How To Set Up MySQL Master-Master Replication

Published on April 26, 2013

Jason Kurtz

How To Set Up MySQL Master-Master Replication

Status: Deprecated

This tutorial has been deprecated and is no longer maintained.

Reason: This tutorial covers an outdated method for building a multi-master topology. At the time this article was originally published, group replication had not yet been implemented in MySQL.

See Instead: You can read the newer How To Configure MySQL Group Replication on Ubuntu 16.04 tutorial to set up a multi-primary replication group.


This second installment of “Scaling Web Applications” will list out the steps necessary for scaling a mysql deployment over two VPS.

The first article in this series laid out the steps needed to load-balance nginx over two VPS, and it is recommended that you read that article first.

MySQL replication is the process by which a single data set, stored in a MySQL database, will be live-copied to a second server. This configuration, called “master-slave” replication, is a typical setup. Our setup will be better than that, because master-master replication allows data to be copied from either server to the other one. This subtle but important difference allows us to perform mysql read or writes from either server. This configuration adds redundancy and increases efficiency when dealing with accessing the data.

The examples in this article will be based on two VPS, named Server C and Server D.

Server C:

Server D:

Step 1 - Install and Configure MySQL on Server C

The first thing we need to do is to install the mysql-server and mysql-client packages on our server. We can do that by typing the following:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

By default, the mysql process will only accept connections on localhost ( To change this default behavior and change a few other settings necessary for replication to work properly, we need to edit /etc/mysql/my.cnf on Server C. There are four lines that we need to change, which are currently set to the following:

#server-id              = 1
#log_bin                = /var/log/mysql/mysql-bin.log
#binlog_do_db           = include_database_name
bind-address            =

The first of those lines is to uniquely identify our particular server, in our replication configuration. We need to uncomment that line, by removing the “#” before it. The second line indicates the file in which changes to any mysql database or table will be logged.

The third line indicates which databases we want to replicate between our servers. You can add as many databases to this line as you’d like. The article will use a single database named “example” for the purposes of simplicity. And the last line tells our server to accept connections from the internet (by not listening on

server-id               = 1
log_bin                 = /var/log/mysql/mysql-bin.log
binlog_do_db            = example
# bind-address            =

Now we need to restart mysql:

sudo service mysql restart

We next need to change some command-line settings within our mysql instance. Back at our shell, we can get to our root mysql user by typing the following:

mysql -u root -p 

Please note that the password this command will prompt you for is that of the root mysql user, not the root user on our droplet. To confirm that you are logged in to the mysql shell, the prompt should look like the following.


Once we are logged in, we need to run a few commands.

We need to create a pseudo-user that will be used for replicating data between our two VPS. The examples in this article will assume that you name this user “replicator”. Replace “password” with the password you wish to use for replication.

create user 'replicator'@'%' identified by 'password'; 

Next, we need to give this user permissions to replicate our mysql data:

grant replication slave on *.* to 'replicator'@'%'; 

Permissions for replication cannot, unfortunately, be given on a per-database basis. Our user will only replicate the database(s) that we instruct it to in our config file.

For the final step of the initial Server C configuration, we need to get some information about the current MySQL instance which we will later provide to Server D.

The following command will output a few pieces of important information, which we will need to make note of:

show master status; 

The output will looking similiar to the following, and will have two pieces of critical information:

| File             | Position | Binlog_Do_DB | Binlog_Ignore_DB |
| mysql-bin.000001 |      107 | example      |                  |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

We need to make a note of the file and position which will be used in the next step.

Step 2 - Install and Configure MySQL on Server D

We need to repeat the same steps that we followed on Server C. First we need to install it, which we can do with the following command:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

Once the two packages are properly installed, we need to configure it in much the same way as we configured Server C. We will start by editing the /etc/mysql/my.cnf file.

sudo nano /etc/mysql/my.cnf

We need to change the same four lines in the configuration file as we changed earlier.

The defaults are listed below, followed by the changes we need to make.

#server-id              = 1
#log_bin                = /var/log/mysql/mysql-bin.log
#binlog_do_db           = include_database_name
bind-address            =

We need to change these four lines to match the lines below. Please note, that unlike Server C, the server-id for Server D cannot be set to 1.

server-id              = 2
log_bin                = /var/log/mysql/mysql-bin.log
binlog_do_db           = example
# bind-address            =

After you save and quit that file, you need to restart mysql:

sudo service mysql restart

It is time to go into the mysql shell and set some more configuration options.

mysql -u root -p 

First, just as on Server C, we are going to create the pseudo-user which will be responsible for the replication. Replace “password” with the password you wish to use.

create user 'replicator'@'%' identified by 'password'; 

Next, we need to create the database that we are going to replicate across our VPS.

create database example; 

And we need to give our newly created ‘replication’ user permissions to replicate it.

grant replication slave on *.* to 'replicator'@'%'; 

The next step involves taking the information that we took a note of earlier and applying it to our mysql instance. This will allow replication to begin. The following should be typed at the mysql shell:

slave stop; 
CHANGE MASTER TO MASTER_HOST = '', MASTER_USER = 'replicator', MASTER_PASSWORD = 'password', MASTER_LOG_FILE = 'mysql-bin.000001', MASTER_LOG_POS = 107; 
slave start; 

You need to replace ‘password’ with the password that you have chosen for replication. Your values for MASTER_LOG_FILE and MASTER_LOG_POS may differ than those above. You should copy the values that “SHOW MASTER STATUS” returns on Server C.

