Slow connection to MySQL in Docker

By Dmitry Kann A minute read
This post  in Russian

My current project makes use of the MySQL database, which runs in a Docker container.

At a certain moment connecting to the database became excruciatingly slow, taking tens of seconds to establish a single connection. After that everything would work as expected.

The application opens a connection some hundred times, so the startup time had become really unacceptable.

I’ve spent a lot of time hunting that down, and then even more time looking for a solution as I failed to find any on StackOverflow. But finally I’ve solved this.

The culprit was, as I initially thought, the DNS lookup: the database was trying to determine the name of the host that is connecting to it, and the DNS was slow. But in my use case it was a pretty useless operation.

First I tried to pass the --dns= to Docker, but it wouldn’t improve the situation.

What did help was MySQL’s flag --skip-name-resolve: the issue disappeared and making a connection takes milliseconds now.

A container can be started with something like:

docker run -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=secret mysql:5.7.16 --skip-name-resolve

I hope it helps someone struggling with the same issue. ■

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