Edgewall Software

MySQL and its MySQLdb Python bindings

Trac supports the MySQL database backend, although there are a couple of #KnownIssues. MySQL is fully integrated in our test suite.



Warning: The following guidelines applies to Trac starting with 0.11.1.
For earlier versions of Trac, please see MySqlDb@22#MySQL.

The recommended versions of MySQL are those from 5.x series.

The following MySQL dropin replacements are also known to work:

  • The MariaDB variant:
    • tested MariaDB 5.3.3, MySQLdb 1.2.3 and Trac 0.12.3
    • tested MariaDB 10.1.10 (x64), MySQLdb 1.2.5 and Trac 1.0.10dev, 1.2dev
  • The Percona variant:
    • tested Percona 5.6 with Trac 1.1.4

In order to avoid Unicode and international characters problems in Trac, eg international characters turning into question marks with mysterious "Incorrect string value" errors logged, the Trac database must be configured with the utf8 character set and the utf8_bin collation type.

Also, all tables must be created as InnoDB or TokuDB type tables, because Trac uses a transaction mechanism that is not supported by MyISAM tables, see ticket:8067:5 and MySQL docs. Be aware that the cluster storage engine NDB introduces some limits for Trac (#8567).

A proper database can be created with any MySQL client, like this:


With MySQL version 5.5.3 and up, you can also select the mb4 variant of utf8, which enables you to store any Unicode character, not only those in the Basic Multilingual Plane. Note that you'll need at least Trac 0.12.3 for this (#9766).


To check character set settings for your database, issue the following commands:

mysql> USE trac;
Database changed
mysql> SHOW VARIABLES WHERE variable_name IN ('character_set_database', 'collation_database');
| Variable_name          | Value    |
| character_set_database | utf8     |
| collation_database     | utf8_bin |
2 rows in set (0.01 sec)


If you have for example latin1 or utf8 or utf8_ci collation, then read on to the #Conversion section below on how to change it.

If you are setting a new collation on an existing database, make sure that column collations are converted too:

mysql> SHOW FULL COLUMNS FROM `node_change`;
| Field       | Type        | Collation | 
| rev         | varchar(64) | utf8_bin  | 
| path        | text        | utf8_bin  | 
| node_type   | varchar(32) | utf8_bin  | 
| change_type | varchar(32) | utf8_bin  | 
| base_path   | text        | utf8_bin  | 
| base_rev    | varchar(64) | utf8_bin  | 
6 rows in set (0.00 sec)                  

See #3884 for info about collations.

Usually, you also want to create a user and give this user access to the database created above:

GRANT ALL ON trac.* TO tracuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

The connection string will then be:



The recommended version is MySQL-python 1.2.2+, which must be compiled in thread-safe client mode. Earlier versions are known to be problematic.

The MySQL-python page on PyPI contains links to the .tar.gz source distribution.

For Windows, there are several possibilities:

  • the PyPI page mentioned above also links to pre-built Windows eggs, but for Python 2.7 32-bits only.
  • Python binaries (32-bits and 64-bits) can be found at codegood.com for Python 2.6 and for Python 2.7; however they have been last updated in 2010, so it only proposes version 1.2.3, which should however work fine
  • recent Python 2.7 wheels (32-bits and 64-bits) can be found in the Unofficial Windows Binaries for Python Extension Packages, kindly provided by Christoph Gohlke, Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics, University of California, Irvine.
  • if you are using ActiveState Python 2.6 on Windows, you can install with pypm install mysql-python
  • last but not least, the Conda project also contains recent versions of this package and it's handy for use by continuous integration systems as the package can be installed non-interactively using a simple conda install -qy mysql-python command (32-bits and 64-bits)

On FreeBSD this package is called py-MySQLdb in the ports collection.

Thread-safety is important

You should make sure that you're using a thread-safe version of the bindings. To verify this, you can check the System Information section in the About Trac page, when you are logged with a user having the CONFIG_VIEW or the TRAC_ADMIN permission. You should see a line reading: MySQL server: "...", client: "...", thread-safe: 1. If you're seeing thread-safe: 0 instead, the MySQL-python version you're using was not correctly built. Check the following resources to see what you should do:

Note that even if you build MySQLdb to use the thread-safe libraries, About Trac may still report that it is not thread-safe. If that happens, verify that it is thread-safe by calling MySQLdb.thread_safe() from a standalone Python script, ie not under Apache. If the stand-alone test reports that MySQLdb is indeed thread-safe, then the problem may lie with the PHP module. For example, the Red Hat rpm for PHP is built to use the non-thread-safe MySQL libraries, and the Apache PHP module apparently gets loaded first. So when Python and MySQLdb load, they end up using the already loaded MySQL libraries, which are not thread-safe. The circumvention for this problem is to replace the non-thread-safe libs in /usr/lib/mysql with soft links, so as to have the non-thread-safe lib names point to the thread-safe libs; restart Apache, and now Trac should be running in thread-safe mode.

