As we’ve hinted at for some time now, we have been busy preparing some good stuff for our Debian and Ubuntu users. And today we’re delighted to launch our own official MySQL apt repos for Debian and Ubuntu.
After working closely with the Debian and Ubuntu communities to make sure that the native MySQL packages in those distros work really well, we have now taken all the valuable knowledge and experience gained from that work and applied it to our own official packages.
We have support for Debian 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04, and we initially offer MySQL Server 5.6 plus the latest 5.7 development milestone release. 5.6 is what we recommend for production use, while milestone releases are for those who want a taste of the absolutely latest. We will be adding more products in the near future.
So why are we doing this?
First and foremost, we want to provide officially supported, very high quality MySQL packages that integrate well with the distros, from easy-to-use repos that will always contain the latest and greatest; while distros typically choose one specific version of MySQL to include, we can offer several different versions, including development releases, from our repos. We think this is a nice complement to the good MySQL stuff that ships natively with the distros.
Second, running our own repos keeps us better hooked into what the community, and especially the different Linux distros, want and need from us. As part of our apt repo work, we’ve seen how we need to improve important stuff such as our startup scripts and config file handling in order to make life easier both for ourselves and for the Linux distro package maintainers. Going forward, we will continue to listen closely to what our users and our friends in the distros tell us, so that whether or not you use the native distro packages or our official repos, you will have a good and smooth experience.
What took us so long?
Well, learning takes time, and we wanted to begin by giving the distros full attention before we started work on our own stuff. And this is indeed complex stuff, with a huge matrix of possible migration paths and upgrades from distro packages, other vendors’ packages and our own old debs, all in multiple possible configurations, versions and editions.
When we put the “official” stamp on something it means that we have put a lot of time and effort into design and implementation and not least testing in order to make sure that things work as expected and that users have as smooth an experience as possible (there is a good blog posting on some of this over on the MySQL Server Team blog). We’ll hopefully at some point have a blog posting telling the story of how we translated that huge matrix into actual testing, but take my word for it: QA has been burning the midnight oil on this project.
Finally, while starting to use our repo will be very straightforward for probably 90% of our users, we have put together in-depth documentation that covers those few cases where the move requires a bit more care.
Want to get started?
Head over to the APT repo download page to get the setup package, install instructions and pointers to more in-depth docs.
There are a few minor limitations in these initial packages, where a tiny handful of distro native applications are incompatible with our repo packages. The docs have more details on this. We believe that this will affect very few users, but we will look at fixes for later revisions.
Over time, we will add more products to our repos and we will continue to improve the user experience. We will also continue to work closely with the Debian and Ubuntu maintainers and communities to make sure that we are doing the right things and that the native distro packages get even better in the future.
And finally, nothing in this world is perfect: if you have comments or suggestions for improvements, please let us know in a comment here, or if you run into issues using our packages and repos, please take the time to submit a bug report.