mysql_upgrade relocation error

After upgrading openSUSE 10.2 to 10.3 my MySQL database server wouldn’t start. I didn’t even notice it wasn’t running until I went to do some development work on one of my websites and it wouldn’t connect to the MySQL database.

The MySQL server daemon wasn’t running, although it’s set to start up automatically by the init scripts when the system first boots up, so I was a little surprised. I dropped to a command prompt and issued the command:

/etc/init.d/mysql startand was surprised to get the following message:

Updating MySQL privilege database...
/usr/bin/mysql_upgrade: relocation error: /usr/bin/mysql_upgrade: symbol dynstr_append_os_quoted, version libmysqlclient_15 not defined in file libmysqlclient.so.15 with link time reference
failed
I was a little puzzled by the error message, so decided to check out the /usr/bin/mysql_upgrade file, thinking it might be some sort of readable shell script, but it was a binary file, which obviously had some sort of error interfacing with the MySQL libraries.

Then followed a lot of messing around, including taking a backup copy of the databases and loading them into a fresh MySQL data directory, ie replacing what was at /var/lib/mysql with a new default database layout, and then creating and loading the databases from the backup files. I didn’t have any issues with the fresh copy of the database, so went back to the version that wasn’t working.

For some reason or other, I decided to check the files in the MySQL data directory, like so:

sudo ls -la /var/lib/mysqland got a listing similar to the following:

total 28900
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql4096 2007-09-21 11:42 adatabase
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql4096 2007-09-21 11:42 another_db
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql6 2007-09-21 11:36 desktop.pid
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql4096 2007-09-21 11:42 efghijklmn
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql 18874368 2007-10-05 18:55 ibdata1
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql5242880 2007-10-05 18:55 ib_logfile0
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql5242880 2007-10-05 18:55 ib_logfile1
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql4096 2007-09-21 11:44 mysql
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql4096 2007-09-21 11:44 mysql_bak
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql1594 2007-10-05 18:55 mysqld.log
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql1859 2007-09-28 13:17 mysqld.log-20070921
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql1026 2007-10-02 10:39 mysqld.log-20070928
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql1539 2007-10-04 11:01 mysqld.log-20071002
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql1026 2007-10-05 17:57 mysqld.log-20071004
drwx------2 mysql mysql4096 2007-10-05 18:55 .protected
-rw-r--r--1 mysql mysql0 2007-10-05 17:57 .run-mysql_upgrade
drwx------ 2 mysql mysql4096 2007-09-21 12:47 test
drwxr-xr-x2 mysql mysql4096 2007-10-05 18:55 .tmp

The file that interested me the most was the one named .run-mysql_upgrade. Clearly from the name this is what was causing the /usr/bin/mysql_upgrade to run, and for whatever other reason it was erroring out. So I reasoned it would just be a matter of deleting (or backing up somewhere else) this file and then attempting to start MySQL again.

$ sudo rm /var/lib/mysql/.run-mysql_upgrade
$ sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start
Starting service MySQLdone

And sure enough, that fixed the problem.