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MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux [UPDATED] 339

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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  • 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.
  • 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 []
    Firebird []

    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.
  • 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 [] for Ubuntu and Progeny [] for Debian support.
  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:42AM (#17223416)
    I suppose you could do that, but unless you're planning on offering Enterprise support for your offering on a wide variety of platforms, you're not really gaining anything. MySQL will presumably still run on Debian, at least for now, but without the ability to buy support for it on that platform, you're not going to get approval to put it on that platform in any sort of business-critical environment.

    Now, if you wanted to start a new company that offered Enterprise support for MySQL on Debian, you might have something there. I don't know that you would make any money, but at least you'd be offering something that isn't currently offered.
  • Re:Bit misleading (Score:4, Informative)

    by dsci ( 658278 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:07PM (#17223826) Homepage
    Most of the places I've worked have used Red Hat, because it has an enterprise reputation.
    Point of clarification: places have RH because they offer support to their enterprise product. Debian's reputation for stability and such is pretty strong, but that only carries so far in the business setting. It's not reputation that drives RH over Deb to the's "I can pay YOU to fix it when it's broke." JMO.
  • Re:QUIETLY? (Score:5, Informative)

    by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:16PM (#17223944) Homepage
    The real problem? "MySQL Quietly Drops Support..." ? Ok - so what should they do? Place posters all around your city saying "WE DROP SUPPORT FOR DEBIAN USERS!!!"?

    I think the point is that they haven't made it clear, even on their website [] that they have made a business decision to ignore everything but Red Hat and Suse. From the story: "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.'". So a company got bitten by using a generic (Debian) Linux then asking for support and finding out that "generic" means anything but.

    They really should make some sort of statement, even if it's market spun, e.g. "...for the benefit of our enterprise customers we are concentrating on supporting the two most popular commercial distributions... we expect third-party support companies and the active MySQL community to continue supporting less popular and non-commercial distributions". (P.S. for the benefit of anyone flicking through, I made that up!)

  • by NorbrookC ( 674063 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:27PM (#17224140) Journal

    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 purchasing support contracts, and what they were running MySQL on. If 95% of your support contracts are running either one of two distros, then that's where you focus. It's not a slap at Debian as a distro, it's a decision reached because most people running Debian/MySQL weren't bothering with support contracts.

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

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:51PM (#17224468) Journal
    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 does not exist. Everything is handled through sudo. Fedora, of course, has a root user.
    • Runlevels are different. Fedora has runlevel 5 as the multi-user graphic runlevel. Ubuntu uses runlevel 2
    • On Fedora, the default runlevel is set in /etc/inittab. Ubuntu doesn't even have an /etc/inittab. It uses a different process based on a /etc/events.d directory hierarchy. I have no idea where the default runlevel is set
    • Package management is different as well. Fedora uses a program called yum to manage packages in rpm files. Ubuntu uses apt-get to manage packages in deb files. AFAIK, the packaging schemes are incompatible. (You can't apt-get an rpm package, and you can't yum a deb package.)
    ... and I'm sure there are others. Add on top of those, that linux can be running either Gnome, or KDE, or Xfce, or nothing at all, and linux support quickly becomes the proverbial "maze of twisty little variants, all different."

    I don't really blame them for focussing on enterprise level versions. It fits the "Do one thing, and do it well" philosophy. However, I also can't help feeling that they're shooting themselves in the foot.
  • Re:Generic, huh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jay Pipes ( 997549 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:59PM (#17224622) Homepage Journal
    Sorry to rain on your parade of myths, but this: "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" is nowhere near true. If by cool features, you mean InnoDB, sure Oracle does own InnoDB, but the largest growth MySQL has seen is in the area of scale-out replication, telecom's usage of MySQL Cluster, and in the expansion of pluggable storage engine partners. MySQL Replication and MySQL's NdbCluster aren't owned by anyone other than MySQL, and the growth in storage engine partners shows you that a lot of companies believe MySQL's growth in the commodity scale-out market is because of something substantial, not just from a "whittling away of tech support". Contrast this to GreenPlum owning the (not open source) Bizgres MPP clustering project, to EnterpriseDB's (not open source) Replication Server "fork". Please. Quit propogating complete fabrications. If you want to argue that PostgreSQL is more "Oracle-like" in its SQL-implementation, fine. But don't troll away with flames that don't have a lick of truth in them.
  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:3, Informative)

    by newt0311 ( 973957 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:17PM (#17224874)
    atleast it has decent support for transactions, key constraints, and procedural languages.
  • by Chacham ( 981 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:23PM (#17224968) Homepage Journal
    The only difference between Oracle, SQL Server, DB/2 and MySQL is one of extent, not of kind.

    You obviously have never really worked with them then.

    I was mid-level DBA of Oracle for nearly a couple years, programmer for both SQL Server (Microsoft and Sybase), and currently use DB2 (LUW) (DB2, not DB2, unless you are referring to OS2's DB2, which was called DB2/2), and they are worlds apart. The only way to consistently understand the difference between them is to understand the mindset, otherwise they are just "differences", and the user will most likely not know whow to take advantage of those differences.

    Every time i use MySQL i have to hold my nose. Yes, it does the job, and it does it fast and easily, but for someone who cares about DBs, good design, and all that, MySQL falls very far from the tree.
  • Re:Bit misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by modir ( 66559 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @02:25PM (#17225914) Homepage Journal
    The article here on Slashdot is a little bit misleading. You still can get support from them. Them main part is this:
    Will you support MySQL Binaries built by third-party vendors? No. /policies-04.html#q04 []

    The person who wrote this article wanted to take the binaries provided by Debian. And this doesn't work. But if you take the binaries from MySQL you should still get support.
  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:4, Informative)

    by ciggieposeur ( 715798 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @02:53PM (#17226310)
    First, by support the article refers to technical support contracts, not whether or not the software will actually run on Debian. And MySQL has decided that they will provide technical support only for a very limited subset of the popular Linux distros. As far is this issue is concerned, Debian is in the same boat as a lot of other distros and was not singled out for special treatment.

    Second, the Mozilla trademark issue was at its core unavoidable. Debian has to be able to say to its derivative distros that everything in "main" is really free, Mozilla had copyrighted images that were NOT free, so Debian couldn't use them and Mozilla responded by saying they had to rename the browser. So they did, and the Mozilla-branded browser remains in "non-free" due to the copyrighted images. Everyone accusing Debian of hypocrisy on the trademark issue because they have an official logo is (to be blunt) wrong. Debian has an official logo (that they hardly ever use) to provide legal recourse to stop anyone else claiming to be Debian. It is otherwise of no use in the project and does nothing to prevent derivative distros from doing their own thing when they want to.

    Incidentally, the Mozilla trademark dispute has caused me to reinvestigate my use of ALL software from Mozilla. I'm finding that KDE software is far more user-friendly and powerful than the Mozilla software across a number of applications. KMail can be made (rather easily) to store mail in ~/Mail in mbox format, its mail filters execute much faster, I can right-click -> "Create Filter" -> "Filter on From" in seconds, and in dozens of other ways it kicks mozilla-mail's ass. Likewise KNode, Konqueror, and Kontact.
  • Re:Oh well (Score:2, Informative)

    by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @04:08PM (#17227740)
    "No, in some facilities it's smart"

    No; it's never smart to limit yourself to whatever nuisances a third party might inflict to you.

    It might be smart to have systems that won't allow but *your* signed boot CDs, but this move (if true, I really doubt it) can only be smart... if you are Dell Corp.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie