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15 MySQL Utilites

In this chapter you will learn about the MySQL Utilities that come in a given distribution. You will learn what each of them does, how to use it, and what you should use it for.

15.1 Overview of the Different MySQL Programs

All MySQL clients that communicate with the server using the mysqlclient library use the following environment variables:

Name Description
MYSQL_UNIX_PORT The default socket; used for connections to localhost
MYSQL_TCP_PORT The default TCP/IP port
MYSQL_PWD The default password
MYSQL_DEBUG Debug-trace options when debugging
TMPDIR The directory where temporary tables/files are created

Use of MYSQL_PWD is insecure. See section 6.6 Connecting to the MySQL Server.

The `mysql' client uses the file named in the MYSQL_HISTFILE environment variable to save the command-line history. The default value for the history file is `$HOME/.mysql_history', where $HOME is the value of the HOME environment variable. See section A Environment Variables.

All MySQL programs take many different options. However, every MySQL program provides a --help option that you can use to get a full description of the program's different options. For example, try mysql --help.

You can override default options for all standard client programs with an option file. section 4.16.5 Option Files.

The list below briefly describes the MySQL programs:

Utility to describe, check, optimize, and repair MySQL tables. Because myisamchk has many functions, it is described in its own chapter. See section 16 Maintaining a MySQL Installation.
Makes a binary release of a compiled MySQL. This could be sent by FTP to `/pub/mysql/Incoming' on support.mysql.com for the convenience of other MySQL users.
A shell script that converts mSQL programs to MySQL. It doesn't handle all cases, but it gives a good start when converting.
A script that checks the access privileges for a host, user, and database combination.
Utility for performing administrative operations, such as creating or dropping databases, reloading the grant tables, flushing tables to disk, and reopening log files. mysqladmin can also be used to retrieve version, process, and status information from the server. See section 15.6 Administering a MySQL Server.
The MySQL bug report script. This script should always be used when filing a bug report to the MySQL list.
The SQL daemon. This should always be running.
Dumps a MySQL database into a file as SQL statements or as tab-separated text files. Enhanced freeware originally by Igor Romanenko. See section 15.7 Dumping the Structure and Data from MySQL Databases and Tables.
Imports text files into their respective tables using LOAD DATA INFILE. See section 15.9 Importing Data from Text Files.
Displays information about databases, tables, columns, and indexes.
Creates the MySQL grant tables with default privileges. This is usually executed only once, when first installing MySQL on a system.
A utility program that is used by msql2mysql, but that has more general applicability as well. replace changes strings in place in files or on the standard input. Uses a finite state machine to match longer strings first. Can be used to swap strings. For example, this command swaps a and b in the given files:
shell> replace a b b a -- file1 file2 ...

15.2 mysqld-max, An extended mysqld server

mysqld-max is the MySQL server (mysqld) configured with the following configure options:

Option Comment
--with-server-suffix=-max Add a suffix to the mysqld version string.
--with-bdb Support for Berkeley DB (BDB) tables
--with-innodb Support for InnoDB tables.
CFLAGS=-DUSE_SYMDIR Symbolic links support for Windows.

You can find the MySQL-max binaries at http://www.mysql.com/downloads/mysql-max-3.23.html.

The Windows MySQL 3.23 binary distribution includes both the standard mysqld.exe binary and the mysqld-max.exe binary. http://www.mysql.com/downloads/mysql-3.23.html. See section 4.13.1 Installing MySQL on Windows.

Note that as Berkeley DB and InnoDB are not available for all platforms, some of the Max binaries may not have support for both of these. You can check which table types are supported by doing the following query:

mysql> show variables like "have_%";
| Variable_name | Value |
| have_bdb      | YES   |
| have_gemini   | NO    |
| have_innodb   | NO    |
| have_isam     | YES   |
| have_raid     | YES   |
| have_ssl      | NO    |

The meaning of the values are:

Value Meaning.
YES The option is activated and usable.
NO MySQL is not compiled with support for this option.
DISABLED The xxxx option is disabled because one started mysqld with --skip-xxxx or because one didn't start mysqld with all needed options to enable the option. In this case the hostname.err file should contain a reason for why the option is disabled.

NOTE: To be able to create InnoDB tables you MUST edit your startup options to include at least the innodb_data_file_path option. See section 8.7.2 InnoDB startup options.

To get better performance for BDB tables, you should add some configuration options for these too. See section 8.5.3 BDB startup options.

safe_mysqld will automatically try to start any mysqld binary with the -max prefix. This makes it very easy to test out a another mysqld binary in an existing installation. Just run configure with the options you want and then install the new mysqld binary as mysqld-max in the same directory where your old mysqld binary is. See section 15.3 safe_mysqld, the wrapper around mysqld.

The mysqld-max RPM uses the above mentioned safe_mysqld feature. It just installs the mysqld-max executable and safe_mysqld will automatically use this executable when safe_mysqld is restarted.

The following table shows which table types our standard MySQL-Max binaries includes:

System BDB InnoDB
AIX 4.3 N Y
HP-UX 11.0 N Y
Linux-Alpha N Y
Linux-Intel Y Y
Linux-Ia64 N Y
Solaris-intel N Y
Solaris-sparc Y Y
UnixWare Y Y
Windows/NT Y Y

15.3 safe_mysqld, the wrapper around mysqld

safe_mysqld is the recommended way to start a mysqld daemon on Unix. safe_mysqld adds some safety features such as restarting the server when an error occurs and logging run-time information to a log file.

