How to Set Up MySQL on Google Compute Engine

You have several options for deploying MySQL as part of your Google Cloud project. You can use Cloud SQL, Google Cloud Marketplace, or manually install MySQL on Compute Engine.

Cloud SQL offers MySQL as a web service. You can use Cloud SQL to host your MySQL database in Google's cloud, and let Google Cloud handle administrative duties like replication, patch management, and database management.

Cloud Marketplace provides a simple click-to-deploy interface that makes it easy to install MySQL onto a Compute Engine instance. Cloud Marketplace includes not only a standalone MySQL installation, but also several web development stacks that use MySQL, including LAMP stacks, LEMP stacks, and Percona MySQL clusters.

If you prefer to manually install and customize MySQL, you can use Compute Engine to create a MySQL database in a matter of minutes. This document provides guidance on which option to choose and walks through the manual installation of a MySQL database on Compute Engine.

How to choose the right MySQL deployment option

Cloud SQL is a great option if you want the convenience of having Google Cloud take care of the backend database and server administration chores. For example, Cloud SQL provides automated backups and point-in-time recovery. Moreover, your data is replicated across multiple zones for greater availability and resiliency.

You might prefer to install MySQL on Compute Engine if you require a MySQL feature that is not supported by Cloud SQL. For example, Cloud SQL does not support user defined functions or the SUPER privilege. For more information, see the Cloud SQL FAQ.

If you decide to install MySQL on Compute Engine, you can either use Cloud Marketplace to deploy a MySQL installation, or you can manually install MySQL on a Compute Engine instance. Cloud Marketplace provides a convenient way to deploy MySQL as part of larger development stacks. Cloud Marketplace offers several options for MySQL installations, including a standalone MySQL installation, LAMP stacks, LEMP stacks, Nginx Stacks, a Percona MySQL Cluster installation, and several other options.

If the Cloud Marketplace offerings don't meet your needs, you can manually install MySQL on a Compute Engine instance. You might, for example, want to deploy MySQL on a custom image that you have created, or you might want to have complete control of the installation process.

To manually install MySQL on a Compute Engine instance, you need only create a Compute Engine instance and install MySQL directly onto the instance. The remainder of this document describes the manual installation of MySQL on a Compute Engine instance.


  • Create a Compute Engine instance
  • Install MySQL
  • Connect to MySQL


  1. Create a new project in the Google Cloud Console. You can use an existing project, but creating a new project makes cleanup easier.

    You can complete all of the steps in this document using the Google Cloud Console, but if you prefer to use the gcloud command line tool, follow these steps to enable the Compute Engine API and install the Cloud SDK.

  2. Use the Google Cloud Console to enable the Compute Engine API.

  3. Install the Cloud SDK.

  4. Configure your workspace to make commands less verbose. Substitute your project's values for [PROJECT_ID] and [ZONE] in the following commands. For the full list of zones, see Available regions & zones.

    gcloud config set project [PROJECT_ID]
    gcloud config set compute/zone [ZONE]

Create a Compute Engine instance

Create a Compute Engine instance for MySQL and establish an SSH connection to the newly created instance. The default operating system is Debian version 9. If you prefer to use a different operating system for this tutorial, you can choose from the options described on the public images page in the Compute Engine documentation.


To create a Compute Engine instance in the Google Cloud Console:

  1. Open the Google Cloud Console.

  2. Select your newly created project and click Continue.

  3. Click Create instance (New instance if you have existing instances). Name the instance mysql-test.

  4. To specify an operating system other than the default value, in the Boot disk section, click Change to configure the properties for the boot disk. In the Public images tab, select an operating system and then click Save.

  5. Click Create.

To establish an SSH connection:

  1. On the VM instances page, find your new VM instance in the list.

  2. In the Connect column, click SSH. The SSH terminal opens in a browser window.


  1. To create a Compute Engine instance, use the gcloud compute instances create command. To use a different operating system, add the --image parameter followed by the image name. For example, to use Debian 9, add --image debian-9.

    gcloud compute instances create mysql-test
  2. Connect to the instance using ssh.

    gcloud compute ssh mysql-test

Install MySQL

The following steps describe how to install MySQL on a Compute Engine instance.

