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MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux [UPDATED] 339

Posted by kdawson
from the any-color-as-long-as-it's-black dept.
volts writes "MySQL quietly deprecated support for most Linux distributions on October 16, when its 'MySQL Network' support plan was replaced by 'MySQL Enterprise.' MySQL now supports only two Linux distributions — Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. We learned of this when MySQL declined to sell us support for some new Debian-based servers. Our sales rep 'found out from engineering that the current Enterprise offering is no longer supported on Debian OS.' We were told that 'Generic Linux' in MySQL's list of supported platforms means 'generic versions of the implementations listed above'; not support for Linux in general." Update: 12/13 20:52 GMT by J : MySQL AB's Director of Architecture (and former Slash programmer) Brian Aker corrects an apparent miscommunication in a blog post: "we are just starting to roll out [Enterprise] binaries... We don't build binaries for Debian in part because the Debian community does a good job themselves... If you call MySQL and you have support we support you if you are running Debian (the same with Suse, RHEL, Fedora, Ubuntu and others)... someone in Sales was left with the wrong information"
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MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux [UPDATED]

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  • Oh well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0racle (667029) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:37AM (#17223332)
    Is it really a problem? If you worried about support wouldn't you be using a distro that also offers support contracts?
    • Canonical, Ltd. offers support contracts for Ubuntu, but MySQL won't support anything but Red Hat or SuSE.

      • Re:Oh well (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mr_mischief (456295) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:14PM (#17223912) Journal
        Maybe Canonical should step up and offer MySQL support on Ubuntu.
  • by Unoti (731964) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:38AM (#17223336) Journal
    Clearly we need to get some tough mother forkin programmers on this...
  • Bit misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:38AM (#17223344)
    MySQL (the database) still works with Debian, but MySQL (the support company) no longer sells support for Debian.
    • Re:Bit misleading (Score:4, Insightful)

      by McDutchie (151611) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:56AM (#17223644) Homepage
      MySQL (the database) still works with Debian, but MySQL (the support company) no longer sells support for Debian.

      For medium and large companies (which are the only entities that would buy support to begin with), that difference is purely academic. If it isn't supported, it isn't worth running.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by epiphani (254981)
        Well, I'm pissed off by this. We were looking at buying top-end mysql support shortly. Now we cant, because we run a home-brew version of Linux.

        We're technically competent people, but we don't know MySQL inside and out. We wanted support so we could go to mysqlab and present them, the MySQL experts, with some of the problems we have and we could work WITH them to fix them. Now, instead of being able to go to the developers, and PAY them for their time, we're stuck on our own trying to figure things out.
    • MySQL (the support company) no longer sells support for Debian.

      It seems to me that this decision must be driven by sales or market research indicated there is no market for support contracts on Debian based systems. So, does this challenge the notion that OSS can work in a capitalist world when the real "product" is support?

      Debian based distros are a significant chunck of the Linux market|mindshare. This decision essentially means the combination of Debian + MySQL is doomed in the business setting.
  • I've used MySql in a number of different companies. In many cases knowing that they could buy a support contract let me bring in MySql. I also really like Kubuntu these days.

    I guess it time to dig in and learn another tool to replace it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I guess it time to dig in and learn another tool to replace it.
      Meh, I'd rather replace MySQL than my Debian distribution. If I was truly concerned about commercial support for my database then I'd buy a commercial database like Sybase or Oracle. People use MySQL because it's free, not necessarily because it's better, or even comparable, to commercial offerings.
      • by jarich (733129)

        Meh, I'd rather replace MySQL than my Debian distribution.

        That's what I meant. Sorry for the ambiguity. I love Kubuntu and wouldn't ditch it.

        If I was truly concerned about commercial support for my database then I'd buy a commercial database like Sybase or Oracle.

        I'm not concerned about the support. I've never needed it... but I've found it makes C level execs (especially at startups) feel better about a tool if they know there's someone out there they can throw money at and "get help".

