Umbraco doesn’t like users with MySQL databases

Umbraco 6.0.2 fails when using MySQL, because Umbraco has changed their database layer/logic, breaking MySQL support. Use SQL Server instead as your Umbraco database back-end. This issue was first spotted in version 6.0.0RC, and reported in the Umbraco development group on Google Groups.

This post explains the exact problem.

However I fear that the problems with Mysql are just beginning with the transition to PetaPoco. The main problems have to do with case-sensitivity on mysql.

Consider the following facts:

  • The ISqlHelper in Umbraco for Mysql automatically converts all identifiers to uppercase eg: “SELECT * FROM umbracoNode” becomes “SELECT * FROM UMBRACONODE”
  • PetaPoco when creating tables and queries respect case. Thus all tables are created with the correct casing “umbracoNode” vs. “UMBRACONODE” previously using ISqlHelper.
  • On Windows mysql is case-insensitive by default and will even convert every identifier to lowercase. Unless a specific option is set to preserve case. (lower_case_table_names = 2)
  • On Unix based systems Mysql is case-sensitive and will not convert any identifiers at all. Thus queries without the correct casing will fail, this is probably why the iSqlHelper had to resort to case conversion in the first place.
  • This means that Umbraco will work perfectly well on a windows mysql installation but not on a mysql installation running on a unix server. I have confirmed that this is the case with 6.0RC.


    PetaPoco created the table “umbracoUser” but MySqlHelper expects “UMBRACOUSER” to exist, and that causes Umbraco to crash.

    I believe it will be necessary to remove the uppercasing on the Mysql ISqlHelper and rewrite all sql statements to proper casing in order to make 6RC run on a case sensitive mysql installation. This is a lot of work but I think it’s better to bite the bullet and get it over with once and for all.

    I also believe that Umbraco needs to support mysql databases on unix servers as these are very popular on low-cost .Net hosting plans.

    Well… The problem lies in SQL statements like (file umbraco.datalayerSqlHelpersMySqlSqlTotal.sql):

    CREATE TABLE umbracoRelation 
    CREATE TABLE cmsDocument 
    CREATE TABLE umbracoLog 

    Or in umbraco.datalayerSqlHelpersMySqlSqlVersion4_Upgrade.sql:

    INSERT INTO umbracoNode (id, trashed, parentID, nodeUser, level, path, sortOrder, uniqueID, text, nodeObjectType, createDate)

    One and the same table, written in different casing.

    Reported issues with Umbraco 6 and MySQL #

    Others also reported this to Umbraco:
    U4-1632 MySQL Database Setup – Table Names

    There appears to be an issue when performing an initial installation when the DB is sitting on a Linux installation of MySQL.
    […] This is due to inconsistancies in naming conventions when referencing the tables. A default Linux installation of MySQL is case sensitive and the installation script sometimes refers to table names using uppercase.

    One comment by Niels Hartvig to the issue is:

    We don’t have any plans to prioritise this in any foreseeable future as there’s a valid workaround and MySQL is only used by a small minority of Umbraco users.

    But hé, “only” 16% uses MySQL as their database backend, according to Umbraco’s Twitter poll.

    MySQL server case-insensitive configuration settings #

    Mister Niels Hartvig references the MySQL settings lower_case_table_names and lower_case_file_system to fix their own wrongdoings in the past.

    This is not the first bug Umbraco introduces in new releases… Mister Niels Hartvig clearly hasn’t considered the consequences of setting MySQL lower_case_table_names=1 and lower_case_file_system=1 on already running MySQL database servers. Suppose an user has two or three MySQL tables:

    1. Users
    2. users
    3. uSeRs

    after changing the lower_case settings, they’ll be treated the as the same, which will only cause problems.

    Conclusion #

    Umbraco users with MySQL databases are left out in the bitter cold. Nice go Umbraco.

    Of course you can use SqlCE MS SQL Server as your database back-end for Umbraco. Please note that an SqlCe database is deprecated!

    Turns out not all my blog comments were migrated to Disqus successfully. On 2014/04/30 StephenPAdams placed a comment I don’t want to withheld from you.

    Hi Jan,

    I’ve ran into the same issue as yourself. But I went ahead and forked Umbraco 7.1.2 and have been slowly fixing some areas of the repositories where the casing was different from what was actually on the file system. In addition, I removed the requirement for lower case table names to be enabled. Earlier this morning my pull request was integrated into 6.2 and will eventually be merged up to 7.1.2. See revision:

    Feel free to follow me on Twitter. I’ll be posting on my blog as I continue to make progress:

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    About the Author Jan Reilink

    My name is Jan. I am not a hacker, coder, developer, programmer or guru. I am merely a system administrator, doing my daily thing at Vevida in the Netherlands. With over 15 years of experience, my specialties include Windows Server, IIS, Linux (CentOS, Debian), security, PHP, websites & optimization.

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    3 Comments on "Umbraco doesn’t like users with MySQL databases"

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    Niels Hartvig
    Hi Jan! While I’d wish that MySQL just worked, our research shows that MySQL usage on Umbraco is in fact less than 10%. In addition it’s possible to use MySQL as long as you turn off case-sensitivity = there’s an easy workaround. Step by step we’ll update our queries in the codebase so the case sensitivity eventually will be solved, but we don’t have endless resources, so I’d prefer that we prioritise fixes that improve the experience for the 90%+. There’s nothing that prevents eager MySQL users who don’t want to turn off case sensitivity to provide patches for the… Read more »

    Had similar problem when my hosting company moved the mySQL DB from a windows to Linux server had to change all tables names to Uppercase:

    First run this in the SQL window of phpmyadmin

    select concat('rename table ', table_name, ' to ' , upper(table_name) , ';')
      from information_schema.tables
      where table_schema = 'your_schema_name';

    this produces a script that will change all tables names to uppercase copy the script and paste it into the SQL window and run.

    As always backup the database and use at your own risk….