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How to Install MySQL on CentOS Stream 8

Most business applications require access to data, which in turn makes it important to know how to install and manage a Database Management System (DBMS). There are different types of DBMS, but the most popular is the Relational DBMS (RDBMS) which is based on Structured Query Language (SQL). One of the most popular RDBMS is MySQL. This guide explains how to download, and install MySQL on CentOS Stream 8, and set up important configurations.

The Difference Between MySQL and MariaDB

Before we get started, understand the relationship between MySQL and MariaDB through their shared history. MySQL is an open-source RDBMS used for everything from small-scale to large-scale industrial applications. Oracle purchased MySQL in May 1995. However, Oracle’s vision of what MySQL should be fell short of some of MySQL developers’ and users’ expectations. These developers created MariaDB based on the Community Edition of MySQL and released it in October 2009.

MariaDB is touted as a drop-in replacement for MySQL, but there are differences between the two products. A significant number of features present in MariaDB make the move to the RDBMS a one-way process. Especially, when you plan to use the advanced features without using some sort of special tool to help with the transfer. It also pays to know that MySQL and MariaDB vary in functionality. For example, MySQL doesn’t support JSON_EXISTS or JSON_QUERY, and MariaDB lacks support for JSON_TABLE. When it comes to SQL support, MySQL provides superior indexing capabilities, while MariaDB supports sequences. The following table provides a quick overview of the significant differences between the two products:

Underlying development languagesC/C++C/C++
MaturityDeveloped in 1995 so it has a long-term existence. The server currently has 8K stars and 3.1 forks on GitHub.Developed in 2009 so it’s less mature, especially given the use of additional development languages. The server currently has 4.4k stars and 1.4k forks on GitHub.
Server Operating SystemsFreeBSD, Linux, OS X, Solaris, and WindowsLinux and Windows
CompatibilityMySQL and MariaDB have different views of JSON support. MySQL uses the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFC 7159 and RFC 7396 standards for JSON support.Drop-in compatibility with MySQL up to version 5.5. Since then, new features make MariaDB increasingly incompatible with MySQL, so it’s important to verify compatibility before using MariaDB in an existing application.
Linux Distributions that include as part of DistributionUnknownSome of the most popular Linux distributions include MariaDB by default: CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Red Hat Enterprise.
Companies UsingAt least 5,878 companies (not including development firms) currently use MySQL, including Uber, Airbnb, Shopify, Pinterest, Netflix, Amazon, Udemy, and Twitter.The number of verified companies using MariaDB varies, but featured customers include: Samsung, Virgin Media, Red Hat, Nokia, Select Quote, Tock, Walgreens, Pixid, Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), and Whitebox.

Download and Install MySQL Server

The steps in this section detail installing MySQL on CentOS Stream 8. The process also works well with the older, and now deprecated, CentOS 8. The goal is to connect MySQL to CentOS 8, no matter what form it takes. Ultimately, you install MySQL server on Linux using the following steps:

  1. Update the system using the command below:

    sudo dnf update

    A message displays at the end with the number of packages that need to be upgraded.

    • You may see some messages during the update process, such as whether the upgrade requires additional disk space. If additional disk space is required, type Y and press Enter to continue.

    • A progress indicator is shown for each upgrade to keep the user apprised of how the process is going.

    • In case there is a kernel upgrade, reboot your system to reflect the changes after the upgrade.

    • Restart the services with outdated libraries using the GUI screens provided.

  2. Perform required package upgrades to keep the system up to date.

    sudo dnf upgrade

    During the update process, you may be asked questions such as if you want to use additional disk space. Also, a progress indicator is shown anytime the system performs an upgrade. Mostly, you see a message telling you that the upgrades completed at the same time as the updates, so there is nothing to upgrade.

  3. MySQL 8 is conveniently provided as part of the default repositories for CentOS Stream 8. You can directly run the command for MySQL set up as below.

    sudo dnf install @mysql

    As with the update process, you are asked questions like whether you want to use additional disk space and also see the progress indicator.

