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Dockerfile to build a MySQL container image which can be linked to other containers.


If you find this image useful here's how you can help:

  • Send a Pull Request with your awesome new features and bug fixes
  • Help new users with Issues they may encounter
  • Send me a tip via Bitcoin or using Gratipay

Reporting Issues

Docker is a relatively new project and is active being developed and tested by a thriving community of developers and testers and every release of docker features many enhancements and bugfixes.

Given the nature of the development and release cycle it is very important that you have the latest version of docker installed because any issue that you encounter might have already been fixed with a newer docker release.

For ubuntu users I suggest installing docker using docker's own package repository since the version of docker packaged in the ubuntu repositories are a little dated.

Here is the shortform of the installation of an updated version of docker on ubuntu.

sudo apt-get purge
curl -s | sudo sh
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install lxc-docker

Fedora and RHEL/CentOS users should try disabling selinux with setenforce 0 and check if resolves the issue. If it does than there is not much that I can help you with. You can either stick with selinux disabled (not recommended by redhat) or switch to using ubuntu.

If using the latest docker version and/or disabling selinux does not fix the issue then please file a issue request on the issues page.

In your issue report please make sure you provide the following information:

  • The host ditribution and release version.
  • Output of the docker version command
  • Output of the docker info command
  • The docker run command you used to run the image (mask out the sensitive bits).


Pull the latest version of the image from the docker index. This is the recommended method of installation as it is easier to update image in the future. These builds are performed by the Docker Trusted Build service.

docker pull sameersbn/mysql:latest

Alternately you can build the image yourself.

git clone
cd docker-mysql
docker build -t="$USER/mysql" .

Quick Start

Run the mysql image

docker run -name mysql -d sameersbn/mysql:latest

You can access the mysql server as the root user using the following command:

docker run -it --rm --volumes-from=mysql sameersbn/mysql:latest mysql -uroot

Data Store

You should mount a volume at /var/lib/mysql.

SELinux users are also required to change the security context of the mount point so that it plays nicely with selinux.

mkdir -p /opt/mysql/data
sudo chcon -Rt svirt_sandbox_file_t /opt/mysql/data

The updated run command looks like this.

docker run -name mysql -d \
  -v /opt/mysql/data:/var/lib/mysql sameersbn/mysql:latest

This will make sure that the data stored in the database is not lost when the image is stopped and started again.

Creating User and Database at Launch


For this feature to work the debian-sys-maint user needs to exist. This user is automatically created when the database is installed for the first time (firstrun).

However if you were using this image before this feature was added, then it will not work as-is. You are required to create the debian-sys-maint user

docker run -it --rm --volumes-from=mysql sameersbn/mysql \
 mysql -uroot -e "GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on *.* TO 'debian-sys-maint'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY '' WITH GRANT OPTION;"

To create a new database specify the database name in the DB_NAME variable. The following command creates a new database named dbname:

docker run --name mysql -d \
  -e 'DB_NAME=dbname' sameersbn/mysql:latest

To create a new user you should specify the DB_USER and DB_PASS variables.

docker run --name mysql -d \
  -e 'DB_USER=dbuser' -e 'DB_PASS=dbpass' -e 'DB_NAME=dbname' \

The above command will create a user dbuser with the password dbpass and will also create a database named dbname. The dbuser user will have full/remote access to the database.


  • If the DB_NAME is not specified, the user will not be created
  • If the user/database user already exists no changes are be made
  • If DB_PASS is not specified, an empty password will be set for the user

Shell Access

For debugging and maintenance purposes you may want access the containers shell. If you are using docker version 1.3.0 or higher you can access a running containers shell using docker exec command.

docker exec -it mysql bash

If you are using an older version of docker, you can use the nsenter linux tool (part of the util-linux package) to access the container shell.

Some linux distros (e.g. ubuntu) use older versions of the util-linux which do not include the nsenter tool. To get around this @jpetazzo has created a nice docker image that allows you to install the nsenter utility and a helper script named docker-enter on these distros.

To install nsenter execute the following command on your host,

docker run --rm -v /usr/local/bin:/target jpetazzo/nsenter

Now you can access the container shell using the command

sudo docker-enter mysql

For more information refer


To upgrade to newer releases, simply follow this 3 step upgrade procedure.

  • Step 1: Stop the currently running image
docker stop mysql
  • Step 2: Update the docker image.
docker pull sameersbn/mysql:latest
  • Step 3: Start the image
docker run -name mysql -d [OPTIONS] sameersbn/mysql:latest
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