Illegal mix of collations: IntelliJ and UTF8mb4

When using variables inside SQL scripts within IntelliJ products (e.g. DataGrip), certain queries will not work because the encodings of the IntelliJ client and the server missmatch. This occurs for instance when you compare variables. A typical error message looks like this:

[HY000][1267] Illegal mix of collations (utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci,IMPLICIT) \
   and (utf8mb4_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation 'like'

IntelliJ products do not yet support MySQL’s utf8mb4 character set encodings. The problem occurs when using variables in queries. Per default. IntelliJ uses a UTF-8 encoding for the connection. When you use utf8mb4 as the database default character set, then variables will be encoded in UTF-8 while the database content remailns in utf8mb4. It is not possible to provide the character set encodings to the IntelliJ settings, as it will refuse to connect.

Check your server settings using the MySQL client:

MySQL [cropster_research]> show variables like '%char%';
| Variable_name            | Value                      |
| character_set_client     | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_connection | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_database   | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_filesystem | binary                     |
| character_set_results    | utf8                       |
| character_set_server     | utf8mb4                    |
| character_set_system     | utf8                       |
| character_sets_dir       | /usr/share/mysql/charsets/ |

This seems correct, but when you connect with the IntelliJ client, you will get wrong results when you use variables. Until the products support utf8mb4, you would need to add the following settings to the script in order to force the right settings.

SET character_set_connection=utf8mb4;
SET collation_connection=utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci;

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Flashing a OnePlus One from CM to LineageOS

As Cyanogen Inc closed down its operations in December 2016, CyanogenMod was affected too and my OnePlus One (OPO) did not receive updates anymore. This is not ideal, as new and old bugs have will remain. For instance did my phone often not reconnect to the 4G network, when a wifi connection was lost, This was very annoying. For this reason, if was about time to upgrade to a new OS: LineageOS.


LineageOS is a fork of CyanogenMod and contunes the quite successful project for our benefit. LineageOS 14 is compatible with Android 7.1 and very easy to install. These are the steps which I had to follow.

How to Upgrade

  • Create a backup with Helios. Use the Chrome Helium app if the app on your mobile phone refuses to start.
  • Download and install adb
  • Download the TWRP custom ROM: 
  • Download LineageOS. The codename for the OPO is bacon.
  • Download the Google apps mini distribution (stock is too large) here.
  • Enable developer tools and connect the phone with a USB cable
  • Reboot the device with adb: ./adb reboot bootloader 
  • Check if the device is recognized: ./fastboot devices 
  • Enable OEM unlock: fastboot oem unlock 
  • Install the custom rom: fastboot flash recovery twrp-x.x.x-x-bacon.img 
  • Reboot into the new ROM: With the device powered down, hold the Volume Down and Power buttons.

Copy the files to the device

# Lineage
adb push ~/Downloads/OPO-Upgrade/ /sdcard/
# Google Apps
adb push ~/Downloads/OPO-Upgrade/ /sdcard/

Install both zip files by selecting first the LineageOS and then the Google Apps Zip file

Thats it. Reboot and begin with the setup or restore the backup.

Update 28.09.2017

The problem that the phone would not reconnect to 3G/4G again after losing the Wifi signal still persisted with LineageOS. A friend recommended flashing the firmware of the device. After installing the version 2016_1-25_.4.0.1.c7-00011 downloaded from here solved the issue for now. No more connection problems so far

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Verifying Replication Consistency with Percona’s pt-table-checksum

Replication is an important concept for improving database performance and security. In this blog post, I would like to demonstrate how the consistency between a MySQL master and a slave can be verified. We will create two Docker containers, one for the master one for the slave.

