The default location for the log file (which usually has a .err extension) is the same place as the database, which defaults to /var/db/mysql/.

But of course all of these can be changed in the master configuration file my.cnf which mysqld will look for in a number of locations including /etc/.

You may need to locate it with:

find / -name "my.cnf"

Also, check /etc/rc.conf as it may contain some command line parameters used when starting the service.

  • I'm currently downloading a 3.5 gb .err file now to examine what is going on... Dec 9, 2015 at 21:57
  • 1
    You probably only need the last few dozen lines. Dec 9, 2015 at 22:02

Please note. When installing MySQL or any variant that it does not give you a default "my.cnf" file. It's called "my.cnf.sample" So running find / -name "my.cnf" is not going to find it for you.

[2010][root@reaper ~ ] # find / -name "my.cnf"
[2010][root@reaper ~ ] # find / -name "my.cnf*"

Many config files work the same way for services installed on FreeBSD.

The reason my system is returning a my.cnf file is because I had already taken the sample file, moved it to /usr/local/ and renamed it my.cnf and then made the edits I needed to.

  • Do you have a reason to think that is why mysql stops running?
    – RalfFriedl
    Jan 21, 2020 at 17:03
  • Could be a number of things that stop it from running. Would need to see the error log to determine what's going on. And that information was never given.
    – Y12IF
    Jan 22, 2020 at 20:39

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