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install / compile MYSQL 5 on RHEL / CentOS 4

There not much performance difference between MYSQL 4 and 5 as far as you’re not using mysqli ext for your , but it nice to find rpms ready on Centos.org which makes the job much easier.

yum  mysql mysql-devel mysql-server
mkdir mysql
cd mysql
 http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/centosplus/i386/RPMS/mysqlclient10-3.23.58-9.2.c4.i386.
 http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/centosplus/i386/RPMS/mysqlclient10-devel-3.23.58-9.2.c4.i386.rpm
rpm -vih --nodeps mysqlclient*.rpm
 http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/centosplus/i386/RPMS/mysql-5.0.27-1.el4.centos.i386.rpm
 http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/centosplus/i386/RPMS/mysql-devel-5.0.27-1.el4.centos.i386.rpm
 http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/centosplus/i386/RPMS/mysql-server-5.0.27-1.el4.centos.i386.rpm
rpm -vih --nodeps mysql-*.rpm
chkconfig --levels 235 mysqld on
service mysqld start
mysql_install_db --user=mysql
#make sure it's running
netstat -tap
#if upgrading DB
mysql_fix_privilege_tables -p
#if no privileges set yet
mysqladmin -u  password newpassword

unless you have really heavy loaded server, this configuration might not make sense or maybe waste your recourses

mv /etc/my.cnf /etc/my.cnf.old
vi /etc/mycnf
[mysqld]
#datadir=//lib/mysql
#socket=//lib/mysql/mysql.sock
skip-locking
skip-innodb
query_cache_limit=1M
query_cache_size=200M
query_cache_type=1
max_connections=2000
interactive_timeout=20
wait_timeout=15
connect_timeout=5
thread_cache_size=500
key_buffer=16M
join_buffer=1M
max_allowed_packet=16M
table_cache=1024
record_buffer=1M
sort_buffer_size=2M
read_buffer_size=2M
max_connect_errors=5
# Try number of CPU's*2 for thread_concurrency
thread_concurrency=4
myisam_sort_buffer_size=200M
-bin
server-id=1
[mysql.server]
user=mysql
basedir=//lib
[safe_mysqld]
#pid-file=//lib/mysql/mysql.pid
open_files_limit=30000
## logs are good
log-slow-queries
long-query-=2
log-queries-not-using-indexes
#err-log=/myserver/logs/mysql..log
[mysqldump]
quick
max_allowed_packet=16M
[mysql]
no--rehash
#safe-updates
[isamchk]
key_buffer=64M
sort_buffer=64M
read_buffer=16M
write_buffer=16M
[myisamchk]
key_buffer=64M
sort_buffer=64M
read_buffer=16M
write_buffer=16M
[mysqlhotcopy]
interactive-timeout

you might need to recompile PHP if your using fcgi