Installing the Percona Toolkit

The Percona Toolkit is a collection of useful utilities, which can be obained for free from the company’s portal. The following commands install the prerequisits, download the package and eventually the package.

sudo apt-get install -y wget libdbi-perl libdbd-mysql-perl libterm-readkey-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl
sudo dpkg -i percona-toolkit_3.0.4-1.xenial_amd64.deb 

Setting up a Test Environment with Docker

The following command creates and starts a docker container. Note that these are minimal examples and are not suitable for a serious environment.

docker run --name mysql_master -e MYSQL_ALLOW_EMPTY_PASSWORD=true -d mysql:5.6 --log-bin \
   --binlog-format=ROW --server-id=1

Get the IP address from the master container:

# Get the IP of the master 
docker inspect mysql_master | grep IPAddress 

"SecondaryIPAddresses": null, 
    "IPAddress": ""

You can connect to this container like this and verify the server id:

stefan@Lenovo ~/Docker-Projects $ mysql -u root -h
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1
Server version: 5.6.35-log MySQL Community Server (GPL)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2017, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

mysql> show variables like 'server_id';
| Variable_name | Value |
| server_id     | 1     |
1 row in set (0,00 sec)

We repeat the command for the slave, but use a different id. port and name:

docker run --name mysql_slave -e MYSQL_ALLOW_EMPTY_PASSWORD=true -d mysql:5.6 --server-id=2

For simplicity, we did not use Docker links, but will rather use IP addresses assigned by Docker directly.

Replication Setup

First, we need to setup a user with replication privileges. This user will connect from the slave to the master.

# On the host, interact with the master container
## Get the IP address of the slave container
$ docker inspect mysql_slave | grep IPAddress
            "SecondaryIPAddresses": null,
            "IPAddress": "",
                    "IPAddress": "",

## Login to the MySQL console of the master
### Grant permissions
### Get the current binlog position
| File | Position | Binlog_Do_DB | Binlog_Ignore_DB | Executed_Gtid_Set |
| mysqld-bin.000002 | 346 | | | |
1 row in set (0,00 sec)

Now log into the slave container and add the connection details for the master:

## Connect to the MySQL Slave instance
$ mysql -u root -h

### Setup the slave

Query OK, 0 rows affected, 2 warnings (0,05 sec)

### Start and check
mysql>   start slave;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0,01 sec)

mysql> show slave status \G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
               Slave_IO_State: Waiting for master to send event
                  Master_User: percona
                  Master_Port: 3306
                Connect_Retry: 60
              Master_Log_File: mysqld-bin.000002
          Read_Master_Log_Pos: 346
               Relay_Log_File: mysqld-relay-bin.000002
                Relay_Log_Pos: 284
        Relay_Master_Log_File: mysqld-bin.000002
             Slave_IO_Running: Yes
            Slave_SQL_Running: Yes

Now our simple slave setup is running.

Get some test data

Lets download the Sakila test database and import it into the master. It will be replicated immediately.

~/Docker-Projects $ tar xvfz sakila-db.tar.gz 

mysql -u root -h < sakila-db/sakila-schema.sql 
mysql -u root -h < sakila-db/sakila-data.sql

Verify that the data is on the slave as well:

mysql -u root -h -e "USE sakila;SHOW TABLES;"
| Tables_in_sakila           |
| actor                      |
| actor_info                 |
| address                    |
| category                   |
| city                       |
| country                    |
| customer                   |
| store                      |

After our setup is completed, we can proceed with Percona pt-table checksum.

Percona pt-table-checksum

The Percona pt-table-checksum tool requires the connection information of the master and the slave in a specific format. This is called the DSN (data source name), which is a coma separated string. We can store this information in a dedicated database called percona in a table called dsns. We create this table on the master. Note that the data gets replicated to the slave within the blink of an eye.

USE percona;
 `dsn` varchar(255) NOT NULL,

The next step involves creating permissions on the slave and the master!

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON percona.* TO 'percona'@'';

The percona user is needed to run the script. Note that the IP address is this time from the (Docker) host, having the IP by default. In real world scenarios, this script would either be run on the master or on the slave directly.

Now we need to add the information about the slave to the table we created. The Percona tool could also read this from the process list, but it is more reliable if we add the information ourselves. To do so, we add a record to the table we just created, which describes the slave DSN:

INSERT INTO percona.DSN-Table VALUES (1,'h=,u=percona,p=SECRET,P=3306');

