MySQL Sandbox is the best thing since sliced bread

I’ve been preparing for my innotop session at the upcoming MySQL conference, and enlisted Giuseppe Maxia’s MySQL Sandbox to help me get a bunch of MySQL servers, from 3.23.58 to 5.2.3, running on one machine. It was super-easy and has helped me find some bugs in innotop. I should have done this a long time ago.

To get started, I just read through Giuseppe’s Sandbox article on O’Reilly Databases Blog. After reading this, I downloaded the scripts and a bunch of binary distributions of MySQL (I’m using Ubuntu). I took the “how to make it easy” advice and unpacked them all in /opt/mysql:

baron@wabbit:~ \$ ls /opt/mysql
3.23.58  4.0.27  4.1.0  4.1.22  5.1.15  5.2.3

After that, all I had to do was change to the sandbox directory and say ./express_install.pl <version> for each version, and it set everything up for me. Boy, was that easy! Before I did this, I had spent a couple hours reading through the manual’s instructions on how to get many servers on one machine – this was much faster and easier.

The next step for me was setting up some of the servers as slaves of others. I needed to modify the config files to set the server-id, and to make them listen to TCP connections, but that was trivial.

Then I pointed innotop at all of them and started finding bugs in innotop (and a few in MySQL’s documentation too). Who knew SHOW OPEN TABLES behaved so differently in 3.23.58? It was high time I did this; I actually feel a little silly for putting it off so long.

I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and many open-source tools for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB.