Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.


7 MySQL Language Reference

MySQL has a very complex, but intuitive and easy to learn SQL interface. This chapter describes the various commands, types, and functions you will need to know in order to use MySQL efficiently and effectively. This chapter also serves as a reference to all functionality included in MySQL. In order to use this chapter effectively, you may find it useful to refer to the various indexes.

7.1 Literals: How to Write Strings and Numbers

This section describes the various ways to write strings and numbers in MySQL. It also covers the various nuances and ``gotchas'' that you may run into when dealing with these basic types in MySQL.

7.1.1 Strings

A string is a sequence of characters, surrounded by either single quote (`'') or double quote (`"') characters (only the single quote if you run in ANSI mode). Examples:

'a string'
"another string"

Within a string, certain sequences have special meaning. Each of these sequences begins with a backslash (`\'), known as the escape character. MySQL recognizes the following escape sequences:

\0
An ASCII 0 (NUL) character.
\'
A single quote (`'') character.
\"
A double quote (`"') character.
\b
A backspace character.
\n
A newline character.
\r
A carriage return character.
\t
A tab character.
\z
ASCII(26) (Control-Z). This character can be encoded to allow you to go around the problem that ASCII(26) stands for END-OF-FILE on Windows. (ASCII(26) will cause problems if you try to use mysql database < filename).
\\
A backslash (`\') character.
\%
A `%' character. This is used to search for literal instances of `%' in contexts where `%' would otherwise be interpreted as a wild-card character. See section 7.4.6 String Comparison Functions.
\_
A `_' character. This is used to search for literal instances of `_' in contexts where `_' would otherwise be interpreted as a wild-card character. See section 7.4.6 String Comparison Functions.

Note that if you use `\%' or `\_' in some string contexts, these will return the strings `\%' and `\_' and not `%' and `_'.

There are several ways to include quotes within a string:

The SELECT statements shown below demonstrate how quoting and escaping work:

mysql> SELECT 'hello', '"hello"', '""hello""', 'hel''lo', '\'hello';
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+
| hello | "hello" | ""hello"" | hel'lo | 'hello |
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+

mysql> SELECT "hello", "'hello'", "''hello''", "hel""lo", "\"hello";
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+
| hello | 'hello' | ''hello'' | hel"lo | "hello |
+-------+---------+-----------+--------+--------+

mysql> SELECT "This\nIs\nFour\nlines";
+--------------------+
| This
Is
Four
lines |
+--------------------+

If you want to insert binary data into a BLOB column, the following characters must be represented by escape sequences:

NUL
ASCII 0. You should represent this by `\0' (a backslash and an ASCII `0' character).
\
ASCII 92, backslash. Represent this by `\\'.
'
ASCII 39, single quote. Represent this by `\''.
"
ASCII 34, double quote. Represent this by `\"'.

If you write C code, you can use the C API function mysql_escape_string() to escape characters for the INSERT statement. See section 24.1.2 C API Function Overview. In Perl, you can use the quote method of the DBI package to convert special characters to the proper escape sequences. See section 24.2.2 The DBI Interface.

You should use an escape function on any string that might contain any of the special characters listed above!

7.1.2 Numbers

Integers are represented as a sequence of digits. Floats use `.' as a decimal separator. Either type of number may be preceded by `-' to indicate a negative value.

Examples of valid integers:

1221
0
-32

Examples of valid floating-point numbers:

294.42
-32032.6809e+10
148.00

An integer may be used in a floating-point context; it is interpreted as the equivalent floating-point number.

7.1.3 Hexadecimal Values

MySQL supports hexadecimal values. In number context these act like an integer (64-bit precision). In string context these act like a binary string where each pair of hex digits is converted to a character:

mysql> SELECT 0xa+0;
       -> 10
mysql> select 0x5061756c;
       -> Paul

Hexadecimal strings are often used by ODBC to give values for BLOB columns.

7.1.4 NULL Values

The NULL value means ``no data'' and is different from values such as 0 for numeric types or the empty string for string types. See section 21.16 Problems with NULL Values.

