Ideal configuration for MySQL on the smallest droplet?

Posted June 9, 2014 2.7k views
I am a web dev that has made several droplets for clients that have extremely low-traffic Wordpress sites. I generally recommend the smallest droplet with Ubuntu 12.04 and the LAMP stack. However, the MySQL process on each of these droplets will periodically crash, causing the site to go down until it is manually restarted. I believe the problem is due to a loss of memory. I know that one solution would simply be to increase the size of the droplet, but these sites are extremely low-traffic (handful of page views per day) and this is still occurring. Is there some ideal configuration that may prevent this, or some known issue with the default MySQL configuration on the smallest droplet that has a fix? Thank you!
1 comment
  • Hi Garrett
    I have exactly the same use case and issue. A little annoyed that this isn’t clear before its too late. It’s not economical to simply double the resources for small sites. I think some settings in my.cnf could work. SWAP files seem to be discouraged but I am not sure how much is SALES speak as it doubles revenue just asking people to upgrade…

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One thing you can do to help with running out of memory on the smallest droplet is to add a swap file. This way on the rare occasions when your memory consumption spikes, it will use the swap rather than crashing. See:

On Ubuntu, you might also want to take a look at the file:


It contains some configuration optimizations for using MySQL on systems with little memory. You can replace /etc/mysql/my.cnf with it, or just tweak certain options as you see fit.
by Etel Sverdlov
Linux swaps allow a system to harness more memory than was originally physically available. Here's how to set up a linux swap file on Ubuntu 12.04