Conversion Procedures

Convert from MyISAM to InnoDB storage engine

InnoDB is the default storage engine for MySQL since v5.5, but older databases may be defined using MyISAM. Check which tables are not already converted:

SELECT table_name, engine FROM information_schema.tables WHERE table_schema = DATABASE();

For every table in the Trac database which is not InnoDB run the following:

ALTER TABLE `table_name` ENGINE = InnoDB;

Convert to "utf8_bin" collation

First modify the DB collation to ensure new tables will be created properly:


Then modify the collation for tables. The command below changes the default collation for new columns and converts old columns as well. Run the following for every table:


Known Issues

Still Opened

1.0.13 milestone tickets:

Support ucs2/utf16/utf32 charset and utf16_bin/utf32_bin collation in MySQL

next-major-releases milestone tickets:

[Patch] Trac crashing under MySQL
MySQL schema changes for performance
Reduce join in query process
Attachment table primary key not unique when migrating from SQLite to MySQL

next-stable-1.0.x milestone tickets:

Add a script to contrib for converting MySQL storage engine

not applicable milestone tickets:

Stopped sync in

unscheduled milestone tickets:

BLOB column can't be used in PRIMARY KEY and maximum ROW size is 8052 on NDB engine

milestone tickets:

mysql + InnoDB + auth_cookie == Bad.
The $ character must be URL encoded if used as a database password


If you have an issue, such as OperationalError: (2006, 'MySQL server has gone away'), as in #3645, and your web frontend is Apache, you may have conflicting MySQL libraries. Read ApplicationIssues#MySQL_Shared_Library_Conflicts. Another possibility is that you've hit MySQL bug 36639, as explained in ticket:3645#comment:48.

Changing collation to utf8 may fail in MySQL 5.0.x on the MyISAM table type and display the "too big" indexes in some Trac tables. Upgrade to a higher version of MySQL and use InnoDB tables, see ticket:3659:5.

Error when adding or viewing a ticket using MySQL
Problems with database encoding
Encoding problem with mysql
initenv problem with MySQL - Access Denied
install error (mysql)
TypeError: unhashable type when installing trac-0.10.3 with mysql
'module' object has no attribute 'connect'
InterfaceError: (0, '') after idle period with mod_wsgi 1.1/Apache 2.2.3
trac-admin allows to init environment with mysql errors
Trac 0.10.4 - ticket module provider fails in background
IntegrityError when not logged in
Formatted time via SQL command FROM_UNIXTIME fails to replace %*
OperationalError: (2002, "Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (13)")
TypeError: int() argument must be a string or a number
TypeError: unsupported type for timedelta microseconds component: unicode
OperationalError: (1030, 'Got error 28 from storage engine')
Problem with synchronizing svn commits to MySQL database

Also noteworthy:

MySQL structure case insensitive causes collision with file names

If you get an error from Python when using trac-admin like this:

OperationalError: (1045, "Access denied for user 'tracuser'@'localhost' (using password: YES)")

There are a few possibilities:

  1. Try first to login on the command-line using the user tracuser: mysql -p -h localhost -u tracuser
  2. Created user is not yet used by MySQL. Login to the MySQL server as root with mysql -p and type: FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
  3. The user is added but the host does not match in the MySQL user table (occurred on a FreeBSD setup). Correct this with: mysql -p; use mysql; UPDATE user SET Host="localhost" WHERE User="tracuser"; FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Ticket numbers are not incrementing by one

The database schema specifies autoincrement for several columns, including the column for ticket IDs. In MySQL, the autoincrement value is configurable and defaults to 1. If the sequence of ticket IDs is not incrementing by 1, the auto_increment_increment value in my.cnf probably needs to be changed to 1.

Last modified 4 months ago Last modified on Mar 22, 2016, 9:51:22 PM