        People use MyS

    • We just need Debian enterprise or Kubuntu enterprise to have $$$ support. Then again given the amount of helpful people around not wanting a dime for the help they provide, the only people giving a damn are those people paying for an enterprise version of Linux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dsci (658278)
        Then again given the amount of helpful people around not wanting a dime for the help they provide, the only people giving a damn are those people paying for an enterprise version of Linux.

        Community support is a great thing, and hopefully all of us that USE F/OSS software give back to that in some way. But the business world, and many individuals, operate on the principle of "you get what you pay for." Most of the time this is a good guideline, but F/OSS is an exception. There are QUALITY products out
    • It makes sense though when you think about it. How many companies are out there looking for a support contract for MySQL but aren't using RedHat, etc? Considering that supporting Debian could entail supporting several different specific flavors, it doesn't really seem like the revenue for it would be worth the complications.

      Presumably if there's enough of a business for such support, somebody will come in and fill the gap. That's the beauty of open source, non? You can actually get support from somebody
    • by Locutus (9039)
      My first thought was how strange this was considering how Shuttleworth is trying to move Ubuntu(Debian based) to the server( Ubuntu 6.06 LTS-long term support ) amongst the other Debian distro's out there. I wonder why the had originally included Debian for MySQL Enterprise Support in the first place since the business case is still growing.

      My second thought was to some old news that MySQL Inc was partnering with Microsoft and are they getting any 'incentives' to move away from anything but Novell Suse prod
  • Solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:41AM (#17223378)
    Loudly drop support for MySQL. Here are two excellent alternatives:

    PostgreSQL [postgresql.org]
    Firebird [firebirdsql.org]

    Still, Debian provides good MySQL packages. Use them instead. If you need support, I'm sure you could find someone to provide it for you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      for "support" read "liability when it all breaks". That's what linux support is really all about. Would you want to be a technician personally responsible for downtime and several million of lost sales? Your bosses won't let it happen, because obviously you can't pay it back.
      • Re:Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:03PM (#17223750)
        Ahh, the good old "who do you sue" chestnut. How's suing Oracle working out for you whenever you find bugs in their database, or if you got bad advice from their support techs?
        • Indeed... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:18PM (#17223972) Homepage
          The "who do you sue" line's as old as the hills and, largely speaking, irrelevant because you're never
          going to get to first base unless it's a screw-up of epic proportions. Even then, it's more likely to
          be a colossal waste of your time and merely an exercise of fattening your lawyer's wallet.
      • Re:Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

        by virtual_mps (62997) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:06PM (#17223814)
        you think that mysql support will buy unlimited legal/financial liability for costs incurred by downtime of your mysql installation?

        really?

        seriously?

        hahahahahahaha

        What your support contract buys you is the ability to call someone on the phone. If it makes your boss happy to have someone to call and yell at when shit breaks, well, ok.
      • Re:Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Thomas Charron (1485) <twaffle.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:22PM (#17224056) Homepage
        I have never in my entire life seen a softare company held financially liable for lost sales as a result of a database failure. Please, feel free to cite one single lawsuit if you can find one.
      • Re:Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:28PM (#17224150)
        You know in the software industry that is a bunch of bullshite.

        If that were true then MSFT wouldn't have any money at all as they would be responsible for billions in lost sales annually. Just one Virus through one product line(not even windows but MS SQL) a year would be expensive. Yet MSFT doesn't have to pay so why would Mysql, or IBM, or any other software company for lost sales or data?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        So, how successful are you from getting money for downtime from Microsoft when a computer gets a virus? Or breaks due to an update?
      • for "support" read "liability when it all breaks". That's what linux support is really all about. Would you want to be a technician personally responsible for downtime and several million of lost sales? Your bosses won't let it happen, because obviously you can't pay it back.

        Any system has the potential to cause damage if it goes down. But this doesn't create "liability" for the company's support staff. Being the support provider does not automatically make you liable for any problem. But it does make yo
    • And that would buy you what? Neither of those solutions are offering enterprise support for Debian either...
  • Generic, huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:41AM (#17223390) Homepage Journal

    I guess that's fair - my company migrated to supporting only "generic Red Hat Database", aka PostgreSQL.