Debian & Ubuntu

  1. Update the apt-get package manager.

    sudo apt-get update
  2. Install MySQL. The installation process starts the MySQL service for you.

    sudo apt-get -y install mysql-server

CentOS 6 & RHEL 6

  1. Install MySQL.

    sudo yum -y install mysql-server
  2. Start MySQL server.

    sudo service mysqld start

CentOS 7 & RHEL 7

Version 7 of CentOS and RHEL now contain MariaDB instead of MySQL as part of its package management system. To install MySQL on CentOS 7, you must first update the package manager.

  1. Update the package manager to include MySQL.

    sudo rpm -Uvh
  2. Install MySQL.

    sudo yum -y install mysql-community-server
  3. Start MySQL server.

    sudo /usr/bin/systemctl start mysqld

Improve MySQL installation security

To improve the security of your MySQL installation, run the mysql_secure_installation command. If you didn't set a password during the installation process, create a password in this step. For more information about this command, see the MySQL documentation for mysql_secure_installation.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Connect to MySQL

The following steps describe how to connect to MySQL from your mysql-test instance.

  1. Connect to MySQL using the MySQL client.

    sudo mysql -u root -p

    When you connect to MySQL, the prompt changes to:


    You can then run MySQL commands. For example, the following command shows the threads running, including the current connection.

    mysql> SHOW processlist;
    | Id | User | Host      | db   | Command | Time | State | Info             |
    | 51 | root | localhost | NULL | Query   |    0 | NULL  | show processlist |
    1 row in set (0.00 sec)

    You can use the following command to generate a list of users.

    mysql> SELECT User, Host, Password FROM mysql.user;
    | User             | Host       | Password                                  |
    | root             | localhost  | *992C4DB09F487A275976576CCFA554F7D20A4207 |
    | root             | mysql-test | *992C4DB09F487A275976576CCFA554F7D20A4207 |
    | root             |  | *992C4DB09F487A275976576CCFA554F7D20A4207 |
    | root             | ::1        | *992C4DB09F487A275976576CCFA554F7D20A4207 |
    | debian-sys-maint | localhost  | *AD7B08AF7691A552A57900F1A9D8AE26ED499117 |
    5 rows in set (0.00 sec)
  2. When you are done running commands, use the exit command to quit out of the MySQL client, and then use exit again to sign out of the Compute Engine instance.

    mysql> exit

Cleaning up

After you finish the tutorial, you can clean up the resources that you created so that they stop using quota and incurring charges. The following sections describe how to delete or turn off these resources.

Deleting the project

The easiest way to eliminate billing is to delete the project that you created for the tutorial.

To delete the project:

  1. In the Cloud Console, go to the Manage resources page.

    Go to Manage resources

  2. In the project list, select the project that you want to delete, and then click Delete.
  3. In the dialog, type the project ID, and then click Shut down to delete the project.

Deleting instances

To delete a Compute Engine instance:

  1. In the Cloud Console, go to the VM instances page.

    Go to VM instances

  2. Select the checkbox for the instance that you want to delete.
  3. To delete the instance, click More actions, click Delete, and then follow the instructions.

What's next

You've now seen how to install MySQL server on Compute Engine. To see more complex applications that use MySQL, browse the wide variety of development stacks on Cloud Marketplace that use MySQL.

If your requirements include high availability and scalability, consider installing MySQL Cluster on Compute Engine. MySQL Cluster provides high availability and scalability through shared-nothing clustering and auto-sharding. Cloud Marketplace provides a click-to-deploy option for Percona, an open source solution for MySQL clustering.

Another open source solution for MySQL scalability is Vitess, which has served all YouTube database traffic since 2011. Vitess is well-suited for applications that run in containers. For more information on using Vitess in a containerized environment, see Running Vitess on Kubernetes.

For more information about MySQL, see the official MySQL documentation.

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