Currently, my MySQL server starts on every server boot. For a couple reasons, this is undesirable behavior. Is there a way to disable this behavior?

9 Answers 9


Since 15.04 you can simply do:

sudo systemctl disable mysql
  • 6
    Indeed. For 15.04, this is the answer you seek.
    – CommandZ
    Dec 3, 2015 at 19:03
  • 1
    I can't start it again, how do I start mysql after the command?
    – rneves
    Mar 22, 2016 at 13:21
  • 1
    @thebugfinder I've tried enable, I don't know about reenable, but enable forces me restart the computer to start mysql again
    – rneves
    Apr 13, 2016 at 14:56
  • 2
    BTW, sudo systemctl is-enabled mysql help to check whether enabled currently.
    – Eric
    Aug 17, 2018 at 8:02
  • 3
    I confirm it works in Ubuntu 18.04 too Nov 3, 2019 at 16:13

To prevent mysql from starting on boot:

  1. Open the terminal: Ctrl+Alt+T

  2. Open the mysql.conf file: nano /etc/init/mysql.conf

  3. Comment out the start on line near the top of the file, the start on might be spread across two lines, so comment out both. (comment adding # at the beginning)

If you want to manually start mysql, use the following command:

service mysql start

Taken liberally from here.

  • 3
    This is a very usefull answer for more than one initiation at start up.
    – maniat1k
    Mar 22, 2012 at 15:26
  • 3
    Tried, I have /usr/sbin/mysqld and /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe running. Commented out everything but didn't helped. Sep 16, 2015 at 20:33
  • IMO this is the best answer. Jul 1, 2017 at 19:52
  • in Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon I removed /etc/init/mysql.conf with no change. Mysql server still running on startup. @thebugfinder solution worked for me Nov 6, 2017 at 14:24
  • anacron.conf and whoopsie.conf is all i can see in /etc/init @maniat1k
    – Pranav
    Mar 18, 2019 at 7:38

In Ubuntu 18.04, sudo systemctl disable mysql will prevent mysql-server from autostarting on boot.

For linux, there are 3 main init systems: Systemd, Upstart and SysV. Although nearly all Linux systems run on Systemd. The other two init systems might also co-exist in your system.

For Systemd, use command sudo systemctl disable mysql;
For Upstart, use echo manual >> /etc/init/mysql.override;
For SysV, run the following command sudo update-rc.d mysql disable

If you'd like to find which init system is running on your server, please read this answer.

  • Also worked for me on Ubuntu 20.04, thanks!
    – guyaloni
    Jan 5, 2022 at 15:54

Things have changed quite a bit in Ubuntu now. I think from version 11 onwards. MySQL is handled by Upstart while Apache still uses traditional SysV init scripts

For MySQL, you can use the new override feature in Upstart to modify the starting behaviour:

sudo echo "manual" >> /etc/init/mysql.override

For more info, see the section "Disabling a Job from Automatically Starting" in the Upstart Cookbook.

As Apache still uses the traditional SysV init scripts you can use

sudo update-rc.d -f apache2 remove

to remove the links from /etc/rcX.d or, alternatively use

sudo update-rc.d apache2 disable

which "disables" the script by changing it from a start script to a stop script. This is reversible by

sudo update-rc.d apache2 enable

Most of this information I got from here: https://askubuntu.com/a/40077/24678

  • If you want to restore the service sudo update-rc.d apache2 defaults
    – bentech
    Jan 17, 2018 at 10:20

There are two Guis I can think of. From Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center search for "boot up manager". After installing you will find it in the System -> Administration -> BootUP-Manager. Another is Webmin. Webmin uses your browser. After installing point your browser to https://localhost:10000/ Look for services and work it from there.

  • 2
    This method didn't work for me on 16.04 Mar 22, 2017 at 11:29

Well I am using Ubuntu 20.04 on my laptop. The problem I faced is that mysql service starts at boot up and takes 32 seconds to move to the next step in the sequence of bootup. So I decided to disable it from the boot sequence to make it boot faster. For this I followed the below steps:

  1. I checked for mysql running status by command:

    sudo service mysql status

The result showed the status as in the snippet shown below. There I noticed the source of it's loading - " loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mysql.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled) "

● mysql.service - MySQL Community Server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mysql.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: inactive (dead) since Thu 2020-04-16 03:45:09 IST; 26min ago
  1. So I decided to disabled it using systemctl command as:

    sudo systemctl disable mysql

result of the above command:

Synchronizing state of mysql.service with SysV service script with /lib/systemd/systemd-sysv-install.
Executing: /lib/systemd/systemd-sysv-install disable mysql
Removed /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/mysql.service.
  1. Now I can manually start / stop or check the status of mysql service by using the following commands:

    sudo service mysql start

    sudo service mysql stop

    sudo service mysql status

I hope this might help. Cheers.


Or if your really laze like me you could just open a Terminal session and then type:

sudo perl -pi.orig -e 's/start\s+on/#start\s+on/' /etc/init/mysql.conf && sudo perl -pi.orig -e 's/and\s+/#and/g' /etc/init/mysql.conf

You can then just issue a reboot command then your system will boot-up without mysql started.

  • 1
    This command could be improved. It is adding a + leaving the line like this: #start+on blahblahblah but it works!
    – Lucio
    Dec 22, 2013 at 0:41

Actually, there is also another method to accomplish this, via the sysv-rc-conf tool.

You can install it by typing

sudo apt-get install sysv-rc-conf

It allows you to take control over all available services, including running/stopping them in place and configuring services' operation per runlevel.

Edit: You have to run tis tool as root:

sudo sysv-rc-conf

You can use chkconfig tool package

$ chkconfig --level 345 mysqld off
  • 2
    Please elaborate your answer. Why do you think this solves the question? You could e.g. add a link to a manual as reference.
    – Byte Commander
    Jul 28, 2016 at 22:30

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