    Seriously, except in cases where you have no choice about database availability, I can't see a single reason to use MySQL these days. All of their cool features are owned by their competitors, and they're starting to pull desperate financing tricks like whittling away tech support and partnering with SCO. Are people still using it for new deployments, and if so, why?

    • Re:Generic, huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#17223494) Homepage Journal
      Simple. Every nickel and dime hosting company uses MySQL so every CMS blog, and forum supports MySQL.
      Up to and including Slashcode.
      It is now catch 22. Everybody uses MySQL because everyone uses MySQL.
      Heck I use MySQL for our CMS because not every module supports PostgreSQL.
      I would much rather use PostgreSQL for everything but I don't have time to re-invent the wheel.
      • Gotcha. Maybe I should have changed that to "for new development", as in starting-from-scratch projects where there are no database dependencies already in place. Is anyone still using MySQL in those situations?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          What part of "Every nickel and dime hosting company uses MySQL" did you not understand?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grahamm (8844)
        It is now catch 22. Everybody uses MySQL because everyone uses MySQL.
        Everyone used WordPerfect, that is until almost overnight everyone was using Word.
    • by syphax (189065)

      Are people still using it for new deployments, and if so, why?

      Inertia and familiarity. Fortunately, the barriers to switching aren't all that great, so it'll be easy enough to jump ship when/if needed. I'm one of the 80-90% of users that just needs some tables and industry-standard SQL; for almost all of my needs, I could use just about any DB backend. Yes, I know, YMMV.
  • Oh well (Score:3, Informative)

    by xenocide2 (231786) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:41AM (#17223394) Homepage
    I can't say for sure whether it's the same level of support, but there's always Canonical [canonical.com] for Ubuntu and Progeny [progeny.com] for Debian support.
    • by MECC (8478) *
      Can you buy support from Progeny if you've got a Debian system? I looked at their site, and it looked as though they want to build a system for you, then support it.

  • And yet... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:42AM (#17223402) Homepage
    They're more than happy to be a SCO/Canopy partner.

    I know where I'll not be spending my IT budget next year.
  • by Paulitics (1036046) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:42AM (#17223418)

    MySQL only lets me spoon it.

    But Postgre lets me fork it all night long.

  • Get Ready... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:43AM (#17223426) Homepage Journal
    I see that a definite split of "Premium Linux" vs. "Unsupported Linux" is coming soon to a vendor near you. That doesn't mean that Linux will die, it's just going to smell funny (possibly like pee).
    • Besides the obvious Suse and Red Hat who's the third "premium" linux? I'd say Debian is not it, but Ubuntu sure has the resources to be #3.

      Who do you think will be the top 3?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by eno2001 (527078)
        Huzzah! Let me rephrase the question: "Besides the obvious Microsoft, who is the second or third premium Windows vendor"? There is no law or rule that says there must be three or even two premium Linux vendors used by the IT industry. In the end, Novell Linux will likely get more help from MS to be the number one leader. RedHat might die off or just become so irrelevant that it won't matter. Whatever the case, the last thing Microsoft really wants to see is a strong and unified Linux community. The wa
  • by iamjoltman (883526) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:44AM (#17223438)
    I see there's already a few comments that the code should be forked. The thing is, what is forking going to do for it? They are dropping support for Linux distros, but that's not saying it won't run on other distros, just that it's not supported. The only way a fork would do anything is if the forked version had it's own support as well.
    • You're right. Actually forking will lead to more fragmentation which is the problem in the first place. You can't expect a software vendor to support many different Distros (you could argue over it, but in general very few people see that commercially viable).

      The problem would never have existed if things didn't get forked all the time and everyone would re-use what's out there. But then again, that would take the fun out of it ....
    • by Bastian (66383)
      Even then, forking isn't necessary to provide support. All that's needed is for a company to come in and offer third-party MySQL support for other distros.

      However, I don't see that happening; most likely dropping support for everything but RH and SuSE has something to do with the fact that those two distros dominate the enterprise marketshare so much that there just isn't any money to be made in providing support for MySQL on Debian.
  • by maynard (3337) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:44AM (#17223446) Journal
    While I don't currently have or need a support contract from MySQL, I wouldn't transition away from Debian within our machine room just for their sake. I can't say this is a mistake for them, as I don't know what sales numbers they see, but here's one potential customer that's gone as a result.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PHPfanboy (841183)
      > While I don't currently have or need a support contract from MySQL

      I think this says it all for most Debian users. They are either in-house experts, testing the water for their app or don't have a culture of procurement (read: lower budget or just plain cheap). This is not a criticism, it's just a business reality.

      MySQL is a business, unless we want them to go out of business and drop support for everything there's not much to complain about.
    • by chundo (587998) <jeremy@jongsma.oCOWrg minus herbivore> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:01PM (#17223714)
      I doubt that's the point. I'm sure they just decided that rom a cost/benefit perspective, money spent training their support staff on Debian wasn't worth the amount of business they were getting from Debian customers. Which makes a lot of sense to me - in my experience, people that run Debian servers have a more thorough knowledge of the system and administering it, and consequently have less need/desire for software support (yourself included, it sounds like). And assuming that's true, it's also not much of a stretch to assume that someone that interested in the guts of a system would choose something like Postgres over MySQL anyways if they had a choice, since it's had more advanced features for much longer than MySQL has.

  • I don't see this as a technical deficiency of the software. This is a business issue.

    Do you have Debian and MySQL expertise? Find yourself someone business-savvy (hint: it's probably not you) and sell support for MySQL on Debian. Be your own boss (hint: make sure your business-savvy person isn't a PHB). I think MySQL AB has been pretty clear in the past that they are but a small (if central) part of the MySQL ecosystem, and they clearly want to focus on their high-margin customers. Might be a smart mov
    • by dsci (658278)
      This is good advice overall, and I'll continue to take a middle ground approach to it. That is, I'll continue to support MySQL (on whatever distro) for my clients. I don't offer general MySQL support, but when I 'design' a system for my clients, I support whatever OSS stuff goes into that system. If MySQL is the best fit for their needs, that's what I recommend. If it needs support, they call ME.

      So, I'm not out there selling MySQL support to anybody that wants it, but I do take care of MY clients. T
  • by xantho (14741) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:49AM (#17223524)
    MySQL just said, 'We don't think that your business is profitable to us,' for whatever reason they might have. Well, I'm willing to bet that MySQL support for Debian in the enterprise setting is plenty profitable for some other people.

    The only thing that really happened is that MySQL cleaved off a part of their business and gave it away for free to anyone who wants it. And I'll bet plenty of people do.
  • Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:50AM (#17223532) Journal
    "Generic Linux"???

    Isn't "Linux" "generic" almost by definition. The only differences between packages are choices and package manager and usually only a few homegrown eye candy pieces.

    No really, I'm not trolling. I'm serious. I've used all sorts of different "distros", Redhat, SuSE, Debian, Slackware etc and I am able to quickly move between them because at the core of it, its all but the same. And I'm not a Linux expert by any stretch of the imagination, so if I can manage, why can't the big boys who do nothing but Linux?
    • The differences are subtle but sometimes important. An example is where each distro puts startup scripts and how they are written. Some are even migrating towards Apple's launchd which is an entirely different animal from the customary SYSV or BSD scripts.

      That's not a huge obstacle in and of itself, but multiply little issues like that by a few hundred and it's not so pretty. The Linux Standards Base was supposed to address a lot of that, but no one seems to be clamoring to support it.

    • Yes, and No (Score:3, Informative)

      by camperdave (969942)
      There are some significant differences between distributions:
      • Fedora (based on RedHat) uses /etc/rc.d/init.d/rc<runlevel> to store start and stop scripts. Ubuntu (based on Debian) puts these scripts in /etc/init.d, and doesn't have the /etc/rc.d structure.
      • Fedora has a program called service to start and stop services: eg. service mysqld start. Ubuntu users have to type /etc/init.d/mysqld start.
      • Ubuntu has hidden the root user. You never log in as root. You never become root. root effectively do
  • Why all the drama? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by derrickh (157646) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:51AM (#17223560) Homepage
    Why is this such a sore spot for so many people? Just because MySql no longer supports the flavor of the month distro of Linux, you all throw up your hands crying 'I never liked you anyway'.