If you don't use --mysqld=# or --mysqld-version=# safe_mysqld will use an executable named mysqld-max if it exists. If not, safe_mysqld will start mysqld. This makes it very easy to test to use mysqld-max instead of mysqld; Just copy mysqld-max to where you have mysqld and it will be used.

Normally one should never edit the safe_mysqld script, but instead put the options to safe_mysqld in the [safe_mysqld] section in the my.cnf file. safe_mysqld will read all options from the [mysqld], [server] and [safe_mysqld] sections from the option files. See section 4.16.5 Option Files.

Note that all options on the command line to safe_mysqld are passed to mysqld. If you wants to use any options in safe_mysqld that mysqld doesn't support, you must specify these in the option file.

Most of the options to safe_mysqld are the same as the options to mysqld. See section 4.16.4 mysqld Command-line Options.

safe_mysqld supports the following options:

Size of the core file mysqld should be able to create. Passed to ulimit -c.
Path to mysqld
Name of the mysqld version in the ledir directory you want to start.
Similar to --mysqld= but here you only give the suffix for mysqld. For example if you use --mysqld-version=max, safe_mysqld will start the ledir/mysqld-max version. If the argument to --mysqld-version is empty, ledir/mysqld will be used.
Number of files mysqld should be able to open. Passed to ulimit -n. Note that you need to start safe_mysqld as root for this to work properly!
Set the timezone (the TZ) variable to the value of this parameter.

The safe_mysqld script is written so that it normally is able to start a server that was installed from either a source or a binary version of MySQL, even if these install the server in slightly different locations. safe_mysqld expects one of these conditions to be true:

Because safe_mysqld will try to find the server and databases relative to its own working directory, you can install a binary distribution of MySQL anywhere, as long as you start safe_mysqld from the MySQL installation directory:

shell> cd mysql_installation_directory
shell> bin/safe_mysqld &

If safe_mysqld fails, even when invoked from the MySQL installation directory, you can modify it to use the path to mysqld and the pathname options that are correct for your system. Note that if you upgrade MySQL in the future, your modified version of safe_mysqld will be overwritten, so you should make a copy of your edited version that you can reinstall.

15.4 mysqld_multi, program for managing multiple MySQL servers

mysqld_multi is meant for managing several mysqld processes running in different UNIX sockets and TCP/IP ports.

The program will search for group(s) named [mysqld#] from my.cnf (or the given --config-file=...), where # can be any positive number starting from 1. These groups should be the same as the usual [mysqld] group (e.g. options to mysqld, see MySQL manual for detailed information about this group), but with those port, socket etc. options that are wanted for each separate mysqld processes. The number in the group name has another function; it can be used for starting, stopping, or reporting some specific mysqld servers with this program. See the usage and options below for more information.

Usage: mysqld_multi [OPTIONS] {start|stop|report} [GNR,GNR,GNR...]
or     mysqld_multi [OPTIONS] {start|stop|report} [GNR-GNR,GNR,GNR-GNR,...]

The GNR above means the group number. You can start, stop or report any GNR, or several of them at the same time. (See --example) The GNRs list can be comma separated, or a dash combined, of which the latter means that all the GNRs between GNR1-GNR2 will be affected. Without GNR argument all the found groups will be either started, stopped, or reported. Note that you must not have any white spaces in the GNR list. Anything after a white space is ignored.

mysqld_multi supports the following options:

Alternative config file. NOTE: This will not affect this program's own options (group [mysqld_multi]), but only groups [mysqld#]. Without this option everything will be searched from the ordinary my.cnf file.
Give an example of a config file.
Print this help and exit.
Log file. Full path to and the name for the log file. NOTE: If the file exists, everything will be appended.
mysqladmin binary to be used for a server shutdown.
mysqld binary to be used. Note that you can give safe_mysqld to this option also. The options are passed to mysqld. Just make sure you have mysqld in your environment variable PATH or fix safe_mysqld.
Print to stdout instead of the log file. By default the log file is turned on.
Password for user for mysqladmin.
Connect to the MySQL server(s) via the TCP/IP port instead of the UNIX socket. This affects stopping and reporting. If a socket file is missing, the server may still be running, but can be accessed only via the TCP/IP port. By default connecting is done via the UNIX socket.
MySQL user for mysqladmin.
Print the version number and exit.

Some notes about mysqld_multi:

See section 22.3 Running Multiple MySQL Servers on the Same Machine.

This is an example of the config file on behalf of mysqld_multi.

