For the most part, managing my web server is pretty straightforward, especially because I don’t really get a ton of traffic. Its mostly just keeping things up to date through standard channels.

Occasionally I have a bit of a brain fart moment. I recently was doing regular Linux updates on the server. I noticed a message I had seen before about some packages being held back. Occasionally I will go through and update these, because I am not real sure why they are being held back, but don’t really see any reason they should be.

Then MySQL broke.

So I went digging in some logs and searching for solutions, and decided I needed to roll back the version. Following a guide I found, I discovered… I had done this before, which I now vaguely remebered. Because the old .deb file was still there from last time I broke it.

Anyway, this didn’t fix it, MySQL still was not launching.

I decided that maybe it was time to just switch to MariaDB, which I believe is the spiritual successor to MySQL. And the process was simple enough, I would not even need to dump my Databases. So I uninstalled MySQL, installed MariaDB and… It worked!

Then it stopped working.

I restarted the SQL service and it worked!

Then it…. Stopped working… Again…

So I checked logs again and corrected some issues there and again it worked, then a half hour or so later it stopped working.

One thing I had come across in troubleshooting the original MySQL issue was that there was a command, mysql_upgrade that needed to be run to change how some tables are configured. I couldn’t do that before because I couldn’t even get MySQL to run. But I could get MariaDB to run at least for a bit, and had successfully gotten this upgrade command to run.

So I decided to, once again, try MySQL again, so I uninstalled MariaDB, and purged everything out, rebooting a few times to be sure. And MySQL would not even install anymore, so more purging, this time, including the Databases.

One thing I was glad I had decided to do, “Just in Case” when MariaDB was “working” was dump the databases out with backups. I was glad I did at this point. So with absolutely everything purged, MySQL installed and was working.

I set about recreating the databases from the dumps, and while I was at it updated all the passwords, since I had to recreate the user accounts used by WordPress anyway.

And now everything is working smoothly again.

A couple of links that were actually helpful in solving my problem.