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title: How to Set Up MySQL on Google Compute Engine description: This document provides guidance on MySQL options on Cloud Platform and walks through the manual installation of a MySQL database on Compute Engine. author: jimtravis tags: Compute Engine, MySQL date_published: 2015-08-25

This page shows you several options for deploying MySQL as part of your Google Cloud Platform project. You can use Google Cloud SQL, Google Cloud Launcher, or manually install MySQL on Google Compute Engine.

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

Google Cloud Launcher provides a simple, click-to-deploy interface that makes it easy to install MySQL onto a Compute Engine instance. Cloud Launcher 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 Cloud Platform 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 Launcher to deploy a MySQL installation, or you can manually install MySQL on a Compute Engine instance. Cloud Launcher provides a convenient way to deploy MySQL as part of larger development stacks. Cloud Launcher offers several options for MySQL installations, including a stand alone MySQL installation, LAMP stacks, LEMP stacks, Nginx Stacks, a Percona MySQL Cluster installation, and several other options.

If the Cloud Launcher 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


This tutorial uses Google Compute Engine, which is a billable component of Cloud Platform. Use the Pricing Calculator to generate a cost estimate based on your projected usage. New Cloud Platform users may be eligible for a free trial.

Before you begin

  1. Create a new project in the Google Cloud Platform 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 Cloud Platform Console, but if you prefer to use the gcloud command line tool, follow the rest of these steps to enable the Compute Engine API and install the Google Cloud SDK.

  2. Use the Cloud Platform console to enable the Compute Engine API.

  3. Install the Google Cloud SDK.

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

    me@local:~$ gcloud config set project [PROJECT_ID]
    me@local:~$ gcloud config set compute/zone [MY_ZONE]

Create a Compute Engine Instance

The following steps describe how to create a Compute Engine instance for MySQL and establish an SSH connection to the newly created instance. The default operating system is Debian version 7. If you prefer to use a different operating system for this tutorial, you can choose from the options described on the Images page in the Compute Engine documentation.

Using the Cloud Platform Console

To create a Compute Engine instance in the Cloud Platform console:

  1. Open the Cloud Platform 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, select the operating system, and then click Select.

  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.

Using the gcloud tool

  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 8, add --image debian-8.

    me@local:~$ gcloud compute instances create mysql-test
  2. Connect to the instance using ssh.

    me@local:~$ gcloud compute ssh mysql-test

Install MySQL

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

Using Debian or 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

Using CentOS 6 and RHEL 6

  1. Install MySQL.

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

    sudo service mysqld start

Using CentOS 7 and RHEL 7

Version 7 of CentOS and RHEL 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 http://dev.mysql.com/get/mysql-community-release-el7-5.noarch.rpm
  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.

    $ mysql --user=root --password
  2. 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)
  1. 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
    mysql-test:~$ exit

Cleaning up

After you've finished the PostgreSQL tutorial, you can clean up the resources you created on Google Cloud Platform so you won't be billed for them in the future. 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 you created for the tutorial.

Warning: Deleting a project has the following consequences:

If you used an existing project, you'll also delete any other work you've done in the project. You can't reuse the project ID of a deleted project. If you created a custom project ID that you plan to use in the future, you should delete the resources inside the project instead. This ensures that URLs that use the project ID, such as an appspot.com URL, remain available.

To delete the project:

  1. In the Cloud Platform Console, go to the Projects page.
  2. Click the trash can icon to the right of the project name.

Deleting instances

To delete a Compute Engine instance:

  1. In the Cloud Platform Console, go to the VM Instances page.
  2. Click the checkbox next to your postgres-tutorial instance.
  3. Click the Delete button at the top of the page to delete the instance.

Next Steps

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 Launcher 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 Launcher 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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