NULL may be represented by \N when using the text file import or export formats (LOAD DATA INFILE, SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE). See section 7.23 LOAD DATA INFILE Syntax.

7.1.5 Database, Table, Index, Column, and Alias Names

Database, table, index, column, and alias names all follow the same rules in MySQL.

Note that the rules changed starting with MySQL Version 3.23.6 when we introduced quoting of identifiers (database, table, and column names) with ``'. `"' will also work to quote identifiers if you run in ANSI mode. See section 5.2 Running MySQL in ANSI Mode.

Identifier Max length Allowed characters
Database 64 Any character that is allowed in a directory name except `/' or `.'.
Table 64 Any character that is allowed in a file name, except `/' or `.'.
Column 64 All characters.
Alias 255 All characters.

Note that in addition to the above, you can't have ASCII(0) or ASCII(255) or the quoting character in an identifier.

Note that if the identifier is a restricted word or contains special characters you must always quote it with ` when you use it:

SELECT * from `select` where `select`.id > 100;

In previous versions of MySQL, the name rules are as follows:

It is recommended that you do not use names like 1e, because an expression like 1e+1 is ambiguous. It may be interpreted as the expression 1e + 1 or as the number 1e+1.

In MySQL you can refer to a column using any of the following forms:

Column reference Meaning
col_name Column col_name from whichever table used in the query contains a column of that name.
tbl_name.col_name Column col_name from table tbl_name of the current database.
db_name.tbl_name.col_name Column col_name from table tbl_name of the database db_name. This form is available in MySQL Version 3.22 or later.
`column_name` A column that is a keyword or contains special characters.

You need not specify a tbl_name or db_name.tbl_name prefix for a column reference in a statement unless the reference would be ambiguous. For example, suppose tables t1 and t2 each contain a column c, and you retrieve c in a SELECT statement that uses both t1 and t2. In this case, c is ambiguous because it is not unique among the tables used in the statement, so you must indicate which table you mean by writing t1.c or t2.c. Similarly, if you are retrieving from a table t in database db1 and from a table t in database db2, you must refer to columns in those tables as db1.t.col_name and db2.t.col_name.

The syntax .tbl_name means the table tbl_name in the current database. This syntax is accepted for ODBC compatibility, because some ODBC programs prefix table names with a `.' character.

7.1.5.1 Case Sensitivity in Names

In MySQL, databases and tables correspond to directories and files within those directories. Consequently, the case sensitivity of the underlying operating system determines the case sensitivity of database and table names. This means database and table names are case sensitive in Unix and case insensitive in Windows. See section 5.1 MySQL Extensions to ANSI SQL92.

NOTE: Although database and table names are case insensitive for Windows, you should not refer to a given database or table using different cases within the same query. The following query would not work because it refers to a table both as my_table and as MY_TABLE:

mysql> SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE MY_TABLE.col=1;

Column names are case insensitive in all cases.

Aliases on tables are case sensitive. The following query would not work because it refers to the alias both as a and as A:

mysql> SELECT col_name FROM tbl_name AS a
           WHERE a.col_name = 1 OR A.col_name = 2;

Aliases on columns are case insensitive.

If you have a problem remembering the used cases for a table names, adopt a consistent convention, such as always creating databases and tables using lowercase names.

One way to avoid this problem is to start mysqld with -O lower_case_table_names=1. By default this option is 1 on Windows and 0 on Unix.

If lower_case_table_names is 1 MySQL will convert all table names to lower case on storage and lookup. Note that if you change this option, you need to first convert your old table names to lower case before starting mysqld.

7.2 User Variables

MySQL supports thread-specific variables with the @variablename syntax. A variable name may consist of alphanumeric characters from the current character set and also `_', `$', and `.' . The default character set is ISO-8859-1 Latin1; this may be changed with the --default-character-set option to mysqld. See section 10.1.1 The Character Set Used for Data and Sorting.