# This file should probably be in your home dir (~/.my.cnf) or /etc/my.cnf
# Version 2.1 by Jani Tolonen

mysqld     = /usr/local/bin/safe_mysqld
mysqladmin = /usr/local/bin/mysqladmin
user       = multi_admin
password   = multipass

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock2
port       = 3307
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/var2/hostname.pid2
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/var2
language   = /usr/local/share/mysql/english
user       = john

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock3
port       = 3308
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/var3/hostname.pid3
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/var3
language   = /usr/local/share/mysql/swedish
user       = monty

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock4
port       = 3309
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/var4/hostname.pid4
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/var4
language   = /usr/local/share/mysql/estonia
user       = tonu

socket     = /tmp/mysql.sock6
port       = 3311
pid-file   = /usr/local/mysql/var6/hostname.pid6
datadir    = /usr/local/mysql/var6
language   = /usr/local/share/mysql/japanese
user       = jani

See section 4.16.5 Option Files.

15.5 The Command-line Tool

mysql is a simple SQL shell (with GNU readline capabilities). It supports interactive and non-interactive use. When used interactively, query results are presented in an ASCII-table format. When used non-interactively (for example, as a filter), the result is presented in tab-separated format. (The output format can be changed using command-line options.) You can run scripts simply like this:

shell> mysql database < script.sql > output.tab

If you have problems due to insufficient memory in the client, use the --quick option! This forces mysql to use mysql_use_result() rather than mysql_store_result() to retrieve the result set.

Using mysql is very easy. Just start it as follows: mysql database or mysql --user=user_name --password=your_password database. Type a SQL statement, end it with `;', `\g', or `\G' and press RETURN/ENTER.

mysql supports the following options:

-?, --help
Display this help and exit.
-A, --no-auto-rehash
No automatic rehashing. One has to use 'rehash' to get table and field completion. This gives a quicker start of mysql.
-B, --batch
Print results with a tab as separator, each row on a new line. Doesn't use history file.
Directory where character sets are located.
-C, --compress
Use compression in server/client protocol.
-#, --debug[=...]
Debug log. Default is 'd:t:o,/tmp/mysql.trace'.
-D, --database=...
Database to use. This is mainly useful in the my.cnf file.
Set the default character set.
-e, --execute=...
Execute command and quit. (Output like with --batch)
-E, --vertical
Print the output of a query (rows) vertically. Without this option you can also force this output by ending your statements with \G.
-f, --force
Continue even if we get a SQL error.
-g, --no-named-commands
Named commands are disabled. Use \* form only, or use named commands only in the beginning of a line ending with a semicolon (;). Since Version 10.9, the client now starts with this option ENABLED by default! With the -g option, long format commands will still work from the first line, however.
-G, --enable-named-commands
Named commands are enabled. Long format commands are allowed as well as shortened \* commands.
-i, --ignore-space
Ignore space after function names.
-h, --host=...
Connect to the given host.
-H, --html
Produce HTML output.
-L, --skip-line-numbers
Don't write line number for errors. Useful when one wants to compare result files that includes error messages
Disable pager and print to stdout. See interactive help (\h) also.
Disable outfile. See interactive help (\h) also.
-n, --unbuffered
Flush buffer after each query.
-N, --skip-column-names
Don't write column names in results.
-O, --set-variable var=option
Give a variable a value. --help lists variables.
-o, --one-database
Only update the default database. This is useful for skipping updates to other database in the update log.
Output type. Default is your ENV variable PAGER. Valid pagers are less, more, cat [> filename], etc. See interactive help (\h) also. This option does not work in batch mode. Pager works only in UNIX.
-p[password], --password[=...]
Password to use when connecting to server. If a password is not given on the command line, you will be prompted for it. Note that if you use the short form -p you can't have a space between the option and the password.
-P --port=...
TCP/IP port number to use for connection.
-q, --quick
Don't cache result, print it row-by-row. This may slow down the server if the output is suspended. Doesn't use history file.
-r, --raw
Write column values without escape conversion. Used with --batch
-s, --silent
Be more silent.
-S --socket=...
Socket file to use for connection.
-t --table
Output in table format. This is default in non-batch mode.
-T, --debug-info
Print some debug information at exit.
Append everything into outfile. See interactive help (\h) also. Does not work in batch mode.
-u, --user=#
User for login if not current user.
-U, --safe-updates[=#], --i-am-a-dummy[=#]
Only allow UPDATE and DELETE that uses keys. See below for more information about this option. You can reset this option if you have it in your my.cnf file by using --safe-updates=0.
-v, --verbose
More verbose output (-v -v -v gives the table output format).
-V, --version
Output version information and exit.
-w, --wait
Wait and retry if connection is down instead of aborting.

You can also set the following variables with -O or --set-variable:

Variablename Default Description
connect_timeout 0 Number of seconds before timeout connection.
max_allowed_packet 16777216 Max packetlength to send/receive from to server
net_buffer_length 16384 Buffer for TCP/IP and socket communication
select_limit 1000 Automatic limit for SELECT when using --i-am-a-dummy
max_join_size 1000000 Automatic limit for rows in a join when using --i-am-a-dummy.

