The MySQL documentation is not always right

Let me premise this post with the statement I think the MySQL documentation is an excellent and highly accurate resource. I think the MySQL docs team do a great job, however like software and people, documentation is not perfect.

As members of the MySQL community you can always contribute to improve the process by reading the documentation and logging any issues as Documentation Bugs.

Some time ago in a discussion with a friend and colleague, we were talking about changes in historical defaults that had been improved finally in MySQL 5.4 The specific discussion was on the new default innodb_buffer_pool_size and we both agreed it increased significantly. One said 1GB, the other said 128MB. Who was right? Well we both were, and we were both inaccurate depending on versions.

Referencing the 5.4 Manual in InnoDB Startup Options and System Variables the current value for Linux is 128M, but for Windows it’s 1GB.

However I was confident I was told in a presentation, perhaps even the keynote the value was 1GB. Firing up my server and seeing the original version I used of 5.4.0 (which was not available on Windows) we find that the default for Linux was 1GB at some time, i.e. the first release.

mysql> show global variables like 'innodb_buffer_pool_size';
| Variable_name           | Value      |
| innodb_buffer_pool_size | 1073741824 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> select 1073741824/1024/1024 as MB;
| MB            |
| 1024.00000000 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> show global variables like 'version%';
| Variable_name           | Value                        |
| version                 | 5.4.0-beta                   |
| version_comment         | MySQL Community Server (GPL) |
| version_compile_machine | x86_64                       |
| version_compile_os      | unknown-linux-gnu            |
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

I’m not trying to nit pick here, I’m highlighting that MySQL is a evolving product with many different versions and architectures. It’s our job of the MySQL community to help make the documentation the best for all readers. In this above case I’ve not logged the issue, because 5.4 is a defunct product, however if you want an example of how I identified a problem, provided a test case, and saw that my contribution was reviewed, verified and implemented check out Bug #51739 –core-file is not default TRUE (incorrect docs).

In conclusion, always read the documentation but pay special attention to the current version that matches the documentation, and the version you are actually running. Defaults change between versions, e.g. innodb_thread_concurrency is a complex example, and I’ve been caught with a large enterprise client with assuming the default of a Connector/J options as true, when it was in 5.0.6, but in 5.0.5 the version the client was running it was false.

An old saying, “trust by verify” is a good motto to consider.

The Drizzle Census

One thing I have often wondered is just how many MySQL instances exist in the world and what MySQL versions and architectures are in use. We hear of 50,000 windows downloads per day but this is misleading because MySQL is basically bundled with Linux by default or installed from various repositories. Linux servers powers many websites.

In Drizzle we have a proposed plan, the Drizzle Census. From the productive Drizzle Developers Day recently at the 2010 MySQL conference we sat down and created a blueprint, and subsequent high level spec of what we considered this optional plugin should do. We didn’t get as far as I would have liked in a code skeleton to at least gather and store a sample result, but the hope is that with the community we will in the near future.

Here is the list of information we decided was appropriate for anonymous information of value.

  • Kernel Version/Architecture
  • CPU type
  • SID – HASH(processor_id,listener address,first listener port)
  • Drizzle Version
  • Drizzle Uptime
  • Drizzled process memory usage

Installation issues with MySQL 5.5.4 and resolveip

I was installing the latest MySQL 5.5.4 on a new machine and I came across the following issues during installation, steps I generally perform on other versions without any incidents.

$ sudo su -
$ cd /opt
$ wget
$ tar xvfz mysql-5.5.4-m3-linux2.6-x86_64.tar.gz
$ cd mysql-5.5.4-m3-linux2.6-x86_64
$ scripts/mysql_install_db
Neither host 'barney' nor 'localhost' could be looked up with /usr/bin/resolveip
Please configure the 'hostname' command to return a correct hostname.
If you want to solve this at a later stage, restart this script with the --force option

Perform some checks

$ /usr/bin/resolveip
-su: /usr/bin/resolveip: No such file or directory

$ hostname

$ head -2 /etc/hosts	localhost	barney

I was surprised to find that my Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx box had a different IP for hostname, rather then That was a little weird. I changed this just for comfort.

I was not familiar with this command so I tried to install it.

