back to article Apple vanishes MySQL from Mac OS X Lion Server

Apple has removed MySQL from the latest version of Mac OS X server, replacing it with PostgreSQL. The previous version of the OS – Snow Leopard Server – offered access to MySQL from both the GUI and the command line, but the open source database has disappeared entirely from Mac OS X Lion Server, released last week. Postgres …


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  1. banjomike
    Thumb Down

    Don't complain about Microsoft....

    ... it could be worse, you could have based your systems on Apple. Then where would you be? In limbo if you are lucky, or up s??t creek more likely.

    1. Volker Hett

      Not that bad!

      Switching from an OS X Server to any Linux Distribution is easy.

      OpenLDAP, Apache, Postfix, Dovecot, CUPS, Samba, MySQL, all the scripting languages and so on.

      Try this with Exchange, MS SQL Server, .NET ...

      1. pan2008


        Why would I want to move my SQL Server database to mySQL. You must be kidding.

        1. CD001

          The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.


          Why would I want to move my SQL Server database to mySQL. You must be kidding.


          If MS did an Apple and stopped supporting/developing it?

          Though, to be fair, you'd still be better off with Postgres.

          1. pan2008


            "If MS did an Apple and stopped supporting/developing it?"

            The second most popular database in the world that makes tonnes of money for Microsoft won't be supported anymore? You must be kidding more than the original comment I replied to. SQL Server currently has the top spot in TPC-E test (top 10 actually). Try to beat SQL Server with Oracle first before you attempt with Postgress.

  2. Mo McRoberts

    Or to look at it another way…

    …you no longer have to wait for Apple to provide timely updates to a piece of software which is UTTERLY trivial to install from the vendor using the provided native packages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or to put it another way...

      You could install another REAL server operating system, and leave Apple to their consumer toys.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        IT Angle

        "You could install another REAL server operating system..."

        What does that even fucking mean?

        1. Volker Hett

          "You could install another REAL server operating system..."


          1. OMGROFLSKATES
            Thumb Up

            The BOFH

            would be proud of your VAX roots!

      2. Ian Davies

        Or to put it in a way that actually makes sense... could hand your tired argument back to the 1990's, I hear they're asking for it.


        a REAL server OS?

        BSD Does not make?

        I suggest thy revieth thy BSD and UNIX History. The billions riding on that code is a good indication that it meets whatever you consider a REAL OS. Flashy GUI not considering. SCO-Group need not apply.

        I work for a hosting company, Our Russian customers get a kick out of BSD-Derived systems. I also never really hear from them on the support lines either, accept when a drive fails.

        would you like to know more?

      4. martin burns

        A REAL server operating system..?

        Certified Unix ain't a real server OS?

        Come again?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @martin burns A REAL server operating system..?

          A real server operating system stays backward compatible with for 10 years or so. Apple have a hard time even keeping their server platforms last that long. To be of any use a real server OS would also need to run on real server hardware. By that I mean lights out management, multiple redundant power supplies etc, unfortunately Apple doesn't sell anything like that any more

          Apart from that, using postgresql was a good decision, its a much better database engine, but in a real server OS you would have added it rather than let it replace mysql to ensure compatibility with previous versions.

  3. mafoo


    Whats so hard about installing MySQL?

    The only really annoying bit is that if you want the command line compiling tools on lion you have to install the entire xCode sdk then delete the crap you don't want.

  4. Ian Michael Gumby


    I could have sworn that IBM was giving away IDS (Informix) on this platform for free, so if you wanted a real RDBMS engine that is light years ahead of either Postgres and MySQL, you could get it from IBM aka the Borg.

    Or has this too been stopped?

    1. Samuel Walker


      IDS is still going.

      The Developer edition is free with no time limits, but is only meant for development purposes.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby


        There is a special release for Macs OSX.

        Or there used to be.

        That is different than just the developer's edition.

    2. Don Mitchell


      You can also get free versions of MS SQL Server. Dig around and find TPC benchmarks for MySQL and you will see what a joke it is for transaction processing. It's especially true on multi-core hardware where the professional database systems are way beyond the open source toys.

      It also begs the question of why you would be using Apple systems to do any kind of serious server work. That's for NT or Linux.

  5. deains
    Black Helicopters

    Who really cares?