If you type 'help' on the command line, mysql will print out the commands that it supports:

mysql> help

MySQL commands:
help    (\h)    Display this text.
?       (\h)    Synonym for `help'.
clear   (\c)    Clear command.
connect (\r)    Reconnect to the server. Optional arguments are db and host.
edit    (\e)    Edit command with $EDITOR.
ego     (\G)    Send command to mysql server, display result vertically.
exit    (\q)    Exit mysql. Same as quit.
go      (\g)    Send command to mysql server.
nopager (\n)    Disable pager, print to stdout.
notee   (\t)    Don't write into outfile.
pager   (\P)    Set PAGER [to_pager]. Print the query results via PAGER.
print   (\p)    Print current command.
quit    (\q)    Quit mysql.
rehash  (\#)    Rebuild completion hash.
source  (\.)    Execute a SQL script file. Takes a file name as an argument.
status  (\s)    Get status information from the server.
tee     (\T)    Set outfile [to_outfile]. Append everything into given outfile.
use     (\u)    Use another database. Takes database name as argument.

From the above, pager only works in UNIX.

The status command gives you some information about the connection and the server you are using. If you are running in the --safe-updates mode, status will also print the values for the mysql variables that affect your queries.

A useful startup option for beginners (introduced in MySQL Version 3.23.11) is --safe-updates (or --i-am-a-dummy for users that has at some time done a DELETE FROM table_name but forgot the WHERE clause). When using this option, mysql sends the following command to the MySQL server when opening the connection:


where #select_limit# and #max_join_size# are variables that can be set from the mysql command line. See section 7.33 SET Syntax.

The effect of the above is:

Some useful hints about the mysql client:

Some data is much more readable when displayed vertically, instead of the usual horizontal box type output. For example longer text, which includes new lines, is often much easier to be read with vertical output.

mysql> select * from mails where length(txt) < 300 limit 300,1\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
  msg_nro: 3068
     date: 2000-03-01 23:29:50
time_zone: +0200
mail_from: Monty
    reply: monty@no.spam.com
  mail_to: "Thimble Smith" <tim@no.spam.com>
      sbj: UTF-8
      txt: >>>>> "Thimble" == Thimble Smith writes:

Thimble> Hi.  I think this is a good idea.  Is anyone familiar with UTF-8
Thimble> or Unicode?  Otherwise I'll put this on my TODO list and see what
Thimble> happens.

Yes, please do that.

     file: inbox-jani-1
     hash: 190402944
1 row in set (0.09 sec)

15.6 Administering a MySQL Server

A utility for performing administrative operations. The syntax is:

shell> mysqladmin [OPTIONS] command [command-option] command ...

You can get a list of the options your version of mysqladmin supports by executing mysqladmin --help.

The current mysqladmin supports the following commands:

create databasename Create a new database.
drop databasename Delete a database and all its tables.
extended-status Gives an extended status message from the server.
flush-hosts Flush all cached hosts.
flush-logs Flush all logs.
flush-tables Flush all tables.
flush-privileges Reload grant tables (same as reload).
kill id,id,... Kill mysql threads.
password New-password. Change old password to new-password.
ping Check if mysqld is alive.
processlist Show list of active threads in server.
reload Reload grant tables.
refresh Flush all tables and close and open logfiles.
shutdown Take server down.
slave-start Start slave replication thread.
slave-stop Stop slave replication thread.
status Gives a short status message from the server.
variables Prints variables available.
version Get version info from server.

All commands can be shortened to their unique prefix. For example:

shell> mysqladmin proc stat
| Id | User  | Host      | db | Command     | Time | State | Info |
| 6  | monty | localhost |    | Processlist | 0    |       |      |
Uptime: 10077  Threads: 1  Questions: 9  Slow queries: 0  Opens: 6  Flush tables: 1  Open tables: 2  Memory in use: 1092K  Max memory used: 1116K

The mysqladmin status command result has the following columns:

Uptime Number of seconds the MySQL server has been up.
Threads Number of active threads (clients).
Questions Number of questions from clients since mysqld was started.
Slow queries Queries that have taken more than long_query_time seconds. See section 23.5 The Slow Query Log.
Opens How many tables mysqld has opened.
Flush tables Number of flush ..., refresh, and reload commands.
Open tables Number of tables that are open now.
Memory in use Memory allocated directly by the mysqld code (only available when MySQL is compiled with --with-debug=full).
Max memory used Maximum memory allocated directly by the mysqld code (only available when MySQL is compiled with --with-debug=full).

If you do myslqadmin shutdown on a socket (in other words, on a the computer where mysqld is running), mysqladmin will wait until the MySQL pid-file is removed to ensure that the mysqld server has stopped properly.

15.7 Dumping the Structure and Data from MySQL Databases and Tables

Utility to dump a database or a collection of database for backup or for transferring the data to another SQL server (not necessarily a MySQL server). The dump will contain SQL statements to create the table and/or populate the table.

If you are doing a backup on the server, you should consider using the mysqlhotcopy instead. See section 15.8 Copying MySQL Databases and Tables.

shell> mysqldump [OPTIONS] database [tables]
OR     mysqldump [OPTIONS] --databases [OPTIONS] DB1 [DB2 DB3...]
OR     mysqldump [OPTIONS] --all-databases [OPTIONS]

If you don't give any tables or use the --databases or --all-databases, the whole database(s) will be dumped.

You can get a list of the options your version of mysqldump supports by executing mysqldump --help.

Note that if you run mysqldump without --quick or --opt, mysqldump will load the whole result set into memory before dumping the result. This will probably be a problem if you are dumping a big database.