The pt-table-checksum tool the connects to the master instance and the the slave. It computes checksums of all databases and tables and compares results. You can use the tool like this:

pt-table-checksum --replicate=percona.checksums --create-replicate-table --empty-replicate-table \
  --recursion-method=dsn=t=percona.DSN_Table -h -P 3306 -u percona -pSECRET
09-10T10:13:11      0      0        0       1       0   0.020 mysql.columns_priv
09-10T10:13:11      0      0        3       1       0   0.016 mysql.db
09-10T10:13:11      0      0        0       1       0   0.024 mysql.event
09-10T10:13:11      0      0        0       1       0   0.014 mysql.func
09-10T10:13:11      0      0       40       1       0   0.026 mysql.help_category
09-10T10:13:11      0      0      614       1       0   0.023 mysql.help_keyword
09-10T10:13:11      0      0     1224       1       0   0.022 mysql.help_relation
09-10T10:13:12      0      0      585       1       0   0.266 mysql.help_topic
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        0       1       0   0.031 mysql.ndb_binlog_index
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        0       1       0   0.024 mysql.plugin
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        6       1       0   0.287 mysql.proc
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        0       1       0   0.031 mysql.procs_priv
09-10T10:13:12      0      1        2       1       0   0.020 mysql.proxies_priv
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        0       1       0   0.024 mysql.servers
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        0       1       0   0.017 mysql.tables_priv
09-10T10:13:12      0      0     1820       1       0   0.019 mysql.time_zone
09-10T10:13:12      0      0        0       1       0   0.015 mysql.time_zone_leap_second
09-10T10:13:12      0      0     1820       1       0   0.267 mysql.time_zone_name
09-10T10:13:13      0      0   122530       1       0   0.326 mysql.time_zone_transition
09-10T10:13:13      0      0     8843       1       0   0.289 mysql.time_zone_transition_type
09-10T10:13:13      0      1        4       1       0   0.031 mysql.user
09-10T10:13:13      0      0        1       1       0   0.018 percona.DSN_Table
09-10T10:13:13      0      0      200       1       0   0.028
09-10T10:13:13      0      0      603       1       0   0.023 sakila.address
09-10T10:13:13      0      0       16       1       0   0.033 sakila.category
09-10T10:13:13      0      0      600       1       0   0.023
09-10T10:13:13      0      0      109       1       0   0.029
09-10T10:13:14      0      0      599       1       0   0.279 sakila.customer
09-10T10:13:14      0      0     1000       1       0   0.287
09-10T10:13:14      0      0     5462       1       0   0.299 sakila.film_actor
09-10T10:13:14      0      0     1000       1       0   0.027 sakila.film_category
09-10T10:13:14      0      0     1000       1       0   0.032 sakila.film_text
09-10T10:13:14      0      0     4581       1       0   0.276 sakila.inventory
09-10T10:13:15      0      0        6       1       0   0.030 sakila.language
09-10T10:13:15      0      0    16049       1       0   0.303 sakila.payment
09-10T10:13:15      0      0    16044       1       0   0.310 sakila.rental
09-10T10:13:15      0      0        2       1       0   0.029 sakila.staff
09-10T10:13:15      0      0        2       1       0   0.020

The result shows a difference in the MySQL internal table for permissions. This is obviously not what we are interested in, as permissions are individual to a host. So we rather exclude the MySQL internal database and also the percona database, because it is not what we are interested in. Also in order to test it the tool works, we delete the last five category assignments from the table  with mysql -u root -h -e “DELETE FROM sakila.film_category WHERE film_id > 995;” and update a row in the city table with 

mysql -u root -h -e "update SET city='Innsbruck' WHERE city_id=590;"

Now execute the command again:

pt-table-checksum --replicate=percona.checksums --create-replicate-table --empty-replicate-table \
   --recursion-method=dsn=t=percona.DSN_Table --ignore-databases mysql,percona -h -P 3306 -u percona -pSECRET
09-10T10:46:33      0      0      200       1       0   0.017
09-10T10:46:34      0      0      603       1       0   0.282 sakila.address
09-10T10:46:34      0      0       16       1       0   0.034 sakila.category
09-10T10:46:34      0      1      600       1       0   0.269
09-10T10:46:34      0      0      109       1       0   0.028
09-10T10:46:34      0      0      599       1       0   0.285 sakila.customer
09-10T10:46:35      0      0     1000       1       0   0.297
09-10T10:46:35      0      0     5462       1       0   0.294 sakila.film_actor
09-10T10:46:35      0      1     1000       1       0   0.025 sakila.film_category
09-10T10:46:35      0      0     1000       1       0   0.031 sakila.film_text
09-10T10:46:35      0      0     4581       1       0   0.287 sakila.inventory
09-10T10:46:35      0      0        6       1       0   0.035 sakila.language
09-10T10:46:36      0      0    16049       1       0   0.312 sakila.payment
09-10T10:46:36      0      0    16044       1       0   0.320 sakila.rental
09-10T10:46:36      0      0        2       1       0   0.030 sakila.staff
09-10T10:46:36      0      0        2       1       0   0.027

