I have more information on this problem -- information that might actually be useful in solving it. So...
The problem occurs when I'm trying to import an sql file into an empty database. It first occurred in phpmyadmin but I've also tried the process in mysql directly and get the same issue (only with a terser error message).
So I'm trying to import a Drupal database into mysql via phpmyadmin on Fedora 17 (significantly this does not occur in Fedora 16, which makes me think I should have posted this in the F17 forum -- the reason I didn't was because it said "development" and this seems more like a configuration issue).
When I try to import the database I get this error:
-- -- Dumping data for table `cache_update` -- INSERT INTO `cache_update` (`cid`, `data`, `expire`, `created`, `headers`, `serialized`) VALUES ('update_available_releases', [RIDICULOUSLY LONG HEXADECIMAL STRING HERE]
MySQL said: \
#2006 - MySQL server has gone away
cache_update is the database table that it stops on every time.
Anyway, after doing some searching on the #2006 message I hit a lot of posts talking about the max_allowed_packet entry in the my.cnf file, which is supposed to be in the /etc directory.
Well, F17 /etc has a my.cnf file, but that file did not have max_allowed_packet -- so I decided I'd add one.
The thing is, the search results I found differed on how to add the line. Some results suggested
set-variable = max_allowed_packet=[VALUE]
and some suggested
I tried both.
The line that starts with set-variable not only doesn't work, but it doesn't even let mysql load.
The line that starts with max_allowed_packet lets mysql load, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I went so far as to set the max_allowed_packet to 128M, which seems ridiculously large. No dice.
Does anyone know if a) max_allowed_packet is actually the problem, and b) if F17 places the specific setting in a different location that needs to be edited instead?
---------- Post added at 10:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:09 PM ----------
So the answer:
1. max_allowed_packet was the problem
2. /etc/my.cnf was the file where the variable needed to be added
3. the entry needed to be max_allowed_packet = [value]
Not sure why it worked this last time and not before, but it may be a formatting issue. In the reference above, there were no spaces surrounding the "=" ...