    If you need MySQL running, go grab the source code and compile it yourself, or download one of the binaries from MySQL's own website, even. It's not the end of the world. And Postgre is almost certainly a better DB, with a more usable licensing system, so it's not exactly a silly decision on Apple's behalf.

    The only silly thing is perhaps that, if they're marketing their servers as a prosumer/small business thing, making it harder to install an AMP (Apache/MySQL/PHP) server - the staple of a zillion small-to-medium-to-humongous web projects - is perhaps not the greatest idea.

    Adding an extra step won't hurt much, but they can no longer say OS X Server "just works" for building a web server.

    1. Jim Morrow

      bloated webbery for fun and profit

      why the fuck does it need a million lines of c for mysql and another million for php to make a web site? doesn't anyone else think that's beyond ridiculous?

      1. CD001

        You may not...

        You may not have heard of these things, they're called "web applications" apparently, Google is quite fond of them - when the effects of the extended duration of hypersleep have worn off, I'll bring you up to speed.

        Oh, and welcome to the 21st century btw.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Yes ...

        I do.

  6. Phil A.

    Why the fuss?

    What's so hard about going to and downloading it yourself?

    1. Ilgaz


      If you hate stuff in /usr/local and following binary updates, you can always use fink or macports which builds stuff ln /sw or /opt.

      Obviously, they aren't that stable/full on Lion yet but this option exists.

      Apple also trusts to 1)Blnary package 2) package managers and the basic idea that someone maintaining a UNIX server is aware of it.

      Even (!) Windows admins install their own mysql.

      One must also thank to trolls, jumping up and down ordering Apple to update a production OS blindly to fix a small flaw. So, they decided to minimise risks... Basic as that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best practice

    Isn't it considered a security best practice to not install anything on a server unless it is needed, to reduce the number of possible exploits?

  8. James 100

    One small download for me, a giant barrier for OS X admins?

    It's not as if MySQL's hard to get hold of, whether for the server version or any other - most of their developer customer base will have installed it for themselves anyway. As for comparisons with MS - they don't seem to be bundling MySQL or any other open source RDBMS with their own server software, for some odd reason.

    Come on: Apple have switched which open source component they bundle for, arguably, a better one - but you can still download the previous one free if you prefer. Will we get a whining article if they switch from Postfix to Exim next version, too, or was it just a really slow news day?

    1. Don Mitchell

      MS database

      MS systems come with SQL Server, which is much higher performance than MySQL.

      1. dylan 4

        Windows server doesn't "come with" SQL server...

        it's an expensive additional licensing cost based on the number of processors you're running and/or the number of clients accessing the database. e.g. $3500 per processor for a web platform outside of an enterprise licensing arrangement.

        1. pan2008


          Alternatively, spend another 10 months trying to optimise your system to run at a reasonable speed on mySQL. You have a very narrow minded view of software development. By far the most expensive bit of your system is the personnel you employ not the software (unless you are talking about SAP, Oracle etc which can cost 100K easy).

          But your point is valid if your system has 1 table so in this case mysql can run as fast but that's not the typical scenario.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Down

            You are out of your mind

            "Alternatively, spend another 10 months trying to optimise your system to run at a reasonable speed on mySQL."

            I refer you to the title.

      2. DJV Silver badge

        @Don Mitchell

        Go wash your mouth out with soap and water!

    2. Volker Hett

      No problem for OS X Admins

      only for journalists.

      Same with the flash player on Macbook Airs last year, a big scandal for tech writers nothing to care about for anybody else.

      Or have you ever seen a Windows PC with preinstalled flash player? Even Acer left flash out of the tons of crap they put on any hd.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    EnterpriseDB is not the only Postgres "company"

    There are plenty of others that support PostgreSQL - so EDB (while a great supporter) is not necessarily a definitive source of information.

    Apple could also simple have added it on their own from source - something not as straightforward as with MySQL (perhaps the real reason for the switch?)

  10. rvt
    Thumb Up

    Why needs MySQL when you can get PostgreSQL!


    I switches to PostgreSQL ago, MySQL is just a little toy compared to PostgreSQL, it moves forward MUCH faster in features then MySQL, PostgreSQL is rock solid and faster in almost all areas.

    Now we only need to convince the script kiddies that use MySQL for there PHP pages to switch to PG and we can say farewell to MySQL.