Variables don't have to be initialized. They contain NULL by default and can store an integer, real, or string value. All variables for a thread are automatically freed when the thread exits.

You can set a variable with the SET syntax:

SET @variable= { integer expression | real expression | string expression }
[,@variable= ...].

You can also set a variable in an expression with the @variable:=expr syntax:

select @t1:=(@t2:=1)+@t3:=4,@t1,@t2,@t3;
+----------------------+------+------+------+
| @t1:=(@t2:=1)+@t3:=4 | @t1  | @t2  | @t3  |
+----------------------+------+------+------+
|                    5 |    5 |    1 |    4 |
+----------------------+------+------+------+

(We had to use the := syntax here, because = was reserved for comparisons.)

User variables may be used where expressions are allowed. Note that this does not currently include use in contexts where a number is explicitly required, such as in the LIMIT clause of a SELECT statement, or the IGNORE number LINES clause of a LOAD DATA statement.

NOTE: In a SELECT statement, each expression is only evaluated when it's sent to the client. This means that in the HAVING, GROUP BY, or ORDER BY clause, you can't refer to an expression that involves variables that are set in the SELECT part. For example, the following statement will NOT work as expected:

SELECT (@aa:=id) AS a, (@aa+3) AS b FROM table_name HAVING b=5;

The reason is that @aa will not contain the value of the current row, but the value of id for the previous accepted row.

7.3 Column Types

MySQL supports a number of column types, which may be grouped into three categories: numeric types, date and time types, and string (character) types. This section first gives an overview of the types available and summarizes the storage requirements for each column type, then provides a more detailed description of the properties of the types in each category. The overview is intentionally brief. The more detailed descriptions should be consulted for additional information about particular column types, such as the allowable formats in which you can specify values.

The column types supported by MySQL are listed below. The following code letters are used in the descriptions:

M
Indicates the maximum display size. The maximum legal display size is 255.
D
Applies to floating-point types and indicates the number of digits following the decimal point. The maximum possible value is 30, but should be no greater than M-2.

Square brackets (`[' and `]') indicate parts of type specifiers that are optional.

Note that if you specify ZEROFILL for a column, MySQL will automatically add the UNSIGNED attribute to the column.

TINYINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A very small integer. The signed range is -128 to 127. The unsigned range is 0 to 255.
SMALLINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A small integer. The signed range is -32768 to 32767. The unsigned range is 0 to 65535.
MEDIUMINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A medium-size integer. The signed range is -8388608 to 8388607. The unsigned range is 0 to 16777215.
INT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A normal-size integer. The signed range is -2147483648 to 2147483647. The unsigned range is 0 to 4294967295.
INTEGER[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
This is a synonym for INT.
BIGINT[(M)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
A large integer. The signed range is -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807. The unsigned range is 0 to 18446744073709551615. Some things you should be aware about BIGINT columns:
FLOAT(precision) [ZEROFILL]
A floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. precision can be <=24 for a single-precision floating-point number and between 25 and 53 for a double-precision floating-point number. These types are like the FLOAT and DOUBLE types described immediately below. FLOAT(X) has the same range as the corresponding FLOAT and DOUBLE types, but the display size and number of decimals is undefined. In MySQL Version 3.23, this is a true floating-point value. In earlier MySQL versions, FLOAT(precision) always has 2 decimals. Note that using FLOAT may give you some unexpected problems as all calculation in MySQL is done with double precision. See section 21.19 Solving Problems with No Matching Rows. This syntax is provided for ODBC compatibility.
FLOAT[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
A small (single-precision) floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. Allowable values are -3.402823466E+38 to -1.175494351E-38, 0, and 1.175494351E-38 to 3.402823466E+38. The M is the display width and D is the number of decimals. FLOAT without an argument or with an argument of <= 24 stands for a single-precision floating-point number.
DOUBLE[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
A normal-size (double-precision) floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. Allowable values are -1.7976931348623157E+308 to -2.2250738585072014E-308, 0, and 2.2250738585072014E-308 to 1.7976931348623157E+308. The M is the display width and D is the number of decimals. DOUBLE without an argument or FLOAT(X) where 25 <= X <= 53 stands for a double-precision floating-point number.
DOUBLE PRECISION[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
REAL[(M,D)] [ZEROFILL]
These are synonyms for DOUBLE.
DECIMAL[(M[,D])] [ZEROFILL]
An unpacked floating-point number. Cannot be unsigned. Behaves like a CHAR column: ``unpacked'' means the number is stored as a string, using one character for each digit of the value. The decimal point and, for negative numbers, the `-' sign, are not counted in M (but space for these are reserved). If D is 0, values will have no decimal point or fractional part. The maximum range of DECIMAL values is the same as for DOUBLE, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL column may be constrained by the choice of M and D. If D is left out it's set to 0. If M is left out it's set to 10. Note that in MySQL Version 3.22 the M argument had to includes the space needed for the sign and the decimal point.
NUMERIC(M,D) [ZEROFILL]
This is a synonym for DECIMAL.
DATE
A date. The supported range is '1000-01-01' to '9999-12-31'. MySQL displays DATE values in 'YYYY-MM-DD' format, but allows you to assign values to DATE columns using either strings or numbers. See section 7.3.3.2 The DATETIME, DATE, and TIMESTAMP Types.
DATETIME
A date and time combination. The supported range is '1000-01-01 00:00:00' to '9999-12-31 23:59:59'. MySQL displays DATETIME values in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' format, but allows you to assign values to DATETIME columns using either strings or numbers. See section 7.3.3.2 The DATETIME, DATE, and TIMESTAMP Types.
TIMESTAMP[(M)]
A timestamp. The range is '1970-01-01 00:00:00' to sometime in the year 2037. MySQL displays TIMESTAMP values in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS, YYMMDDHHMMSS, YYYYMMDD, or YYMMDD format, depending on whether M is 14 (or missing), 12, 8, or 6, but allows you to assign values to TIMESTAMP columns using either strings or numbers. A TIMESTAMP column is useful for recording the date and time of an INSERT or UPDATE operation because it is automatically set to the date and time of the most recent operation if you don't give it a value yourself. You can also set it to the current date and time by assigning it a NULL value. See section 7.3.3 Date and Time Types. A TIMESTAMP is always stored in 4 bytes. The M argument only affects how the TIMESTAMP column is displayed. Note that TIMESTAMP(X) columns where X is 8 or 14 are reported to be numbers while other TIMESTAMP(X) columns are reported to be strings. This is just to ensure that one can reliably dump and restore the table with these types! See section 7.3.3.2 The DATETIME, DATE, and TIMESTAMP Types.
TIME
A time. The range is '-838:59:59' to '838:59:59'. MySQL displays TIME values in 'HH:MM:SS' format, but allows you to assign values to TIME columns using either strings or numbers. See section 7.3.3.3 The TIME Type.
YEAR[(2|4)]
A year in 2- or 4-digit format (default is 4-digit). The allowable values are 1901 to 2155, 0000 in the 4-digit year format, and 1970-2069 if you use the 2-digit format (70-69). MySQL displays YEAR values in YYYY format, but allows you to assign values to YEAR columns using either strings or numbers. (The YEAR type is new in MySQL Version 3.22.). See section 7.3.3.4 The YEAR Type.
[NATIONAL] CHAR(M) [BINARY]
A fixed-length string that is always right-padded with spaces to the specified length when stored. The range of M is 1 to 255 characters. Trailing spaces are removed when the value is retrieved. CHAR values are sorted and compared in case-insensitive fashion according to the default character set unless the BINARY keyword is given. NATIONAL CHAR (short form NCHAR) is the ANSI SQL way to define that a CHAR column should use the default CHARACTER set. This is the default in MySQL. CHAR is a shorthand for CHARACTER. MySQL allows you to create a column of type CHAR(0). This is mainly useful when you have to be compliant with some old applications that depend on the existence of a column but that do not actually use the value. This is also quite nice when you need a column that only can take 2 values: A CHAR(0), that is not defined as NOT NULL, will only occupy one bit and can only take 2 values: NULL or "". See section 7.3.4.1 The CHAR and VARCHAR Types.
[NATIONAL] VARCHAR(M) [BINARY]
A variable-length string. NOTE: Trailing spaces are removed when the value is stored (this differs from the ANSI SQL specification). The range of M is 1 to 255 characters. VARCHAR values are sorted and compared in case-insensitive fashion unless the BINARY keyword is given. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes. VARCHAR is a shorthand for CHARACTER VARYING. See section 7.3.4.1 The CHAR and VARCHAR Types.
TINYBLOB
TINYTEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 255 (2^8 - 1) characters. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes. See section 7.3.4.2 The BLOB and TEXT Types.
BLOB
TEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 65535 (2^16 - 1) characters. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes. See section 7.3.4.2 The BLOB and TEXT Types.
MEDIUMBLOB
MEDIUMTEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 16777215 (2^24 - 1) characters. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes. See section 7.3.4.2 The BLOB and TEXT Types.
LONGBLOB
LONGTEXT
A BLOB or TEXT column with a maximum length of 4294967295 (2^32 - 1) characters. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes. Note that because the server/client protocol and MyISAM tables has currently a limit of 16M per communication packet / table row, you can't yet use this the whole range of this type. See section 7.3.4.2 The BLOB and TEXT Types.
ENUM('value1','value2',...)
An enumeration. A string object that can have only one value, chosen from the list of values 'value1', 'value2', ..., NULL or the special "" error value. An ENUM can have a maximum of 65535 distinct values. See section 7.3.4.3 The ENUM Type.
SET('value1','value2',...)
A set. A string object that can have zero or more values, each of which must be chosen from the list of values 'value1', 'value2', ... A SET can have a maximum of 64 members. See section 7.3.4.4 The SET Type.