The last thing we have to do before we complete the mysql master-master replication is to make note of the master log file and position to use to replicate in the other direction (from Server D to Server C).

We can do that by typing the following:


The output will look similiar to the following:

| File             | Position | Binlog_Do_DB | Binlog_Ignore_DB |
| mysql-bin.000004 |      107 | example      |                  |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Take note of the file and position, as we will have to enter those on server C, to complete the two-way replication.

The next step will explain how to do that.

Step 3 - Completing Replication on Server C

Back on Server C, we need to finish configuring replication on the command line. Running this command will replicate all data from Server D.

slave stop; 
CHANGE MASTER TO MASTER_HOST = '', MASTER_USER = 'replicator', MASTER_PASSWORD = 'password', MASTER_LOG_FILE = 'mysql-bin.000004', MASTER_LOG_POS = 107; 
slave start; 

Keep in mind that your values may differ from those above. Please also replace the value of MASTER_PASSWORD with the password you created when setting up the replication user.

The output will look similiar to the following:

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

The last thing to do is to test that replication is working on both VPS. The last step will explain an easy way to test this configuration.

Step 4 - Testing Master-Master Replication

Now that have all the configuration set up, we are going to test it now. To do this, we are going to create a table in our example database on Server C and check on Server D to see if it shows up. Then, we are going to delete it from Server D and make sure it’s no longer showing up on Server C.

We now need to create the database that will be replicated between the servers. We can do that by typing the following at the mysql shell:

create database example; 

Once that’s done, let’s create a dummy table on Server C:

create table example.dummy (`id` varchar(10)); 

We now are going to check Server D to see if our table exists.

show tables in example; 

We should see output similiar to the following:

| Tables_in_example |
| dummy             |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

The last test to do is to delete our dummy table from Server D. It should also be deleted from Server C.

We can do this by entering the following on Server D:

DROP TABLE dummy; 

To confirm this, running the “show tables” command on Server C will show no tables:

Empty set (0.00 sec)

And there you have it! Working mysql master-master replication. As always, any feedback is more than welcome.

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Jason Kurtz


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Karmal, cool!

I hate posting again, but I forgot something. I could be way off, but I think adding the auto_increment and auto_increment_offset directives might be a good idea for master-master, as this could save folks from potential PK conflicts, or users could investigate this for themselves: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/replication-options-master.html#sysvar_auto_increment_increment So on Server C: 2/1 and for server D: 2/2 or something like that.

Thank you for this tutorial, very helpful!

I would definetely setup an auto increment offset for both server to prevent collision.

For Server 1

server-id = 1
auto_increment_increment = 2
auto_increment_offset = 1

For Server 2

server-id = 2
auto_increment_increment = 2
auto_increment_offset = 2
Kamal Nasser
DigitalOcean Employee
DigitalOcean Employee badge
January 4, 2014

@piotr.pawlaczek, @ruoju.liu: I believe setting up master-master replication from server 1 to server 2, and then from server 2 to server 3 should work. So you will have to follow this article once on server 1 and server 2, and once on server 2 and server 3.

How about if you have an existing database and want to set up master-master? What needs to be changed for this scenario?

This is good post. but dear replication failed (NOT Working) in both the server device restarted at same time. How to we handle it ? please guide on it ! Thanks.

thanks dude. but there is a problem. i followed you tutorial but the end result is not the same. its like master-slave configuration. i can add tables from server 2nd and it will exist in server1 but not the way around. please help thanks.


if we have 3 x nodes what should I do for the third server for this:

slave stop; CHANGE MASTER TO MASTER_HOST = ‘’, MASTER_USER = ‘replicator’, MASTER_PASSWORD = ‘password’, MASTER_LOG_FILE = ‘mysql-bin.000004’, MASTER_LOG_POS = 107; slave start;

2 server is straight forward, but adding one more is a mix up.

**Caution: **Useless document don’t use this document to setup master-master replication you will end up crashing your replication.

Kamal hello, Thank you for the article. We are currently running MySQL master-master replication in test environment and noticed that it breaks quite often. The replication can break because of multiple things like locks on selects, the “fast transactions” like insert-update.

The failure rate can be increased when you are doing multi-hosting replication where number of masters is greater than two.

What will be your recommendations or maybe DigitalOceans’ special treatment for multi-master replication? Thank you, Yuri.

For me the following two lines did not work:

slave stop; 
slave start; 

I had to replace them with:


Also helpful for me were this line if you want to check if the replication works:


Or this command to reset the master parameter:


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