Installing MariaDB Binary Tarballs

MariaDB Binary tarballs are named following the pattern: mariadb-VERSION-OS.tar.gz. Be sure to download the correct version for your machine.

Note: Some older binary tarballs are marked '(GLIBC_2.14)' or '(requires GLIBC_2.14+)'. These binaries are built the same as the others, but on a newer build host, and they require GLIBC 2.14 or higher. Use the other binaries for machines with older versions of GLIBC installed. Run ldd --version to see which version is running on your distribution.

Others are marked 'systemd', which are for systems with systemd and GLIBC 2.19 or higher.

To install the binaries, unpack the distribution into the directory of your choice and run the mariadb-install-db script.

In the example below we install MariaDB in the /usr/local/mysql directory (this is the default location for MariaDB for many platforms). However any other directory should work too.

We install the binary with a symlink to the original name. This is done so that you can easily change MariaDB versions just by moving the symlink to point to another directory.

Ensure You Use the Correct my.cnf Files

MariaDB searches for the configuration files '/etc/my.cnf' (on some systems '/etc/mysql/my.cnf') and '~/.my.cnf'. If you have an old my.cnf file (maybe from a system installation of MariaDB or MySQL) you need to take care that you don't accidentally use the old one with your new binary .tar installation.

The normal solution for this is to ignore the my.cnf file in /etc when you use the programs in the tar file.

This is done by creating your own .my.cnf file in your home directory and telling mariadb-install-db, mysqld_safe and possibly mariadb (the command-line client utility) to only use this one with the option '--defaults-file=~/.my.cnf'. Note that this has to be first option for the above commands!

Installing MariaDB as root in /usr/local/mysql

If you have root access to the system, you probably want to install MariaDB under the user and group 'mysql' (to keep compatibility with MySQL installations):

groupadd mysql
useradd -g mysql mysql
cd /usr/local
tar -zxvpf /path-to/mariadb-VERSION-OS.tar.gz
ln -s mariadb-VERSION-OS mysql
cd mysql
./scripts/mariadb-install-db --user=mysql
chown -R root .
chown -R mysql data

The symlinking with ln -s is recommended as it makes it easy to install many MariaDB version at the same time (for easy testing, upgrading, downgrading etc).

If you are installing MariaDB to replace MySQL, then you can leave out the call to mariadb-install-db. Instead shut down MySQL. MariaDB should find the path to the data directory from your old /etc/my.cnf file (path may vary depending on your system).

To start mariadbd you should now do:

./bin/mariadbd_safe --user=mysql &
./bin/mariadbd_safe --defaults-file=~/.my.cnf --user=mysql &

To test connection, modify your $PATH so you can invoke client such as mariadb, mariadb-dump, etc.

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin/

You may want to modify your .bashrc or .bash_profile to make it permanent.

Installing MariaDB as Not root in Any Directory

Below, change /usr/local to the directory of your choice.

cd /usr/local
gunzip < /path-to/mariadb-VERSION-OS.tar.gz | tar xf -
ln -s mariadb-VERSION-OS mysql
cd mysql
./scripts/mariadb-install-db --defaults-file=~/.my.cnf

If you have problems with the above gunzip command line, you can instead, if you have gnu tar, do:

tar xfz /path-to/mariadb-VERSION-OS.tar.gz

To start mariadbd you should now do:

./bin/mariadbd_safe --defaults-file=~/.my.cnf &

Auto Start of mariadbd

You can get mariadbd (the MariaDB server) to autostart by copying the file mysql.server file to the right place.

cp support-files/mysql.server /etc/init.d/mysql.server

The exact place depends on your system. The mysql.server file contains instructions of how to use and fine tune it.

For systemd installation the mariadb.service file will need to be copied from the support-files/systemd folder to the /usr/lib/systemd/system/ folder.

cp support-files/systemd/mariadb.service /usr/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service

Note that by default the /usr/ directory is write protected by systemd though, so when having the data directory in /usr/local/mysql/data as per the instructions above you also need to make that directory writable. You can do so by adding an extra service include file:

mkdir /etc/systemd/system/mariadb.service.d/

cat > /etc/systemd/system/mariadb.service.d/datadir.conf <<EOF

systemctl daemon-reload

After this you can start and stop the service using

systemctl start mariadb.service


systemctl stop mariadb.service 


Please refer to the systemd page for further information.

Post Installation

After this, remember to set proper passwords for all accounts accessible from untrusted sources, to avoid exposing the host to security risks!

Also consider using the mysql.server to start MariaDB automatically when your system boots.

On systems using systemd you can instead enable automatic startup during system boot with

systemctl enable mariadb.service


For details on the exact steps used to build the binaries, see the compiling MariaDB section of the KB.


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