    The vast majority of mysql users will never buy a support contract, and those few who do, will probably be RedHat or Suse. (When was the last time a Debian user admitted he needed help for anything?)

    Instead of having to support dozens of distros, Mysql is supporting the main two. It may be Open Source, but it's still a business.

    D
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NorbrookC (674063)

      Just because MySql no longer supports the flavor of the month distro of Linux, you all throw up your hands crying 'I never liked you anyway'.

      In other news: Oracle announces they'll only support Oracle on Oracle's Linux, Red Hat is selling support for Red Hat Linux, and SuSe announces that it's selling support for SuSe Linux. Canonical announces support for Ubuntu, but not CentOS. Slashdot readers erupt in fury.

      This is a business decision. I would bet that they looked at who was actually purchas

  • So now they just have to drop RedHat and SUSE and we are finally done? Great!

    I've been getting kinda tired of the whole cult surrounding MySQL's substandard "RDBMS".
  • Who is actually running MySQL Enterprise?
  • by Sabalon (1684) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:56AM (#17223650)
    Chances are that if you need the support they offer, then you are not just running some little fan site using MySQL to store what avatar's people choose. Most likely if you have support for the db, chances are you probably have some sort of support contract in place for the OS as well and the rest of your critical infrastructure. You are probably already playing by their rules using certain OS releases, etc...

    That would be my guess at least.

  • This looks liike an opportunity for Postgres to come out with some better documentation on installation and configuration of Postgres and attract some new users.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stumbles (602007)
      Wadya mean? Postgresql is pretty easy to compile from source and I've had zero problems installing it from RPMs, etc. As for it's documentation I have found it to be very useful. What do you mean by configure anyway? You got your conf files that normally live in /var/lib/pgsql and their annotations are pretty clear. So I think your just blowing smoke.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tcopeland (32225)
      > This looks liike an opportunity for Postgres

      Right on. And with the excellent performance of the newly-released PostgreSQL 8.2 [blogs.com], it's a good time to make the switch.
  • by Bright Apollo (988736) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:57AM (#17223674) Journal
    SUSE and RedHat are also the only IBM supported distros. Is IBM going for MySQL, ala Oracle grabbing Innobase and Sleepycat?

    -BA

  • MySQL has varying levels of support for different versions and architectures.

    The linked support list was to the Enterprise version, but check out Cluster and MaxDB versions.
    Oddly enough, they claim FS - full support for Debian 3.0 on the PowerPC architecture.

  • No need to fork! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Builder (103701) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:10PM (#17223868)
    There are a lot of calls here to fork the code. I'm a bit wary of calls to fork a project by people who lack the reading comprehension to understand the project. These may not be the best people to direct a project :)

    Just to clarify the crappy summary, MySQL are not saying that their software won't run on Debian or Ubuntu or whatever... It will still run on most OSs and distros, but if you are using Linux, MySQL AB will only sell you a support contract for MySQL if you are running on Dead Rat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Novhell (SLES?).

    Get it? Got it? Good!
  • Do many mid-size to large (read shopping for juicy support contracts) enterprises use Debian?
  • SO, essentially they are giving you no Linux distros that are totally known for their freedom. Only Red Hat and SuSE for Linux flavors and Solaris, AIX and Windows for the others. Really dumb guys, but not really that much of a concern. Someone else can step up and support MySQL. No big deal in the long run I guess except it gives people less choice initially if their job requires them to have a support contract and believe me alot of companies require this as silly as it sounds. What I see happening i
  • Who cares (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houseofmore (313324) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:37PM (#17224280) Homepage
    I've been using Mysql for many years, through several companies, small and large. Never once has mysql support ever been requested / needed -- it's rock solid. What does support conist of anyway, help with sql syntax?

    I doubt most Debian users will care.
  • Debian has quietly lost all its users to Gentoo and Ubuntu.

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