You see that there is a difference in the tables and in the table sakila.film_category. The tool does not report the actual number of differences, but rather the number of different chunks. To get the actual differences, we need to use a different tool, which utilises the checksum table that the previous step created.

Show the differences with pt-tabel-sync

The pt-table-sync tool is the counter part for the pt-table-checksum util. It can print or even replay the SQL statements that would render the slave the same state again to be in sync with the master. We can run a dry-run first, as the tool is potentially dangerous.

pt-table-sync --dry-run  --replicate=percona.checksums --sync-to-master h= -P 3306 \
   -u percona -pSECRET --ignore-databases mysql,percona
# NOTE: --dry-run does not show if data needs to be synced because it
#       does not access, compare or sync data.  --dry-run only shows
#       the work that would be done.
# Syncing via replication P=3306,h=,p=...,u=percona in dry-run mode, without accessing or comparing data
#      0       0      0      0 Chunk     08:57:51 08:57:51 0
#      0       0      0      0 Nibble    08:57:51 08:57:51 0    sakila.film_category

With –dry-run, you only see affected tables, but not the actual data because it does not really access the databases tables in question. Use –print additionally or instead of dry-run to get a list:

pt-table-sync --print --replicate=percona.checksums --sync-to-master h= -P 3306 \
  -u percona -pSECRET --ignore-databases mysql,percona
REPLACE INTO `sakila`.`city`(`city_id`, `city`, `country_id`, `last_update`) VALUES \
   ('590', 'Yuncheng', '23', '2006-02-15 04:45:25') 
  \ /*percona-toolkit src_db:sakila src_tbl:city  ...
REPLACE INTO `sakila`.`film_category`(`film_id`, `category_id`, `last_update`) VALUES ... 
REPLACE INTO `sakila`.`film_category`(`film_id`, `category_id`, `last_update`) VALUES ('997',... 
REPLACE INTO `sakila`.`film_category`(`film_id`, `category_id`, `last_update`) VALUES ('998', '11 ...
REPLACE INTO `sakila`.`film_category`(`film_id`, `category_id`, `last_update`) VALUES ('999', '3', ...
REPLACE INTO `sakila`.`film_category`(`film_id`, `category_id`, `last_update`) VALUES ('1000', '5', ... 

The command shows how we can rename back from Innsbruck to Yuncheng again and also provides the INSERT statements to get the deleted records back.When we replace –print with –execute, the data gets written to the master and replicated to the slave. To allow this, we need to set the permissions on the master

GRANT INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE ON sakila.* TO 'percona'@'';
pt-table-sync --execute  --replicate=percona.checksums --check-child-tables \ 
  --sync-to-master h= -P 3306 -u percona -pSECRET --ignore-databases mysql,percona
REPLACE statements on can adversely affect child table `sakila`.`address` 
   because it has an ON UPDATE CASCADE foreign key constraint. 
   See --[no]check-child-tables in the documentation for more information. 
   --check-child-tables error  while doing on

This error indicates that updating the city table has consequences, because it is a FK to child tables. In this example, we are bold and ignore this warning. This is absolutely not recommended for real world scenarios.

pt-table-sync --execute  --replicate=percona.checksums --no-check-child-tables \
   --no-foreign-key-checks --sync-to-master h= -P 3306 -u percona -pSECRET \ 
   --ignore-databases mysql,percona

The command –no-check-child-tables ignores child tables and the command –no-foreign-key-checks ignores foreign keys.