Note that if you are using a new copy of the mysqldump program and you are going to do a dump that will be read into a very old MySQL server, you should not use the --opt or -e options.

mysqldump supports the following options:

Add LOCK TABLES before and UNLOCK TABLE after each table dump. (To get faster inserts into MySQL.)
Add a drop table before each create statement.
-A, --all-databases
Dump all the databases. This will be same as --databases with all databases selected.
-a, --all
Include all MySQL-specific create options.
Allow creation of column names that are keywords. This works by prefixing each column name with the table name.
-c, --complete-insert
Use complete insert statements (with column names).
-C, --compress
Compress all information between the client and the server if both support compression.
-B, --databases
To dump several databases. Note the difference in usage. In this case no tables are given. All name arguments are regarded as database names. USE db_name; will be included in the output before each new database.
Insert rows with the INSERT DELAYED command.
-e, --extended-insert
Use the new multiline INSERT syntax. (Gives more compact and faster inserts statements.)
-#, --debug[=option_string]
Trace usage of the program (for debugging).
Display a help message and exit.
These options are used with the -T option and have the same meaning as the corresponding clauses for LOAD DATA INFILE. See section 7.23 LOAD DATA INFILE Syntax.
-F, --flush-logs
Flush log file in the MySQL server before starting the dump.
-f, --force,
Continue even if we get a SQL error during a table dump.
-h, --host=..
Dump data from the MySQL server on the named host. The default host is localhost.
-l, --lock-tables.
Lock all tables before starting the dump. The tables are locked with READ LOCAL to allow concurrent inserts in the case of MyISAM tables.
-n, --no-create-db
'CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ db_name;' will not be put in the output. The above line will be added otherwise, if --databases or --all-databases option was given.
-t, --no-create-info
Don't write table creation information (The CREATE TABLE statement.)
-d, --no-data
Don't write any row information for the table. This is very useful if you just want to get a dump of the structure for a table!
Same as --quick --add-drop-table --add-locks --extended-insert --lock-tables. Should give you the fastest possible dump for reading into a MySQL server.
-pyour_pass, --password[=your_pass]
The password to use when connecting to the server. If you specify no `=your_pass' part, mysqldump you will be prompted for a password.
-P port_num, --port=port_num
The TCP/IP port number to use for connecting to a host. (This is used for connections to hosts other than localhost, for which Unix sockets are used.)
-q, --quick
Don't buffer query, dump directly to stdout. Uses mysql_use_result() to do this.
-r, --result-file=...
Direct output to a given file. This option should be used in MSDOS, because it prevents new line '\n' from being converted to '\n\r' (new line + carriage return).
-S /path/to/socket, --socket=/path/to/socket
The socket file to use when connecting to localhost (which is the default host).
Overrides option --databases (-B).
-T, --tab=path-to-some-directory
Creates a table_name.sql file, that contains the SQL CREATE commands, and a table_name.txt file, that contains the data, for each give table. NOTE: This only works if mysqldump is run on the same machine as the mysqld daemon. The format of the .txt file is made according to the --fields-xxx and --lines--xxx options.
-u user_name, --user=user_name
The MySQL user name to use when connecting to the server. The default value is your Unix login name.
-O var=option, --set-variable var=option
Set the value of a variable. The possible variables are listed below.
-v, --verbose
Verbose mode. Print out more information on what the program does.
-V, --version
Print version information and exit.
-w, --where='where-condition'
Dump only selected records. Note that QUOTES are mandatory:
"--where=user='jimf'" "-wuserid>1" "-wuserid<1"
-O net_buffer_length=#, where # < 16M
When creating multi-row-insert statements (as with option --extended-insert or --opt), mysqldump will create rows up to net_buffer_length length. If you increase this variable, you should also ensure that the max_allowed_packet variable in the MySQL server is bigger than the net_buffer_length.

The most normal use of mysqldump is probably for making a backup of whole databases. See section 22.2 Database Backups.

mysqldump --opt database > backup-file.sql

You can read this back into MySQL with:

mysql database < backup-file.sql


mysql -e "source /patch-to-backup/backup-file.sql" database

However, it's also very useful to populate another MySQL server with information from a database:

mysqldump --opt database | mysql --host=remote-host -C database

It is possible to dump several databases with one command:

mysqldump --databases database1 [database2 database3...] > my_databases.sql

If all the databases are wanted, one can use:

mysqldump --all-databases > all_databases.sql

15.8 Copying MySQL Databases and Tables

mysqlhotcopy is a perl script that uses LOCK TABLES, FLUSH TABLES and cp or scp to quickly make a backup of a database. It's the fastest way to make a backup of the database, of single tables but it can only be run on the same machine where the database directories are.

mysqlhotcopy db_name [/path/to/new_directory]

mysqlhotcopy db_name_1 ... db_name_n /path/to/new_directory

mysqlhotcopy db_name./regex/

mysqlhotcopy supports the following options:

-?, --help
Display a help screen and exit
-u, --user=#
User for database login
-p, --password=#
Password to use when connecting to server
-P, --port=#
Port to use when connecting to local server
-S, --socket=#
Socket to use when connecting to local server
Don't abort if target already exists (rename it _old)
Don't delete previous (now renamed) target when done
Don't include full index files in copy to make the backup smaller and faster The indexes can later be reconstructed with myisamchk -rq..
Method for copy (cp or scp).
-q, --quiet
Be silent except for errors
Enable debug
-n, --dryrun
Report actions without doing them
Copy all databases with names matching regexp
Suffix for names of copied databases
Insert checkpoint entry into specified db.table
Flush logs once all tables are locked.
Temporary directory (instead of /tmp).