  4. Start the MySQL server using the command below:

    sudo systemctl start mysqld.service
  5. Verify the status of MySQL 8.0.

    sudo systemctl status mysqld

    You see output similar to that shown below:

    mysqld.service - MySQL 8.0 database server
      Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/mysqld.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
      Active: active (running) since Fri 2022-07-29 15:53:50 UTC; 52s ago
      Process: 29625 ExecStartPost=/usr/libexec/mysql-check-upgrade (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
      Process: 29501 ExecStartPre=/usr/libexec/mysql-prepare-db-dir mysqld.service (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
      Process: 29477 ExecStartPre=/usr/libexec/mysql-check-socket (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Main PID: 29581 (mysqld)
      Status: "Server is operational"
        Tasks: 38 (limit: 4921)
      Memory: 456.1M
      CGroup: /system.slice/mysqld.service
              └─29581 /usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr
    Jul 29 15:53:37 systemd[1]: Starting MySQL 8.0 database server...
    Jul 29 15:53:37 mysql-prepare-db-dir[29501]: Initializing MySQL database
    Jul 29 15:53:50 systemd[1]: Started MySQL 8.0 database server.
  6. Allow MySQL 8 to automatically start every time you reboot your server using the command below:

    sudo systemctl enable mysqld

    Your MySQL server is now ready to use.

Configure MySQL Using MySQL Installation Script

For a safer MySQL installation, use the mysql_secure_installation script to create a secure environment. The following steps show you how:

  1. Run mysql_secure_installation script. You may be asked to provide the root password.

    sudo mysql_secure_installation

    A welcome message is displayed on the screen and then the option to install VALIDATE PASSWORD COMPONENT. This component verifies that users are relying on strong passwords to log into MySQL, so it’s an important addition to your security suite.

  2. Type Y and press Enter to install the component. If you choose to install VALIDATE PASSWORD COMPONENT, go through the following series of sub-steps to install the same:

    • Firstly you need to set the password validation policy. Here, 0 is for low, 1 for medium, and 2 for strong. Setting a strong password option is the best option because it requires a password length of at least eight characters and the use of numeric, mixed case, special characters, and words that don’t appear in the dictionary. Enter a numeric value in a valid range of 0 and 3, then press Enter.

    • Enter the root user password. Type a password that matches the validation policy you set and press Enter. You are shown the strength of the password you entered, with 100 being quite strong. In case you do not wish to change the password, press Enter to signify no changes in the MySQL root user’s password.

    • Type Y and press Enter if you’re happy with the password.

    • Now, you are prompted if you want to remove anonymous users. Type Y and press Enter unless you want to allow users without authentication to access your server.

    • Further, you are prompted if you want to disallow remote logins. Remote login access is required to access the MySQL server from outside, so press Enter to signify no.

    • Next in the script, it prompts the user to remove the test database. The test database can be helpful during the experimental phase of MySQL. If you wish to remove the test database type Y and press Enter. Press Enter if you want to keep the test database.

    • The next prompt is important because you need to reload the privilege tables for the changes to become permanent and have immediate effect. Type Y and press Enter. MySQL is now configured.

Start, Stop, and Restart MySQL on CentOS Stream 8

As you work with MySQL on CentOS Stream 8, ensure that the server is in the expected state. Check the status of the MySQL server using the command below:

sudo systemctl status mysqld

The output shows MySQL as started and enabled. The following is a list of helpful commands to start, stop, and restart MySQL as needed:

  • Start MySQL server:
sudo systemctl start mysqld.service
sudo systemctl enable mysqld
  • Stop MySQL server:
sudo systemctl stop mysqld.service
sudo systemctl disable mysqld
  • Restart MySQl server:
sudo systemctl restart mysqld.service

Test the Installation

To run a quick test of your MySQL installation, run the below command to verify the service runtime status.

sudo systemctl status mysqld

Then, perform the following checks:

  1. Check MySQL version: Use the command below to check the version of MySQL installed. You are asked for the password that you created earlier. If the entered password is successful, you see information about your version of MySQL.

    mysqladmin -u root -p version
  2. Access MySQL server: You can access the MySQL server with the following sub-steps:

    • Login to MySQL as the root user. Provide the root user password when prompted.
    mysql -u root -p
    • Create a database named Test in MySQL server.
    Don’t forget the semicolon at the end of the command.

    MySQL gives the following output:

    Query OK, 1 rows affected (0.00 sec)
    • To check the list of current databases, which includes the Test database, on MySQL, run the command below:
    • To remove a database from the server, run the command below:
    • Again, check the list of databases present on the MySQL server. Now you have the latest list of available databases. You see Test database deleted in the previous step is missing from the list.
    • Exit MySQL and return to the terminal prompt.


One of the biggest takeaways is that both MySQL and MariaDB provide enterprise-level database functionality. Each has its specialization. Installing either product is relatively easy using the Package Manager. When installing MySQL, take additional steps when working with the MySQL installation script. Remote access to MySQL setup requires that you configure MySQL to allow remote login and then set up UFW as well.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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