Run the checksum command again to verify that the data has been restored:

pt-table-checksum --replicate=percona.checksums --create-replicate-table --empty-replicate-table \ 
   --recursion-method=dsn=t=percona.DSN_Table --ignore-databases mysql,percona 
   -h -P 3306 -u percona -pSECRET

09-10T11:24:42      0      0      200       1       0   0.268
09-10T11:24:42      0      0      603       1       0   0.033 sakila.address
09-10T11:24:42      0      0       16       1       0   0.029 sakila.category
09-10T11:24:42      0      0      600       1       0   0.275
09-10T11:24:42      0      0      109       1       0   0.023
09-10T11:24:43      0      0      599       1       0   0.282 sakila.customer
09-10T11:24:43      0      0     1000       1       0   0.046
09-10T11:24:43      0      0     5462       1       0   0.284 sakila.film_actor
09-10T11:24:43      0      0     1000       1       0   0.036 sakila.film_category
09-10T11:24:43      0      0     1000       1       0   0.279 sakila.film_text
09-10T11:24:44      0      0     4581       1       0   0.292 sakila.inventory
09-10T11:24:44      0      0        6       1       0   0.031 sakila.language
09-10T11:24:44      0      0    16049       1       0   0.309 sakila.payment
09-10T11:24:44      0      0    16044       1       0   0.325 sakila.rental
09-10T11:24:44      0      0        2       1       0   0.029 sakila.staff
09-10T11:24:44      0      0        2       1       0   0.028

0 DIFFS, we are done!














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Fixing Random Freezes with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Intel Skylake and an Nvidia GPU

My Lenovo ThinkCentre m900 (10FHCTO1WW) with an Intel i7-6700 showed weird and random freezes from day 1 when trying to install Mint 18 / Ubuntu 16 with any kernel newer than 3x. After investigating for quite some hours, I gave up and installed an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on it. The device is certified to it, but the old version did not support all features and even some basic things such as audio did not work. At lest the random freezes were gone and I could work with that machine. Now that the system will not receive updates soon, I gave it another try and setup Mint 18.2 (Sonya). Unfortunately, the Lenovo machine froze again after a few minutes, filling up the log again with the following error messages. 

Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025547] NMI watchdog: BUG: soft lockup - CPU#6 stuck for 23s! [chrome:13814]
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025549] Modules linked in: bnep ipt_MASQUERADE nf_nat_masquerade_ipv4 nf_conntrack_netlink ...
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025614] CPU: 6 PID: 13814 Comm: chrome Not tainted 4.8.0-53-generic #56~16.04.1-Ubuntu
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025614] Hardware name: LENOVO 10FHCTO1WW/30BC, BIOS FWKT5FA   11/08/2016
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025615] task: ffff8fd736e12dc0 task.stack: ffff8fd71781c000
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025615] RIP: 0010:[<ffffffff90d0b339>]  [<ffffffff90d0b339>] smp_call_function_many+0x1f9/0x250
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025619] RSP: 0018:ffff8fd71781fc00  EFLAGS: 00000202
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025619] RAX: 0000000000000003 RBX: 0000000000000200 RCX: 0000000000000007
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025620] RDX: ffff8fd85dddd920 RSI: 0000000000000200 RDI: ffff8fd85dd9a288
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025620] RBP: ffff8fd71781fc38 R08: 0000000000000000 R09: 00000000000000bf
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025620] R10: 0000000000000008 R11: ffff8fd85dd9a288 R12: ffff8fd85dd9a288
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025621] R13: ffff8fd85dd9a280 R14: ffffffff90c723c0 R15: 0000000000000000
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025622] FS:  00007f6120196a80(0000) GS:ffff8fd85dd80000(0000) knlGS:0000000000000000
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025622] CS:  0010 DS: 0000 ES: 0000 CR0: 0000000080050033
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025622] CR2: 00003a66b8d61000 CR3: 0000000449abd000 CR4: 00000000003406e0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025623] DR0: 0000000000000000 DR1: 0000000000000000 DR2: 0000000000000000
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025623] DR3: 0000000000000000 DR6: 00000000fffe0ff0 DR7: 0000000000000400
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025624] Stack:
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025624]  000000000001a240 0100000000000001 ffff8fd6f7434d80 ffffffff90c723c0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025626]  0000000000000000 ffff8fd71781fd10 ffff8fd71781fc68 ffff8fd71781fc60
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025627]  ffffffff90d0b46d ffff8fd6f7434d80 ffff8fd85ddd4508 ffff8fd71781fd08
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025628] Call Trace:
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025630]  [<ffffffff90c723c0>] ? leave_mm+0xd0/0xd0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025631]  [<ffffffff90d0b46d>] on_each_cpu+0x2d/0x60
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025632]  [<ffffffff90c72c2b>] flush_tlb_kernel_range+0x4b/0x80
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025634]  [<ffffffff90de9f56>] __purge_vmap_area_lazy+0x2d6/0x320
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025635]  [<ffffffff90dea0b7>] vm_unmap_aliases+0x117/0x140
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025636]  [<ffffffff90c6e1ae>] change_page_attr_set_clr+0xee/0x4f0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025638]  [<ffffffff90c6f21f>] set_memory_ro+0x2f/0x40
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025639]  [<ffffffff90d7f11a>] bpf_prog_select_runtime+0x2a/0xd0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025641]  [<ffffffff9139a2af>] bpf_prepare_filter+0x37f/0x3f0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025642]  [<ffffffff9139a47c>] bpf_prog_create_from_user+0xbc/0x120
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025643]  [<ffffffff90d43b30>] ? proc_watchdog_cpumask+0xe0/0xe0
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025644]  [<ffffffff90d4410e>] do_seccomp+0x12e/0x610
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025645]  [<ffffffff90c991c6>] ? SyS_prctl+0x46/0x490
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025646]  [<ffffffff90d446fe>] SyS_seccomp+0xe/0x10
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025648]  [<ffffffff9149a876>] entry_SYSCALL_64_fastpath+0x1e/0xa8
Jul 12 18:49:01 FreezeCentre kernel: [ 4888.025648] Code: 94 33 00 3b 05 ed 3a e5 00 89 c1 0f 8d 99 fe ff ff 48 98 49 8b ...