7.3.1 Column Type Storage Requirements

The storage requirements for each of the column types supported by MySQL are listed below by category.

7.3.1.1 Storage requirements for numeric types

Column type Storage required
TINYINT 1 byte
SMALLINT 2 bytes
MEDIUMINT 3 bytes
INT 4 bytes
INTEGER 4 bytes
BIGINT 8 bytes
FLOAT(X) 4 if X <= 24 or 8 if 25 <= X <= 53
FLOAT 4 bytes
DOUBLE 8 bytes
DOUBLE PRECISION 8 bytes
REAL 8 bytes
DECIMAL(M,D) M+2 bytes if D > 0, M+1 bytes if D = 0 (D+2, if M < D)
NUMERIC(M,D) M+2 bytes if D > 0, M+1 bytes if D = 0 (D+2, if M < D)

7.3.1.2 Storage requirements for date and time types

Column type Storage required
DATE 3 bytes
DATETIME 8 bytes
TIMESTAMP 4 bytes
TIME 3 bytes
YEAR 1 byte

7.3.1.3 Storage requirements for string types

Column type Storage required
CHAR(M) M bytes, 1 <= M <= 255
VARCHAR(M) L+1 bytes, where L <= M and 1 <= M <= 255
TINYBLOB, TINYTEXT L+1 bytes, where L < 2^8
BLOB, TEXT L+2 bytes, where L < 2^16
MEDIUMBLOB, MEDIUMTEXT L+3 bytes, where L < 2^24
LONGBLOB, LONGTEXT L+4 bytes, where L < 2^32
ENUM('value1','value2',...) 1 or 2 bytes, depending on the number of enumeration values (65535 values maximum)
SET('value1','value2',...) 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 bytes, depending on the number of set members (64 members maximum)

VARCHAR and the BLOB and TEXT types are variable-length types, for which the storage requirements depend on the actual length of column values (represented by L in the preceding table), rather than on the type's maximum possible size. For example, a VARCHAR(10) column can hold a string with a maximum length of 10 characters. The actual storage required is the length of the string (L), plus 1 byte to record the length of the string. For the string 'abcd', L is 4 and the storage requirement is 5 bytes.

