Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MySQL Configuration Wizard - Don't always trust it...

So, the MySQL Configuration Wizard for making MySQL Easier to use on Windows will just plainly aid in setting up a safe and sound MySQL Configuration. Right? Just run it and you are safe. OK? But thing do break, specifically harddrives and stuff, so to keep your database in shape you have a second set of disks in your Windows machine, for all that data that you do not want to loose in RAID configuration. Or you might even connect, say, your D:-drive to an expensive but safe SAN! Then you run the MySQL Configuration Wizard and tell it to place your InnoDB data files in that D: drive. Phew! Now you are OK! That RAID-set was expensive, but better safe than sorry! Now you can place all that important data into MySQL, and what's left on the C:-drive is just some programs, which can be replaced if necessary, but the data is safe!

NO! That's NOT how it works, not at all. There are two things wrong here:
  • Just because you move the InnoDB files, which might well be the storage engine you use, doesn't mean that the other MySQL datafiles are there. Fact is, you CANNOT change where MySQL places the other datafiles, they get into C:\ProgramData\MySQL Server 5.5/data whatever you do! Why this is so I do not know, but if you want to change this location, you have 2 options:
    • Edit the my.ini file generated by the Config Wizard. And change the datadir setting and move the files and directories from the C:\ProgramData\MySQL Server 5.5/data directory to the directory where you want the files on your D:drive.
    •  Instruct Windows beforehand where you want your datafiles, which is real easy, just change the setting in the registry that determines where ProgramData is: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\ProgramData. Real easy and safe, right :-)
  • If you are OK with the MySQL other datafiles, and just want the InnoDB files to be safe, you still have to fix one thing: The innodb_log_group_home_dir setting. This follows the datadir setting, which means that if you move the InnoDB datafiles to another drive using the Config Wizard, the transaction log files will not move with it! They remain in C:\ProgramData\MySQL Server 5.5/data! Ouch! See this bug:66769

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MySQL Server installer on Windows

I don't what makes this so hard for MySQL Developers at Oracle. Look, I know you guys are trying hard, that's not it, and I also know that chasing SQL Server is a priority, and that is fine. But for that to work, the MySQL MSI Installer has to get better! It just has to. Like some basic issues like these:

  • You can not use the MSI installer to install two MySQL servers on the same box. If the installer seems an old installation, it insists on upgrading it if you are installing a newer version, and if you are installing an older version, well, that will be refused.
  • You cannot, using the MSI installer, install both 32 and 64-bit versions on the same box. If you try that, even if the versions are the same, the second install insists that what you have already installed is newer than the one you are installing, although the have the same version number, but one is 32 bit and one is 64 bit.
  • In the Instance configurator when it comes to the data directory location, if you select "Installation path" you might think that the data directory will be placed where you are installing MySQL right now. Think again, this is not so. What this means is that if you install MySQL on the box, and MySQL hasn't been installed there before, then Installation path means just that, So let's assume that you choose to install MySQL in C:\foo, then the data directory will be C:\foo\data. Which is fine. If you then uninstall this version of MySQL and then install some other version of it, this time in, say, C:\bar, then you would image that the data directory would be C:\bar\data, but it will still be C:\foo\data. I'm not sure where this is stored, but it is somewhere and it's really annoying.
So, if a developer wants to run with the 32-bit version of the MySQL library (say because he / she is using a 32-bit driver for MySQL), then you cannot use the MSI. If someone would have given this an extra round of thinking, then the MySQL 64-bit server installation, would have included both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of the client. Right? I'll see if I have the bandwidth and energy to report these issues as bugs.

Will the MySQL Installer help then? That is a 201 Mb package that contains, according to the download page "All MySQL Products. For all Windows Platforms. In one package." Right, that should do the trick then? Nope, once you have made the choice to install MySQL Server, be it 32 or 64 bit, you can only install one of them.

Look, I'm trying hard not to be a grumpy old man here, but it is difficult (partly because I'm getting old I guess). I am aware that I can always download and unpack the ZIP archive (which is what I will do now), but please folks, this is on Windows and I'd rather stay away from that on that platform. And Oracle / MySQL took the effort to create not just one, but 2 installers, but none of them allow you to install 2 MySQL servers on the same machine, which is too bad.

And by the way, no just because I am installing MySQL and then uninstalling it, and then installing it again, doesn't mean I want to use the same data. It just doesn't.

And I am afraid that if you think MariaDB is any better, think again, that is NOT the case. Too bad.