I started the investigation again and found a different trace, which pointed to the graphics card. The important hint and solution came from SO. Following a few other forum posts, it became clear that the Nvidia drivers do not play nicely with recent kernels for some specific Nvidia cards ind combination with newer kernels. So I followed the proposed steps and disabled the card complete. Just removing the card in the BIOS and uninstalling the drivers was not enough. I also had to blacklist the modules for the nouveau kernel driver.

  1. Disable the Nvidia card in the BIOS and use the Intel onchip GPU
  2. Remove all Nvidia packages: 
    sudo apt-get remove nvidia* && sudo apt autoremove
  3. Blacklist the module:  
    sudo vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

    blacklist nouveau
    blacklist lbm-nouveau
    options nouveau modeset=0
    alias nouveau off
    alias lbm-nouveau off
    echo options nouveau modeset=0 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf
    sudo update-initramfs -u
  4. Reboot

The card is not used any more and the freezes stopped.

           *-display UNGEFORDERT
                Beschreibung: VGA compatible controller
                Produkt: GK208 [GeForce GT 720]
                Hersteller: NVIDIA Corporation
                Physische ID: 0
                Bus-Informationen: pci@0000:01:00.0
                Version: a1
                Breite: 64 bits
                Takt: 33MHz
                Fähigkeiten: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller cap_list
                Konfiguration: latency=0

I hope I do not have to remove this article again and the system remains as stable as it is now for six hours.

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Deploying MySQL in a Local Development Environment

Installing MySQL via apt-get is a simple task, but the migration between different MySQL versions requires planning and testing. Thus installing one central instance of the database system might not be suitable, when the version of MySQL or project specific settings should be switched quickly without interfering with other applications. Using one central instance can quickly become cumbersome. In this article, I will describe how any number of MySQL instances can be stored and executed from within a user’s home directory.

Adapting MySQL Data an Log File Locations

Some scenarios might require to run several MySQL instances at once, other scenarios cover sensitive data, where we do not want MySQL to write any data on non-encrypted partitions. This is especially true for devices which can get easily stolen, for instance laptops.  If you use a laptop for developing your applications from time to time, chances are good that you need to store sensitive data in a database, but need to make sure that the data is encrypted when at rest. The data stored in a database needs to be protected when at rest.

This can be solved with full disk encryption, but this technique has several disadvantages. First of all, full disk encryption only utilises one password. This entails, that several users who utilise a device need to share one password, which reduces the reliability of this approach. Also when the system needs to be rebooted, full disk encryption can become an obstacle, which increases the complexity further.

