Thursday, May 14, 2009

Installing MySQL in Solaris 10 zones / containers

Now that installing MySQL in Solaris zones is even officially supported by the MySQL support group (see, the question is: What is the right way of installing MySQL in a zone. Of course this depends on what you want to achieve. The following description is based on Solaris 10. On Opensolaris this is different (somewhat easier, as there are no more sparse root zones.)

If you run a local zone as a whole root zone, you can easily install MySQL from tarball or the package installer.

If you run a local zone as a sparse root zone, there are different options:

First you cannot use the package installer, as this procedure will copy binaries to /usr/bin. But /usr/bin is inherited from the global zone and write protected. You have to use the tarball installation.

1. Make /usr/local/mysql writable
The tar ball will install in /usr/local/mysql. You can create a symbolic link in your GLOBAL ZONE:
> ln -s /localsoftware/mysql  /usr/local/mysql
This link points to a directory, that is not inherited. So in every zone /usr/local/mysql will point to a dedicated directory with write permission. You untar the software in the zone in /localsoftware

2. Make /usr/local writable
If you want no software from /usr/local in the global zone to be available in the local zones as well, you can use solution#1 even with /usr/local. So in every zone, /usr is inherited and write protected. But /usr/local points to a directory, that is writable. This is my personal favorit:
In the global zone:
> mv /usr/local /LOCAL
> ln -s /LOCAL /usr/local
and in the local zone
> mkdir /LOCAL
> cd /usr/local
> gtar -xzf /anywhere/mysql.tgz

3. Install in different location
You can untar the MySQL tarball in any other location, that is not inherited from the global zone. Maybe /opt/ ? Check with mount, what directories are loopback mounted from the global zone with read-only flag.

4. Install MySQL globally for all zones
You can untar MySQL in the global zone's /usr/local. Then every local zone has a MySQL installation as well. But then it is important, that all write access in MySQL is done to a writable directory, like /var/lib/mysql. Otherwise MySQL in the local zone will stop, because it cannot write it's logfile/errorfile/datafiles in /usr/local/mysql/data