When starting MariaDB 10.3.8 on MacOS 10.13.6 the following strange behavior occurs:

mac:~user$ mysql.server start

Starting MariaDB

.180813 17:50:11 mysqld_safe Logging to '/usr/local/var/mysql/mbp.local.err'.

180813 17:50:11 mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /usr/local/var/mysql.. ERROR!

There are actually many more dots in the output before ERROR! is displayed; the process takes a couple of minutes. The odd thing is the server does run. And shutdown appears normal:

mac:~user$ mysql.server stop

Shutting down MariaDB.. SUCCESS!

Any idea how to determine what is causing the error message on startup and fix it?

2 Answers 2


I can reproduce your issue. Don't use mysql.server start in macOS.

If you installed MariaDB with homebrew, use brew services to start and stop the database. It takes only a second and doesn't write strange error to stdout.

brew services stop mariadb
Stopping `mariadb`... (might take a while)
==> Successfully stopped `mariadb` (label: homebrew.mxcl.mariadb)

brew services start mariadb
==> Successfully started `mariadb` (label: homebrew.mxcl.mariadb)

overview of services in homebrew:

brew services list
Name     Status  User     Plist
logstash stopped
mariadb  started Kim /Users/Kim/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mariadb.plist
mysql    stopped

general help

brew services --help
brew services command:
    Integrates Homebrew formulae with macOS' launchctl manager.

    [sudo] brew services list
    List all running services for the current user (or root)

    [sudo] brew services run formula|--all
    Run the service formula without starting at login (or boot).

    [sudo] brew services start formula|--all
    Start the service formula immediately and register it to launch at login (or boot).

    [sudo] brew services stop formula|--all
    Stop the service formula immediately and unregister it from launching at login (or boot).

    [sudo] brew services restart formula|--all
    Stop (if necessary) and start the service immediately and register it to launch at login (or boot).

    [sudo] brew services cleanup
    Remove all unused services.

    If sudo is passed, operate on /Library/LaunchDaemons (started at boot).
    Otherwise, operate on ~/Library/LaunchAgents (started at login).
  • Thank you. I traced the source of the error to ~/.my.cnf. The contents of which are: [client] user=myuser password=mypwd database=mydb Moving the file eliminates the startup error.
    – Lee
    Aug 24, 2018 at 12:15
  • This does not work in a multi-user environment where the brew owner is not the one wanting to start the server.
    – gone
    Jul 14, 2020 at 15:19

I resolved the problem by changing .my.cnf from:





Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.