How to upgrade to MySQL 5.5 and PHP 5.4 in Plesk 11.5 (CentOS)

Plesk-LogoOne of my clients wanted to run a web application that required MySQL 5.5 instead of the default MySQL 5.1 that ships with Plesk at the time of writing. He needed it due to the better handling of UTF8 characters.

I struggled to find clear instructions on how to do this – so here they are šŸ˜‰

CentOS 5.x

In CentOS 5 you can switch to MySQL 5.5 under Tools and Settings – Updates and Upgrades. The installer shows something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 11.46.19

Simply switch to MySQL 5.5 (packaged by Parallels) and hit install.

CentOS 6.x

Sadly the above convenience doesn’t exist in CentOS 6, so we’ll have to make use of the excellent Atomic repository again. In the past I’ve experienced instabilities in the way Plesk may react to non-standard repo packages – but it appears this is no longer an issue (or so I was told). Suffice to say proceed at your own risk and test, test and test again before using this in a production environment.

Install access to the Atomic repo with this command:

You’ll have to agree to some terms and conditions, after which you can simply use yum update to include some additional functionality that is not provided by CentOS or Parallels. Doing so will automatically update both MySQL and PHP for you.

Restart the server when you’re finished for good measure.

Testing: Before and After

You can check which versions are installed. I’d recommend you do this before and after the update.

To check the current PHP version execute the following:

MySQL will show you the version number as soon as you log in to the command line. Do it with this command which will extract the current MySQL admin password from the Plesk database:

Run the MySQL upgrade script

To complete the MySQL upgrade, there’s a command which updates all existing databases on the system (including psa). Thanks to my client for pointing this out šŸ˜‰

I’ve heard that in rare cases you may have to use some –force here.

Let me know if this helps!

Jay is the CEO and founder of WP Hosting, a boutique style managed WordPress hosting and support service. He has been working with Plesk since version 9 and is a qualified Parallels Automation Professional. In his spare time he likes to develop iOS apps and WordPress plugins, or draw on tablet devices. He blogs about his coding journey at http://wpguru.co.uk and http://pinkstone.co.uk.

21 thoughts on “How to upgrade to MySQL 5.5 and PHP 5.4 in Plesk 11.5 (CentOS)

    1. Hi Gerard, yes it should be. It’s been a while since I’ve used CentOS 5 with Plesk 11.5, but from what I remember it’s as simple as installing the Atomic repo as described above, then issue “yum update php” and hopefully see a new version appear. Good luck!

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