You can use perldoc mysqlhotcopy to get a more complete documentation for mysqlhotcopy.

mysqlhotcopy reads the groups [client] and [mysqlhotcopy] from the option files.

To be able to execute mysqlhotcopy you need write access to the backup directory, SELECT privilege to the tables you are about to copy and the MySQL Reload privilege (to be able to execute FLUSH TABLES).

15.9 Importing Data from Text Files

mysqlimport provides a command-line interface to the LOAD DATA INFILE SQL statement. Most options to mysqlimport correspond directly to the same options to LOAD DATA INFILE. See section 7.23 LOAD DATA INFILE Syntax.

mysqlimport is invoked like this:

shell> mysqlimport [options] database textfile1 [textfile2....]

For each text file named on the command line, mysqlimport strips any extension from the filename and uses the result to determine which table to import the file's contents into. For example, files named `patient.txt', `patient.text', and `patient' would all be imported into a table named patient.

mysqlimport supports the following options:

-c, --columns=...
This option takes a comma-separated list of field names as an argument. The field list is used to create a proper LOAD DATA INFILE command, which is then passed to MySQL. See section 7.23 LOAD DATA INFILE Syntax.
-C, --compress
Compress all information between the client and the server if both support compression.
-#, --debug[=option_string]
Trace usage of the program (for debugging).
-d, --delete
Empty the table before importing the text file.
These options have the same meaning as the corresponding clauses for LOAD DATA INFILE. See section 7.23 LOAD DATA INFILE Syntax.
-f, --force
Ignore errors. For example, if a table for a text file doesn't exist, continue processing any remaining files. Without --force, mysqlimport exits if a table doesn't exist.
Display a help message and exit.
-h host_name, --host=host_name
Import data to the MySQL server on the named host. The default host is localhost.
-i, --ignore
See the description for the --replace option.
-l, --lock-tables
Lock ALL tables for writing before processing any text files. This ensures that all tables are synchronized on the server.
-L, --local
Read input files from the client. By default, text files are assumed to be on the server if you connect to localhost (which is the default host).
-pyour_pass, --password[=your_pass]
The password to use when connecting to the server. If you specify no `=your_pass' part, mysqlimport you will be prompted for a password.
-P port_num, --port=port_num
The TCP/IP port number to use for connecting to a host. (This is used for connections to hosts other than localhost, for which Unix sockets are used.)
-r, --replace
The --replace and --ignore options control handling of input records that duplicate existing records on unique key values. If you specify --replace, new rows replace existing rows that have the same unique key value. If you specify --ignore, input rows that duplicate an existing row on a unique key value are skipped. If you don't specify either option, an error occurs when a duplicate key value is found, and the rest of the text file is ignored.
-s, --silent
Silent mode. Write output only when errors occur.
-S /path/to/socket, --socket=/path/to/socket
The socket file to use when connecting to localhost (which is the default host).
-u user_name, --user=user_name
The MySQL user name to use when connecting to the server. The default value is your Unix login name.
-v, --verbose
Verbose mode. Print out more information what the program does.
-V, --version
Print version information and exit.

Here is a sample run using mysqlimport:

$ mysql --version
mysql  Ver 9.33 Distrib 3.22.25, for pc-linux-gnu (i686)
$ uname -a
Linux xxx.com 2.2.5-15 #1 Mon Apr 19 22:21:09 EDT 1999 i586 unknown
$ mysql -e 'CREATE TABLE imptest(id INT, n VARCHAR(30))' test
$ ed
100     Max Sydow
101     Count Dracula
w imptest.txt
$ od -c imptest.txt
0000000   1   0   0  \t   M   a   x       S   y   d   o   w  \n   1   0
0000020   1  \t   C   o   u   n   t       D   r   a   c   u   l   a  \n
$ mysqlimport --local test imptest.txt
test.imptest: Records: 2  Deleted: 0  Skipped: 0  Warnings: 0
$ mysql -e 'SELECT * FROM imptest' test
| id   | n             |
|  100 | Max Sydow     |
|  101 | Count Dracula |

15.10 Converting an error code to the corresponding error message

perror can be used to print error message(s). perror can be invoked like this:

shell> perror [OPTIONS] [ERRORCODE [ERRORCODE...]]

For example:

shell> perror 64 79
Error code  64:  Machine is not on the network
Error code  79:  Can not access a needed shared library

perror can be used to display a description for a system error code, or an MyISAM/ISAM table handler error code. The error messages are mostly system dependent.

15.11 Showing Databases, Tables, and Columns

mysqlshow can be used to quickly look at which databases exist, their tables, and the table's columns.

With the mysql program you can get the same information with the SHOW commands. See section 7.28 SHOW Syntax.

mysqlshow is invoked like this:

shell> mysqlshow [OPTIONS] [database [table [column]]]

Note that in newer MySQL versions, you only see those database/tables/columns for which you have some privileges.