    1. danny_0x98

      DB Wars

      Insulting MySql does not make your choice of or the software Postgresql better. The two are independent projects with different emphases.

      Any way Apple did what they did and a competent administrator may adjust if MySql on OS X SL Server really was mission critical. It's basically the same thing us Postgresql users did before when it was MySql found in the cat box.

      Noted and moving on.

  11. Jorge Lopez


    Doesn't PostgreSQL support PL/OpenCL? I would think this is more of a driving factor in moving to this platform than MYSQL's license. This would also mean that Apple is actually more serious about its server than this article assumes.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good decision!

    It's not often that I am positive about Apple, but removing MySQL seems like a smart choice. PostgreSQL is better in any way.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Running away from Larry as fast as possible

    I cannot blame them for that...

  14. Greg J Preece

    Sounds like an upgrade to me

    The person quoted in the article is not wrong. PostgreSQL is just more sophisticated.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Is that guy really serious about servers? Anyone worth their salt knows PostgreSQL is the better choice. *dons flame-retardant jacket*

  16. Rich 3

    Whyever would you want one?

    You can get a server in the cloud for a fraction of the cost of buying and maintaining a physical box.

    If you do have a vital need for a server on a short leash bandwidth and latency wise, you can get an Intel box for a few hundred bucks and put Ubuntu on it. (Mine has 4G, mirrored 1T disks, an admittedly trailing edge AMD64 dualcore, but cost in the $500 range - the case, motherboard and processor came for free).

    I guess the only people who use these are design shops where there are only Apple skills, and they want something impressive to show people. (I've never seen an Apple server, but assume it's something like a titanium cube suspended in a tank of Fluorinert, glowing with Cherenkov radiation from the plutonium backup battery).

    1. Volker Hett

      I maintain mixed networks for quite some time now.

      and I grew up with a father and a grandfather and even a great grandfather in the graphics and printing business. Since I have no artistic talent at all, I ended up on the computer part of computer generated images :)

      With this said, in the mid 90s those who could afford a server had Sun and now it's a linux distribution, there are some shops who use Windows Servers.

      I have never seen an OS X Server in the wild.

      1. Snapper


        "I have never seen an OS X Server in the wild"

        And you work in the graphics and printing industry!


        Deepest Outer Mogolia?

        Either that or you don't get out much.

        1. Volker Hett

          Northern Germany

          Here we had Sun for OPI before there was OS X and no OS X Server in sight and today we use Linux and even Windows Servers.

          Here we use something rack mountable with lots of RAM and CPU cores for our workloads, the Mac Mini is nice for my home network and the MacPro is not fit for racks.

          Apple makes good workstations and the original Xserve had potential, but putting a Mac Mini cluster agains one DL370 feels just weird.

    2. Davidoff
      Thumb Down

      Because IT Security is actually important to you?

      "You can get a server in the cloud for a fraction of the cost of buying and maintaining a physical box."

      Yeah, right, trusting all your data to 'The Cloud' is great unless the data you have is somehow critical and valuable to your business. How vulnerable cloud providers are has been shown recently on more than one occasion.

      "If you do have a vital need for a server on a short leash bandwidth and latency wise, you can get an Intel box for a few hundred bucks and put Ubuntu on it. (Mine has 4G, mirrored 1T disks, an admittedly trailing edge AMD64 dualcore, but cost in the $500 range - the case, motherboard and processor came for free)."

      Well, Ubuntu may be fine, but I would at least make sure that the hardware is actually reliable and supported by its vendor.

  17. rvt

    don't put database servers in the Cloud...

    @Rich, for various reasons it's usually a bad idea to put a database server in the cloud, that is... if you are serious about keeping your data consistent...

    If you put your DB server in the cloud, there is a fair change of data corruption of your table store after the service goes down for any reason, this goes for any database.

    Database should be put on non-virtualised servers.

  18. Timfy67


    Apple could throw a few quid from the squillion that they have in the bank and design their own Db? Ah, that would mean actually innovating, not exactly their strong point.

    1. deadlockvictim

      FileMaker Pro

      Apple (well, Claris really) developed this back in the early 1990s. It's quite popular, I hear.

    2. dylan 4

      Maybe Apple could design their own Db...