$ apt-get install resolveip
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Couldn't find package resolveip

$  apt-cache search resolveip

No luck there, off to Google to do a search for resolveip and ubuntu you find the following online manual page which surprising shows the following as the owner of the command.
Copyright 2007-2008 MySQL AB, 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Thinking it’s now actually packaged with MySQL we find this in the untar directory.

$ bin/resolveip `hostname`
IP address of barney is

I’m now still none the wiser regarding this command. I’ve decided to take the –force option for now and we will see!

2010 MySQL Conference Presentations

I have uploaded my three presentations from the 2010 MySQL Users Conference in Santa Clara, California which was my 5th consecutive year appearing as a speaker.

A full history of my MySQL presentations can be found on the Presenting page.

My acceptance with Oracle as ACE Director

I hinted last week of my acceptance with Oracle before the formal announcement this week at the MySQL Users Conference, not for a job but as Oracle ACE Director. In today’s State of the MySQL Community keynote by Kaj Arnö I was one of the first three MySQL nominees that are now part of this program.

What exactly is an ACE Director? Using the description from the Oracle website.

Oracle ACEs and Oracle ACE Directors are known for their strong credentials as Oracle community enthusiasts and advocates, with candidates nominated by anyone in the Oracle Technology and Applications communities. The baseline requirements are the same for both designations; however, Oracle ACE Directors work more closely and formally with Oracle in terms of their community activity.

What does this mean to me?

As a significant contributor to the community I now have the opportunity to continue as well as to contribute to how Oracle continues to interact, promote and involve the MySQL community. As stewards our role as an Oracle ACE Director is to be actively involved. I look forward to the challenge to help shape and improve our State of the MySQL Community.

News and References
Welcome, Oracle ACE Directors for MySQL

State of the Dolphin – Opening keynote

Edward Screven – Chief Corporate Architect of Oracle provided the opening keynote at the 2010 MySQL Users Conference.

Overall I was disappointed. The first half was more an Oracle Sales pitch, we had some product announcements, we had some 5.5 performance buzz. While a few numbers and features were indeed great to hear, there was a clear lack of information to the MySQL ecosystem including employees, alumni and various support services. I hope more is unveiled this week.

Some notes of the session.

  • Oracle’s Strategy covers storage, servers, virtual machines, operating system, database, middleware, applications
  • We build a complete technology stack that is “open” and “integrated” based on “open standards”
  • products talk via open standards with the intention for customers to not feel locked in to any technology
  • Examples include apache, java, linux, xen, eclipse, and innodb
  • Unbreakable linux has now over 4,500 customers

After the sales pitch we got down to more about MySQL.

What MySQL means to Oracle? We make the Oracle solution more complete as a stack for customers.

What is the investment in MySQL?

  • Make MySQL a better MySQL
  • Develop, promote and support MySQL
  • MySQL community edition

Integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Secure Backup and Oracle Audit Vault infrastructure. *This I expected and have blogged about, so I’m glad to see this commitment.

MySQL 5.5 is now in Alpha, some features are

  • InnoDB will be default engine
  • Semi sync replication
  • Replication heartbeat
  • Signal
  • Performance Schema

MySQL 5.5 is planned on being faster with Innodb Performance Improvements & MySQL Performance Improvements.
MySQL 5.5 sysbench claims, read 200% faster, write 364% faster.

MySQL Workbench 5.2 announcement

  • SQL Development
  • Database Administration
  • Data Modelling

MySQL Cluster 7.1 GA announcement

  • Improved Administration
  • Higher Performance
  • Carrier Grade Availability & Performance

MySQL Enterprise Backup announcement

  • Online backup for InnoDB only
  • Formally InnoDB hot backup with additional features including incremental backups

MySQL Enterprise Monitor 2.2 Beta announcment

In closing the statement was “MySQL lets Oracle be more complete at the database layer”. Is that good for the MySQL Community or better for the Oracle revenue model?

My acceptance with Oracle

There have been a number of April fools jokes today so I thought I’d add my own to the list. While this sounds unexpected it’s actually no joke.

I just accepted a position with Oracle yesterday but I can’t say any more about the details until the MySQL users conference in a few weeks.

A special thanks to Lenz, Kaj & Giuseppe that championed everything to make it all happen, I really didn’t have to do anything other then accept.