Computer Laboratory

Running Database Servers on Lab Unix hosts

Introduction

This page contains information on running database servers (PostgreSQL and MySQL) on Lab linux machines. Note that this entials some degree of administration and system knowledge and depending on your requirements you may be better off using the managed Microsoft SQL Server database. This can be accessed from either Windows or Linux clients. E-mail win-admin@cl.cam.ac.uk to ask for an account.

Database Servers

The two most commonly used database servers on Linux are PostgreSQL and MySQL. Both are in active development and compare quite well together for features and reliability. They are not 100% compatible however. There are many features of SQL available on one which are not available on the other. There are also different sets of client API libraries and language bindings which often determine which database must be used with a given application, so check first. If you are writing your own application from scratch or you are using one that is compatible with both then you will have to decide. The database people at FNAL have done a comprehensive comparison of Oracle 8i/9i, MySQL 4 and PostgreSQL 7.2 DBMSs.

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is the easiest to install and use in the Lab. This page gives details.

MySQL

MySQL is a little more complicated to set up properly. Here are the details.