Distro for MySQL

A post from MySQLPerformance Blog clearly prefers Red Hat/CentOS/Oracle Linux distro over Debian and derivatives.

From my experience, and I have done thousands upgrades and downgrades in my life, the least number of problems come from RPM packages available in RedHat, CentOS and SuSE. In fact, I cannot recall encountering any serious problem with that package management system. Moreover, I have not seen broken systems, where installing or updating a RPM package would be impossible without resolving tons of problems first. It can obviously mean that RPM has flaws and does not verify consistency very carefully, but it never turned out to be any problem.

On the other end there are Debian and Ubuntu. Both use tool called dpkg for package management. There isn’t a month that I log in to a system based on either distribution where there are no issues with packages consistency. Unfinished installations, unresolved conflicts are so common that it’s just beyond simple negligence. The packaging system is just not robust enough. Another problem is that one broken package may block you from installing or uninstalling anything else. Imagine that someone left system in such shape, you prepared for downtime, stopped MySQL and… error – text editor has not been properly installed, so you cannot upgrade MySQL either until the problem is fixed. In a stressful situation when downtime clock ticks – annoying at best. Resolving problems can easily lead to unexpected consequences.

More problems can come from the standard Debian init (startup) script for MySQL. By default it not only starts database, but also updates system tables (if needed), scans all tables for consistency problems, etc. I mean, that works great for a computer at home or a tiny and unimportant system, but any of these operations may have severe consequences on a large production system. This is why all of this extra functionality was stripped from Percona Server. This behavior actually appears to be a general problem with Debian – it wants to be smarter than you. This might work for desktops, but anywhere else it is plain stupid and makes you waste time on outsmarting a wise-ass system.

The init scripts for RedHat, CentOS and SuSE are simple and do only what’s required of them – stop or start MySQL. No problems there.

It’s now clear that I never recommend Debian or Ubuntu, because I do not like some of the “mechanics” and I feel people are generally safer if they do not use any of these two. With the choice left between RedHat/CentOS and SuSE, I lean towards the former. Why? RedHat and CentOS are the only platforms getting packages from all MySQL and MySQL-fork vendors – Oracle, MariaDB and Percona. By my observations RedHat and CentOS are also much more frequently used with MySQL, so there will be more resources available online.

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