My (SQL) WorkLog: Choosing Which Version of MySQL to Install

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Choosing Which Version of MySQL to Install

The first decision to make is whether someone want to use a production (stable) release or a development release. In the MySQL development process, multiple release series co-exist, each at a different stage of maturity:

At the time of writing this:

  • MySQL 5.4 and 6.0 are the current development release series.

  • MySQL 5.1 is the current General Availability (Production) release series. New releases are issued for bugfixes only; no new features are being added that could affect stability.

  • MySQL 5.0 is the previous stable (production-quality) release series.

  • MySQL 4.1, 4.0, and 3.23 are old stable (production-quality) release series. MySQL 4.1 is now at the end of the product lifecycle. Active development and support for these versions has ended.

The MySQL naming scheme uses release names that consist of three numbers and a suffix; for example, mysql-5.0.12-beta. The numbers within the release name are interpreted as follows:

  • The first number (5) is the major version and describes the file format. All MySQL 5 releases have the same file format.

  • The second number (0) is the release level. Taken together, the major version and release level constitute the release series number.

  • The third number (12) is the version number within the release series. This is incremented for each new release. Usually you want the latest version for the series you have chosen.

Release names also include a suffix to indicates the stability level of the release. Releases within a series progress through a set of suffixes to indicate how the stability level improves. The possible suffixes are:

  • alpha indicates that the release is for preview purposes only. Known bugs should be documented in the News section . Most alpha releases implement new commands and extensions. Active development that may involve major code changes can occur in an alpha release. However, we do conduct testing before issuing a release.

  • beta indicates that the release is appropriate for use with new development. Within beta releases, the features and compatibility should remain consistent. However, beta releases may contain numerous and major unaddressed bugs.
    All APIs, externally visible structures, and columns for SQL statements will not change during future beta, release candidate, or production releases.

  • rc indicates a Release Candidate. Release candidates are believed to be stable, having passed all of MySQL's internal testing, and with all known fatal runtime bugs fixed. However, the release has not been in widespread use long enough to know for sure that all bugs have been identified. Only minor fixes are added. (A release candidate is what formerly was known as a gamma release.)

  • If there is no suffix, it indicates that the release is a General Availability (GA) or Production release. GA releases are stable, having successfully passed through all earlier release stages and are believed to be reliable, free of serious bugs, and suitable for use in production systems. Only critical bugfixes are applied to the release.

MySQL uses a naming scheme that is slightly different from most other products. In general, it is usually safe to use any version that has been out for a couple of weeks without being replaced by a new version within the same release series.

No comments:

Post a Comment