Way easier to use is the transparent home directory encryption, which can be selected during many modern Linux setup procedures out of the box. We will use this encryption type for this article, as it is reasonable secure and easy to setup. Our goal is to store all MySQL related data in the home directory and run MySQL with normal user privileges.

Creating the Directory Structure

The first step is creating a directory structure for storing the data. In this example, the user name is stefan, please adapt to your needs.

$ cd ~
$ mkdir -p MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Data # Data storage
$ mkdir -p MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Conf # Config file
$ mkdir -p MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Log # Log file
$ mkdir -p MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Tmp # Tmp
$ mkdir -p MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Scripts # Start and stop scripts

Create a Configuration File

Make sure to use absolute paths and utilise the directories we created before. Store this file in MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Conf/my-5.6.cnf. The configuration is pretty self explanatory.

port        = 3306
socket      = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/mysqld-5.6.sock

pid-file    = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/
nice        = 0

user        = stefan
pid-file    = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/
socket      = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/mysqld-5.6.sock
port        = 3306
basedir     = /usr
datadir     = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Data
tmpdir      = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Tmp
bind-address =

Stop the Running MySQL Instance

If you already have a running MySQL instance, make sure to shut it down. You can also disable MySQL from starting automatically.

sudo service msql stop
echo "manual" | sudo tee /etc/init/mysql.override

Setting up Apparmor

Apparmor protects sensitive applications by defining in which directory they might write. We need to update this configuration to suit our needs. We need to make sure that the global configuration file for the central MySQL instance also includes an additional local information. Edit this file first: /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.mysqld and make sure that the reference for the local file is not commented out.

# vim:syntax=apparmor
# Last Modified: Fri Feb 28 18:06:30 2014
#include <tunables/global>
/usr/sbin/mysqld {
  #include <abstractions/base>
  #include <abstractions/nameservice>
  #include <abstractions/user-tmp>
# .... shortened
  # Include local configuration!!
  include <local/usr.sbin.mysqld>

Now we need to add the directories in stean’s home directory to the local file by editing /etc/apparmor.d/local/usr.sbin.mysqld .

# Site-specific additions and overrides for usr.sbin.mysqld. 
# For more details, please see /etc/apparmor.d/local/README. 
# Site-specific additions and overrides for usr.sbin.mysqld. 
# For more details, please see /etc/apparmor.d/local/README. 

/home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/ r, 
/home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/** rwk,

An incorrect Apparmor configuration is often the cause of permission errors, which can be a pain. Make sure to reload the the Apparmor service and if you struggle with it, consider to disable it temporarily and check if the rest works. Do not forget to turn it on again.

sudo service apparmor reload # reload
sudo service apparmor teardown # disable for testing

Initialize the Local MySQL Instance

Now it is time to initialize the MySQL instance. In this step, MySQL creates all the files it needs in the data directory. It is important that the data directory is empty, when you initiate the following commands.

sudo mysql_install_db --defaults-file=/home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Conf/my-5.6.cnf --datadir=/home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Data --basedir=/usr

Note that this command is marked as deprecated. It works with MySQL 5.6 and MySQL 5.7, but can be removed.

Start and Stop the Instance

You can now start the MySQL instance with the following command:

mysqld_safe --defaults-file=/home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Conf/my-5.6.cnf

For your convenience, add a custom client configuration in your $HOME/.my.cnf and point it to the user defined socket.

port        = 3306
socket      = /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/mysqld-5.6.sock

In addition, startup and shutdown scripts are useful as well. Place both scripts in the directory we created before and add execution permissions with chmod +x .

# Startup script
mysqld_safe --defaults-file=/home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/MySQL-5.6-Conf/my-5.6.cnf --timezone=utc

The stop script is similar.

# Shutdown script
mysqladmin -u root -S /home/stefan/MySQL-5.6-Local/mysqld-5.6.sock shutdown


The technique described above allows to install and run multiple MySQL instances from within the user’s home directory. The MySQL instances run with user privileges and can utilise dedicated data and log file directories. As the all data is stored within the $HOME directory, we can easily apply transparent encryption to protect data at rest.

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