If the last argument contains a shell or SQL wild-card (*, ?, % or _) then only what's matched by the wild card is shown. This may cause some confusion when you try to display the columns for a table with a _ as in this case mysqlshow only shows you the table names that match the pattern. This is easily fixed by adding an extra % last on the command line (as a separate argument).

15.12 The MySQL Compressed Read-only Table Generator

myisampack is used to compress MyISAM tables, and pack_isam is used to compress ISAM tables. Because ISAM tables are deprecated, we will only discuss myisampack here, but everything said about myisampack should also be true for pack_isam.

myisampack works by compressing each column in the table separately. The information needed to decompress columns is read into memory when the table is opened. This results in much better performance when accessing individual records, because you only have to uncompress exactly one record, not a much larger disk block as when using Stacker on MS-DOS. Usually, myisampack packs the data file 40%-70%.

MySQL uses memory mapping (mmap()) on compressed tables and falls back to normal read/write file usage if mmap() doesn't work.

There are currently two limitations with myisampack:

Fixing these limitations is on our TODO list but with low priority.

myisampack is invoked like this:

shell> myisampack [options] filename ...

Each filename should be the name of an index (`.MYI') file. If you are not in the database directory, you should specify the pathname to the file. It is permissible to omit the `.MYI' extension.

myisampack supports the following options:

-b, --backup
Make a backup of the table as tbl_name.OLD.
-#, --debug=debug_options
Output debug log. The debug_options string often is 'd:t:o,filename'.
-f, --force
Force packing of the table even if it becomes bigger or if the temporary file exists. myisampack creates a temporary file named `tbl_name.TMD' while it compresses the table. If you kill myisampack, the `.TMD' file may not be deleted. Normally, myisampack exits with an error if it finds that `tbl_name.TMD' exists. With --force, myisampack packs the table anyway.
-?, --help
Display a help message and exit.
-j big_tbl_name, --join=big_tbl_name
Join all tables named on the command line into a single table big_tbl_name. All tables that are to be combined MUST be identical (same column names and types, same indexes, etc.).
-p #, --packlength=#
Specify the record length storage size, in bytes. The value should be 1, 2, or 3. (myisampack stores all rows with length pointers of 1, 2, or 3 bytes. In most normal cases, myisampack can determine the right length value before it begins packing the file, but it may notice during the packing process that it could have used a shorter length. In this case, myisampack will print a note that the next time you pack the same file, you could use a shorter record length.)
-s, --silent
Silent mode. Write output only when errors occur.
-t, --test
Don't actually pack table, just test packing it.
-T dir_name, --tmp_dir=dir_name
Use the named directory as the location in which to write the temporary table.
-v, --verbose
Verbose mode. Write information about progress and packing result.
-V, --version
Display version information and exit.
-w, --wait
Wait and retry if table is in use. If the mysqld server was invoked with the --skip-locking option, it is not a good idea to invoke myisampack if the table might be updated during the packing process.

The sequence of commands shown below illustrates a typical table compression session:

shell> ls -l station.*
-rw-rw-r--   1 monty    my         994128 Apr 17 19:00 station.MYD
-rw-rw-r--   1 monty    my          53248 Apr 17 19:00 station.MYI
-rw-rw-r--   1 monty    my           5767 Apr 17 19:00 station.frm

shell> myisamchk -dvv station

MyISAM file:     station
Isam-version:  2
Creation time: 1996-03-13 10:08:58
Recover time:  1997-02-02  3:06:43
Data records:              1192  Deleted blocks:              0
Datafile: Parts:           1192  Deleted data:                0
Datafile pointer (bytes):     2  Keyfile pointer (bytes):     2
Max datafile length:   54657023  Max keyfile length:   33554431
Recordlength:               834
Record format: Fixed length

table description:
Key Start Len Index   Type                       Root  Blocksize    Rec/key
1   2     4   unique  unsigned long              1024       1024          1
2   32    30  multip. text                      10240       1024          1

Field Start Length Type
1     1     1
2     2     4
3     6     4
4     10    1
5     11    20
6     31    1
7     32    30
8     62    35
9     97    35
10    132   35
11    167   4
12    171   16
13    187   35
14    222   4
15    226   16
16    242   20
17    262   20
18    282   20
19    302   30
20    332   4
21    336   4
22    340   1
23    341   8
24    349   8
25    357   8
26    365   2
27    367   2
28    369   4
29    373   4
30    377   1
31    378   2
32    380   8
33    388   4
34    392   4
35    396   4
36    400   4
37    404   1
38    405   4
39    409   4
40    413   4
41    417   4
42    421   4
43    425   4
44    429   20
45    449   30
46    479   1
47    480   1
48    481   79
49    560   79
50    639   79
51    718   79
52    797   8
53    805   1
54    806   1
55    807   20
56    827   4
57    831   4

shell> myisampack station.MYI
Compressing station.MYI: (1192 records)
- Calculating statistics

normal:     20  empty-space:      16  empty-zero:        12  empty-fill:  11
pre-space:   0  end-space:        12  table-lookups:      5  zero:         7
Original trees:  57  After join: 17
- Compressing file