      ...but why bother spending the money when there are free ones like Postgres and around? Apple's core business is nice shiny consumer toys, and this business model is supported by having nice shiny UIs/OS's to drive those toys, and platforms like ITunes to drive sales for those toys. Developing their own db to give away with OSX server would be colossally stupid. If they built something to drive their internal back-end platform ala google/fb it might make marginal sense, but that's not the kind of nice neat rdbms there would be much point running on a mac mini server.

  19. rvt



    you can call Apple a lot of things, but I do believe that Apple is one of the more innovating companies in the IT world. May be not directly on create Open Source software tools (although they help a lot of OS projects out there), but surly in design and in UI experience.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Huuu??

      You contradicted yourself there.

      "...but surly in design and in UI experience."

      That's innovation in the arty-farty world, not the IT world. The shinyness of the casing and the exact pantone shade of mauve that the weather widget border takes at night is the province of goatee bearded types called Zane, Justin and Kristian. I'll bet their bloody glasses are rectangular too.....

  20. Robert Pogson

    Dalvik is not a Java virtual machine

    Despite Oracle's claims, Dalvik is its own virtual machine running its own language, not Java. The apps that run in Dalvik are usually written in Java language and cross-compiled/translated into Dalvik's language. Oracle has no patent on virtual machines so they have no basis to complain about Dalvik.

    No licence is required to run your own virtual machine. Everyone does it and it is no business of Oracle's.

  21. ysth


    I had the pleasure of talking and listening to Monty for quite a while at OSCON, and MySQL may have an uncertain roadmap but the same is not true of MariaDB.

  22. Captain Scarlet Silver badge


    I am slightly confused, so if you have Max OSX Server and install the upgrade your mysql databases are removed and wiped clean or are they migrated or are they left alone?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeh, right...

    "The roadmap of MySQL is uncertain," Padir says. "Sun had an open source strategy. Oracle's strategy is all about business."

    All about losing business to RHEL if their activities since taking over Sun are to be judged.

  24. Tim99 Silver badge

    Not a fan of MySQL licencing

    To a developer, MySQL was always sub-par because of licencing - If you needed to distribute a DB with a non-FOSS application, MySQL was always an expensive choice. I favor SQLite for standalone use or for small web sites that are only going to have a few hundred thousand rows with say, 10 concurrent users (which is probably 95+% of the sites out there). SQLite databases/applications convert easily to PostgreSQL, SQLite to MySQL has been more difficult...

  25. PassiveSmoking
    Thumb Up

    Ships with a proper DB

    All I can say in response to this is Oh Hell Yeah!

    MySQL is crap. Postgres is a far more robust system, and is just as free is MySQL.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re MS SQL (dylan 4)

    "$3500 per processor for a web platform outside of an enterprise licensing arrangement."

    MS SQL Express 2008 R2 is free. Supports DBs up to 10gb. The license permits use on a live site, it's not just for development/prototypes.

    Certainly more than enough for a typical CMS or ecommerce site.

  27. Kermudjin
    Thumb Up

    Good choice

    This is as it should be. PostgreSQL has much to offer and has always been technologically superior to MySQL.

  28. Lynn Fredricks

    Untangling License Snarls Before They Start

    Ive been involved with Valentina, a competing database to MySQL for many years. Despite being open source, MySQL has always been a licensing problem if you are a commercial developer. There are many developer forums filled with he-said she-said arguments about feedback from MySQL about if they require a commercial license or not.

    Apple doesn't make any money off of this server software, and users can still install it if they want. Not preinstalling it avoids any licensing issues, clearly saving them money (legal departments cost). Since they should include some db server on their hardware, choosing Postgre seems like the most trouble free choice.

  29. James Katt

    PostgreSQL is actually BETTER than MySQL

    PostgreSQL is actually BETTER than MySQL.

    1. PostgreSQL has the far more useful BSD-style license. This allows Apple to change the source code at anytime and keep the changes proprietary.

    2. PostgreSQL is FAR MORE SECURE than MySQL.

    3. PostgreSQL is FAR MORE STABLE and CRASH-PROOF than MySQL. Yes, MySQL can be faster, but it is more prone to crashes.

    Additionally: Oracle's CEO and majority owner, Larry Ellison, is Steve Job's long-time BEST FRIEND. Oracle would NEVER sue Apple. Apple chose PostgreSQL since it is BETTER than MySQL.

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