How to try the latest MariaDB on Linux

This blog post explains how to download and start the bleeding edge MariaDB on a fairly recent 32-bit or 64-bit Linux system, for trial and development, the most straightforward way, without overwriting an existing MySQL installation or its data.

MariaDB is an improved, backward compatible, drop-in replacement of the MySQL Database Server, by Michael "Monty" Widenius, the original author of MySQL.

Please note that parts of this blog post are obsolete. See also the new blog post.

The simplest download and startup instructions for MariaDB 5.2.1 for 32-bit (i386, i686) Linux systems is the following:

# Stop any MySQL server currently running.
$ wget -O /tmp/mariadb-compact.tbz2 \
$ cd /tmp
$ tar xjvf mariadb-compact.tbz2
$ cd mariadb-compact
$ ./bin/mysqld --datadir=$PWD/data --pid-file=$PWD/mysqld.pid \
  --socket=$PWD/mysqld.sock --language=$PWD/share/mysql/english \

To stop the server, press Ctrl-Backslash, Enter in the window mysqld_safe is running, and wait 15 seconds for the process to exit.

To connect to the server, install the MySQL client. (e.g. with $ sudo apt-get install mysql-client on an Ubuntu system), and then run

$ mysql --socket=/tmp/mariadb-compact/mysqld.sock --user=root --database=test


$ mysql --host= --user=root --database=test

to connect. Please note that mariadb-compact comes with insecure default settings: it lets anyone connect as user root (on TCP (but not on other IP addresses) and on the Unix socket as well) without a password. Please use the appropriate mysqladmin commands (or modify the tables mysql.user, mysql.host and mysql.db directly) to set up access restrictions. use the --skip-networking flag of mysqld to prevent it from listening on TCP ports (not even

FYI Here is how mariadb-compact.tbz2 was created from the official MariaDB Linux binaries. The official download was located on http://askmonty.org/wiki/MariaDB:Download http://askmonty.org/wiki/MariaDB:Download:MariaDB_5.2.1-beta, and then the following commands were executed:

$ wget -O /tmp/mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-i686.tar.gz \
$ mkdir -p /tmp/mariadb-preinst
$ cd /tmp/mariadb-preinst
$ tar xzvf /tmp/mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-i686.tar.gz mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-i686/\
$ cd mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-i686
$ strip -s bin/mysqld
$ ./scripts/mysql_install_db --basedir="$PWD" --force --datadir="$PWD"/data
$ rm -rf scripts
$ rm -f share/*.sql
$ cd ..
$ mv mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-i686 mariadb-compact
$ tar cjvf /tmp/mariadb-compact.tbz2 mariadb-compact
$ rm -rf /tmp/mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-i686.tar.gz
$ rm -rf /tmp/mariadb-preinst
$ ls -l /tmp/mariadb-compact.tbz2 
-rw-r--r-- 1 pts pts 4194393 Aug  8 18:10 /tmp/mariadb-compact.tbz2

The script mysql_install_db creates the initial databases and tables (e.g. the mysql.user table used for authentication) in the data directory.

All the other commands above just extract the absolute minimum necessary files from the official binary distribution, strip the binaries, and create a small .tbz2 archive.

Please note that the binaries in the official binary distributions are dynamically linked:

$ ldd bin/mysqld
        linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0xb7727000)
        libnsl.so.1 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libnsl.so.1 (0xb76f9000)
        librt.so.1 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/librt.so.1 (0xb76f0000)
        libpthread.so.0 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libpthread.so.0 (0xb76d6000)
        libwrap.so.0 => /lib/libwrap.so.0 (0xb76cd000)
        libdl.so.2 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libdl.so.2 (0xb76c9000)
        libresolv.so.2 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libresolv.so.2 (0xb76b5000)
        libcrypt.so.1 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libcrypt.so.1 (0xb7683000)
        libstdc++.so.6 => /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6 (0xb7590000)
        libm.so.6 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libm.so.6 (0xb756a000)
        libc.so.6 => /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libc.so.6 (0xb7425000)
        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0xb7728000)
        libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib/libgcc_s.so.1 (0xb7407000)

It would be straightforward to create the 64-bit version of mariadb-compact.tbz2, by starting from a different official binary distribution (http://ftp.rediris.es/mirror/MariaDB/mariadb-5.2.1-beta/kvm-bintar-hardy-amd64/mariadb-5.2.1-beta-Linux-x86_64.tar.gz), and modifying the the commands above appropriately.

A newer version (5.2.9) of this precompiled 32-bit Linux MariaDB is new available: http://pts-mini-gpl.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/portable-mariadb.release/portable-mariadb.tbz2. Here is the shell script which generated it from the official MariaDB 5.2.9 sources: http://code.google.com/p/pts-mini-gpl/source/browse/trunk/portable-mariadb/build-mariadb.sh. Here is the newer blog post: http://ptspts.blogspot.com/2011/11/announcing-portable-mariadb-small.html.

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