shell> ls -l station.*
-rw-rw-r--   1 monty    my         127874 Apr 17 19:00 station.MYD
-rw-rw-r--   1 monty    my          55296 Apr 17 19:04 station.MYI
-rw-rw-r--   1 monty    my           5767 Apr 17 19:00 station.frm

shell> myisamchk -dvv station

MyISAM file:     station
Isam-version:  2
Creation time: 1996-03-13 10:08:58
Recover time:  1997-04-17 19:04:26
Data records:              1192  Deleted blocks:              0
Datafile: Parts:           1192  Deleted data:                0
Datafilepointer (bytes):      3  Keyfile pointer (bytes):     1
Max datafile length:   16777215  Max keyfile length:     131071
Recordlength:               834
Record format: Compressed

table description:
Key Start Len Index   Type                       Root  Blocksize    Rec/key
1   2     4   unique  unsigned long             10240       1024          1
2   32    30  multip. text                      54272       1024          1

Field Start Length Type                         Huff tree  Bits
1     1     1      constant                             1     0
2     2     4      zerofill(1)                          2     9
3     6     4      no zeros, zerofill(1)                2     9
4     10    1                                           3     9
5     11    20     table-lookup                         4     0
6     31    1                                           3     9
7     32    30     no endspace, not_always              5     9
8     62    35     no endspace, not_always, no empty    6     9
9     97    35     no empty                             7     9
10    132   35     no endspace, not_always, no empty    6     9
11    167   4      zerofill(1)                          2     9
12    171   16     no endspace, not_always, no empty    5     9
13    187   35     no endspace, not_always, no empty    6     9
14    222   4      zerofill(1)                          2     9
15    226   16     no endspace, not_always, no empty    5     9
16    242   20     no endspace, not_always              8     9
17    262   20     no endspace, no empty                8     9
18    282   20     no endspace, no empty                5     9
19    302   30     no endspace, no empty                6     9
20    332   4      always zero                          2     9
21    336   4      always zero                          2     9
22    340   1                                           3     9
23    341   8      table-lookup                         9     0
24    349   8      table-lookup                        10     0
25    357   8      always zero                          2     9
26    365   2                                           2     9
27    367   2      no zeros, zerofill(1)                2     9
28    369   4      no zeros, zerofill(1)                2     9
29    373   4      table-lookup                        11     0
30    377   1                                           3     9
31    378   2      no zeros, zerofill(1)                2     9
32    380   8      no zeros                             2     9
33    388   4      always zero                          2     9
34    392   4      table-lookup                        12     0
35    396   4      no zeros, zerofill(1)               13     9
36    400   4      no zeros, zerofill(1)                2     9
37    404   1                                           2     9
38    405   4      no zeros                             2     9
39    409   4      always zero                          2     9
40    413   4      no zeros                             2     9
41    417   4      always zero                          2     9
42    421   4      no zeros                             2     9
43    425   4      always zero                          2     9
44    429   20     no empty                             3     9
45    449   30     no empty                             3     9
46    479   1                                          14     4
47    480   1                                          14     4
48    481   79     no endspace, no empty               15     9
49    560   79     no empty                             2     9
50    639   79     no empty                             2     9
51    718   79     no endspace                         16     9
52    797   8      no empty                             2     9
53    805   1                                          17     1
54    806   1                                           3     9
55    807   20     no empty                             3     9
56    827   4      no zeros, zerofill(2)                2     9
57    831   4      no zeros, zerofill(1)                2     9

The information printed by myisampack is described below:

The number of columns for which no extra packing is used.
The number of columns containing values that are only spaces; these will occupy 1 bit.
The number of columns containing values that are only binary 0's; these will occupy 1 bit.
The number of integer columns that don't occupy the full byte range of their type; these are changed to a smaller type (for example, an INTEGER column may be changed to MEDIUMINT).
The number of decimal columns that are stored with leading spaces. In this case, each value will contain a count for the number of leading spaces.
The number of columns that have a lot of trailing spaces. In this case, each value will contain a count for the number of trailing spaces.
The column had only a small number of different values, which were converted to an ENUM before Huffman compression.
The number of columns for which all values are zero.
Original trees
The initial number of Huffman trees.
After join
The number of distinct Huffman trees left after joining trees to save some header space.

After a table has been compressed, myisamchk -dvv prints additional information about each field:

The field type may contain the following descriptors:
All rows have the same value.
no endspace
Don't store endspace.
no endspace, not_always
Don't store endspace and don't do end space compression for all values.
no endspace, no empty
Don't store endspace. Don't store empty values.
The column was converted to an ENUM.
The most significant n bytes in the value are always 0 and are not stored.
no zeros
Don't store zeros.
always zero
0 values are stored in 1 bit.
Huff tree
The Huffman tree associated with the field.
The number of bits used in the Huffman tree.

After you have run pack_isam/myisampack you must run isamchk/myisamchk to re-create the index. At this time you can also sort the index blocks and create statistics needed for the MySQL optimizer to work more efficiently:

myisamchk -rq --analyze --sort-index table_name.MYI
isamchk   -rq --analyze --sort-index table_name.ISM

After you have installed the packed table into the MySQL database directory you should do mysqladmin flush-tables to force mysqld to start using the new table.

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