An outdated MySQL version can pose a significant security risk. To check which version you’re currently using, you have several options, and the command line route is the easiest. If an upgrade is necessary, we recommend cPanel.
Why should your MySQL version be checked regularly?
The relational database system MySQL is an integral part of many content management systems worldwide. When it comes to processing large amounts of data, there’s often no way around the open-source software. However, there are some distinctions you should be aware of when using it. Since its first release in 1995, the management system has been constantly developed, so there are many different MySQL versions. Therefore, it’s important for you to check which MySQL version you’re currently using and to keep the software up to date.
Unfortunately, not all hosting services perform regular updates automatically, so you may have to install the latest MySQL version manually. This is important because outdated software poses a security risk. It’s important to minimize the risk of a leak, especially with sensitive data processing. Functionality can also suffer from outside access. New MySQL versions also fix bugs from older versions and provide improved functions for this purpose.
Check MySQL version
Whether you want to make sure you’re using the latest MySQL version or test whether your software is compatible with a particular feature, the first step is to check the current MySQL version. To do this, you have several options.
Use the command line
The easiest and fastest way to check the current MySQL version is by using the command line. You can access the command line of your server via the terminal for Linux and macOS. Windows users need a tool like PuTTY. You’ll also need to access your SSH credentials and log in to your server. Then use the following command to display your MySQL version:
Use the Client
If you are logged in via SSH, you can also view your MySQL version by accessing the client directly. To do this, just type “mysql” and you’ll get all the information you need from the “server version” line.
Many servers have phpMyAdmin. If this is the case with the solution you’re using, you can also view your MySQL version this way. To do this, log in and then go to the “database server” section. You’ll find this on the right-hand side. Under “software version”, you can see which MySQL version is currently being used.
Use dbForge Studio
dbForge Studio is a highly recommended tool that will help you use your database management system even more effectively. It also offers you the option to check your MySQL version. First, test your connection. When you do this, a window will open that shows the current server version. If you’re already connected, click on the name of the connection on the right and then select the last item named “Properties”. This will also display your server version.
Proceed similarly if you’re using Workbench. Select your server, click on “server status” and all the important information about your MySQL version will be listed.
If you want to check your MySQL version via XAMPP, open the Windows command prompt, select the appropriate folder and then use the command we showed you above:
Alternatively, open the readme text file in the XAMPP folder. The MySQL version is also stored there.
How to get the latest MySQL version
If you find that your MySQL version is out of date, you should update it as soon as possible. This happens automatically with newer versions but if your system isn’t up to date, you’ll have to install the update manually. The easiest way to do this is with cPanel. If your host offers the configuration tool, log into your Web Host Manager and select “Software” and “MySQL upgrade”. There, you’ll find a list from which you can select the MySQL version you want. However, keep in mind that cPanel does not allow downgrading. It’s therefore recommended that you first create a backup of your entire database.
Alternative methods for the individual operating systems
If you cannot install the new MySQL version using cPanel, you’ll need to perform a manual installation. For macOS and Linux, use the terminal again and log in with your SSH credentials. For Linux, you then update your package list with the following command:
sudo apt-get upgrade mysql-server
On a Mac, the easiest way to install and update MySQL is to use the Homebrew package manager. The appropriate command for the upgrade is:
brew update brew install mysql
On Windows, the easiest way is to use the MySQL Installer to install the latest MySQL version. SSH is not provided by default on Windows.