MySQL and MariaDB are among the most widely used relational database management systems (RDBMS) in the world. Both offer comprehensive sets of features for database management, with MariaDB originally forking from MySQL and maintaining compatibility. Whether for web applications, data analytics, or enterprise use, both databases are robust choices for varied needs.

For many users, the choice between MySQL and MariaDB comes down to personal preference, specific use cases, or the need for specific features unique to one system. Both CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora, popular Linux distributions, support the installation and operation of both databases.

This guide walks you through the process of installing either MySQL or MariaDB on a system running CentOS, RHEL, or Fedora. The required packages and dependencies are available in the package manager's default repositories. You can install these packages using dnf at the terminal. The installation and configuration steps are similar for MySQL and MariaDB, though in some cases the binary and service name could be different.

Steps to install MySQL/MariaDB server on CentOS, RHEL and Fedora:

  1. Update installed packages and indexes for dnf or yum.
    $ sudo dnf update
    [sudo] password for user: 
    CentOS Stream 9 - BaseOS                        2.1 MB/s | 4.7 MB     00:02    
    CentOS Stream 9 - AppStream                     2.2 MB/s |  14 MB     00:06    
    CentOS Stream 9 - Extras packages               3.0 kB/s |  10 kB     00:03    
    Dependencies resolved.
    Nothing to do.
  2. Install the MySQL or MariaDB server packages along with the dependencies.
    $ sudo dnf --assumeyes install mysql-server
    Last metadata expiration check: 0:03:24 ago on Sun 12 Feb 2023 06:37:41 AM +08.
    Dependencies resolved.
     Package                       Arch       Version            Repository    Size
     mysql-server                  aarch64    8.0.30-3.el9       appstream     16 M
    Installing dependencies:
     mariadb-connector-c-config    noarch     3.2.6-1.el9        appstream     11 k
     mecab                         aarch64    0.996-3.el9.3      appstream    344 k
     mysql                         aarch64    8.0.30-3.el9       appstream    2.9 M
     mysql-common                  aarch64    8.0.30-3.el9       appstream     75 k
     mysql-errmsg                  aarch64    8.0.30-3.el9       appstream    484 k
     mysql-selinux                 noarch     1.0.5-1.el9        appstream     36 k
     protobuf-lite                 aarch64    3.14.0-13.el9      appstream    217 k
    Transaction Summary
    Install  8 Packages
    Total download size: 20 M
    Installed size: 175 M
    ##### snipped

    Install mariadb-server package to install MariaDB server instead.

  3. Check if server service is started.
    $ sudo systemctl status mysqld
    ○ mysqld.service - MySQL 8.0 database server
         Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/mysqld.service; disabled; preset: >
         Active: inactive (dead)

    Check mariadb service status if you installed MariaDB server.

    mysqld and mariadb services are not automatically started on Red Hat-based systems.

  4. Manually start the mysqld service.
    $ sudo systemctl start mysqld
  5. Enable the service to start automatically on boot.
    $ sudo systemctl enable mysqld
    Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/ → /usr/lib/systemd/system/mysqld.service.
  6. Secure the installation by running the mysql_secure_installation script.
    $ sudo mysql_secure_installation 
    Securing the MySQL server deployment.
    Connecting to MySQL using a blank password.
  7. Enable password validation.
    VALIDATE PASSWORD COMPONENT can be used to test passwords
    and improve security. It checks the strength of password
    and allows the users to set only those passwords which are
    secure enough. Would you like to setup VALIDATE PASSWORD component?
    Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No: y
  8. Set level for password validation.
    There are three levels of password validation policy:
    LOW    Length >= 8
    MEDIUM Length >= 8, numeric, mixed case, and special characters
    STRONG Length >= 8, numeric, mixed case, special characters and dictionary                  file
    Please enter 0 = LOW, 1 = MEDIUM and 2 = STRONG: 1
  9. Set password for root user.
    Please set the password for root here.
    New password: 
    Re-enter new password: 
    Estimated strength of the password: 100 
    Do you wish to continue with the password provided?(Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : y
  10. Remove anonymous user account.
    By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user,
    allowing anyone to log into MySQL without having to have
    a user account created for them. This is intended only for
    testing, and to make the installation go a bit smoother.
    You should remove them before moving into a production
    Remove anonymous users? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : y
  11. Allow root to only login locally.
    Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from
    'localhost'. This ensures that someone cannot guess at
    the root password from the network.
    Disallow root login remotely? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : y
  12. Remove test database.
    By default, MySQL comes with a database named 'test' that
    anyone can access. This is also intended only for testing,
    and should be removed before moving into a production
    Remove test database and access to it? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : y
  13. Reload privilege tables.
    Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes
    made so far will take effect immediately.
    Reload privilege tables now? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : y
  14. Try connecting to local MySQL or MariaDB server to test.
    $ mysql -u root -p
    Enter password: 
    Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
    Your MySQL connection id is 14
    Server version: 8.0.30 Source distribution
    Copyright (c) 2000, 2022, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
    Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
    affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective
    Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
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