How to upgrade for MariaDB 5.5 to 10.1 and then to 10.3

You might encounter a situation (e.g. on AWS) where you have a new CentOS 7 server, but an old version of MariaDB 5.5 on the server. A couple of reasons for upgrading is bug fixes, performance improvements, ease of upgrading, and the fact that emoji and JSON support only really work nicely in later versions of MariaDB. This article explains how to first upgrade from MariaDB 5.5 to 10.1, and then references an article on how to upgrade from 10.1 to 10.3.

You will need the MariaDB root password to follow the procedure.

Disclaimer: Virtualmin Issues with Menus and Postfix

If you’re upgrading MariaDB on a Virtualmin server, see the note below because this procedure will remove some key components that could make Virtualmin hosted servers menu disappear. Also be sure to back up Postfix /etc/postfix/ and /etc/postfix/ because Postfix might loose it configuration. See comments by Carlos Miguel Hernandez Gil.


First make a backup of your data using method 1 or method 2 described below.

Method 1 backup (best way as MariaDB stays online during the backup):

mysqldump -u root -p --all-databases > /tmp/all-database.sql

Method 2 backup (offline backup):

systemctl stop mariadb
cp -a /var/lib/mysql/ /var/lib/mysql.bak

Method 2 backup will leave a folder /var/lib/mysql.bak that you have to remember to delete later on.

Update packages

yum update

Add the 10.1 Repo

vi /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB10.repo
# MariaDB 10.1 CentOS repository list - created 2016-01-18 09:58 UTC
name = MariaDB
baseurl =

Remove the old MariaDB and do yum cleanup. Don’t worry, you made a backup right?

yum remove mariadb-server mariadb mariadb-libs
yum clean all

Add MariaDB again, start it up, enable automatic startup, and finalise the upgrade. Check new version.

yum -y install MariaDB-server MariaDB-client
systemctl start mariadb
systemctl enable mariadb
mysql_upgrade -uroot -p
mysql -V

A critical command to watch above is the mysql_upgrade command as if you accidentally skip it then you will have (recoverable) problems later on.

Multiple references were followed to compile article article.

Reference #1:

On you are on version 10.1, follow the instructions in Reference article #2 below:

Reference #2:

Summary of reference #2 instructions to go from 10.1 to 10.3 (without the BACK UP parts):

vi /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB10.repo
yum update
systemctl stop mariadb
yum remove MariaDB-server
yum install MariaDB-server
systemctl start mariadb
mysql_upgrade -u root -p
mysql -V

And if you’re running Virtualmin:

yum install perl-DBD-MySQL php-mysql postfix postgrey

Additional References:

Virtualmin Note:

When performing this procedure on a Virtualmin server, you will notice the following when removing MariaDB indicting key components for Virtualmin going away:

Dependencies Resolved

Package Arch Version Repository Size
mariadb x86_64 1:5.5.60-1.el7_5 @base 49 M
mariadb-libs x86_64 1:5.5.60-1.el7_5 @base 4.4 M
mariadb-server x86_64 1:5.5.60-1.el7_5 @base 58 M
Removing for dependencies:
mariadb-devel x86_64 1:5.5.60-1.el7_5 @base 3.3 M
net-snmp x86_64 1:5.7.2-37.el7 @base 882 k
perl-DBD-MySQL x86_64 4.023-6.el7 @base 323 k
postfix x86_64 2:2.10.1-7.el7 @base 12 M
postgrey noarch 1.34-12.el7 @epel 104 k

Transaction Summary
Remove 3 Packages (+5 Dependent packages)

The effects of removing Postfix will mean that Virtualmin’s menu list of your virtual servers will be blank. To get that back, reinstall the following packages:

yum install postfix
yum install postgrey
yum install perl-DBD-MySQL
yum install net-snmp (if you used it before)

Share this article

7 thoughts on “How to upgrade for MariaDB 5.5 to 10.1 and then to 10.3”

  1. I’ve upgraded mariaDB successfully, however now I am not able to send mail.
    Also when I go to Edit databases and click on Manage on any of it – nothing happens.

    I don’t know how to fix this.

    1. Eugène van der Merwe

      Hi Rammones,

      Are you running Virtualmin and did you re-install Postfix?

      A side effect of upgrading MariaDB on a Virtualmin server might mean that postfix is not installed anymore.

      The instructions at the bottom of the article shows you how to fix that, but abbreviated here are the instructions for re-installing Postfix (only do this is you have Virtualmin):

      CentOS ‘yum’ instructions:

      yum install postfix
      yum install postgrey
      yum install perl-DBD-MySQL

      If you’re still struggling please contact me on +27823096710 (WhatsApp or dial) or email [email protected].

  2. Pingback: Virtualmin Postfix fixes after mariadb upgrade… | Code Snippets and Tutorials

  3. I have updated without problems, I can send mail but I can’t receive it, in Mail Queue I get from another domain I have I get the following error: Relay access denied (in reply to RCPT TO command)

    1. Eugène van der Merwe

      Hi @carlos,

      550 Relay Access Denied is quite a generic message, but it basically means “the local email server through which you are trying to send does not trust the sender”.

      I’m assuming in upgrading MySQL some essential mail server configuration went missing, specifically the part which tells your local mail server who to trust. If you’re using something like Postfix look for ‘mynetworks’ in the configuration. Basically troubleshoot the email server from the point of view of the sender being denied access. Try and tail the log file for some clues. I can try and help more but would need to know a lot more about your system, e.g. what MTA you’re using, if you’re using a control panel, etc.

  4. Hi, thanks for answering, I’m using Centos 7 with Virtualmind.
    For now what I’ve done is use a backup and go back.
    Surfing I found this reference:

    After upgrade postfix needs to be restarted.

    Go to postfix > Edit config files and copy over files main,master and virtual.rpmsave to their original files.

    Run command postmap /etc/postfix/virtual

    I guess the right thing to do is to backup the postfix files, follow your guidance and then copy my old files back into the postfix folder

    1. Eugène van der Merwe

      Hi @Carlos,

      Thank you so much for this additional feedback. I have added a disclaimer at the top of the article about Postfix and Virtualmin and backing up the configuration files.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top