The BLOB and TEXT types require 1, 2, 3, or 4 bytes to record the length of the column value, depending on the maximum possible length of the type. See section 7.3.4.2 The BLOB and TEXT Types.

If a table includes any variable-length column types, the record format will also be variable-length. Note that when a table is created, MySQL may, under certain conditions, change a column from a variable-length type to a fixed-length type, or vice-versa. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes.

The size of an ENUM object is determined by the number of different enumeration values. One byte is used for enumerations with up to 255 possible values. Two bytes are used for enumerations with up to 65535 values. See section 7.3.4.3 The ENUM Type.

The size of a SET object is determined by the number of different set members. If the set size is N, the object occupies (N+7)/8 bytes, rounded up to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 bytes. A SET can have a maximum of 64 members. See section 7.3.4.4 The SET Type.

7.3.2 Numeric Types

MySQL supports all of the ANSI/ISO SQL92 numeric types. These types include the exact numeric data types (NUMERIC, DECIMAL, INTEGER, and SMALLINT), as well as the approximate numeric data types (FLOAT, REAL, and DOUBLE PRECISION). The keyword INT is a synonym for INTEGER, and the keyword DEC is a synonym for DECIMAL.

The NUMERIC and DECIMAL types are implemented as the same type by MySQL, as permitted by the SQL92 standard. They are used for values for which it is important to preserve exact precision, for example with monetary data. When declaring a column of one of these types the precision and scale can be (and usually is) specified; for example:

    salary DECIMAL(9,2)

In this example, 9 (precision) represents the number of significant decimal digits that will be stored for values, and 2 (scale) represents the number of digits that will be stored following the decimal point. In this case, therefore, the range of values that can be stored in the salary column is from -9999999.99 to 9999999.99. In ANSI/ISO SQL92, the syntax DECIMAL(p) is equivalent to DECIMAL(p,0). Similarly, the syntax DECIMAL is equivalent to DECIMAL(p,0), where the implementation is allowed to decide the value of p. MySQL does not currently support either of these variant forms of the DECIMAL/NUMERIC data types. This is not generally a serious problem, as the principal benefits of these types derive from the ability to control both precision and scale explicitly.

DECIMAL and NUMERIC values are stored as strings, rather than as binary floating-point numbers, in order to preserve the decimal precision of those values. One character is used for each digit of the value, the decimal point (if scale > 0), and the `-' sign (for negative numbers). If scale is 0, DECIMAL and NUMERIC values contain no decimal point or fractional part.

The maximum range of DECIMAL and NUMERIC values is the same as for DOUBLE, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL or NUMERIC column can be constrained by the precision or scale for a given column. When such a column is assigned a value with more digits following the decimal point than are allowed by the specified scale, the value is rounded to that scale. When a DECIMAL or NUMERIC column is assigned a value whose magnitude exceeds the range implied by the specified (or defaulted) precision and scale, MySQL stores the value representing the corresponding end point of that range.

As an extension to the ANSI/ISO SQL92 standard, MySQL also supports the integral types TINYINT, MEDIUMINT, and BIGINT as listed in the tables above. Another extension is supported by MySQL for optionally specifying the display width of an integral value in parentheses following the base keyword for the type (for example, INT(4)). This optional width specification is used to left-pad the display of values whose width is less than the width specified for the column, but does not constrain the range of values that can be stored in the column, nor the number of digits that will be displayed for values whose width exceeds that specified for the column. When used in conjunction with the optional extension attribute ZEROFILL, the default padding of spaces is replaced with zeroes. For example, for a column declared as INT(5) ZEROFILL, a value of 4 is retrieved as 00004. Note that if you store larger values than the display width in an integer column, you may experience problems when MySQL generates temporary tables for some complicated joins, as in these cases MySQL trusts that the data did fit into the original column width.

All integral types can have an optional (non-standard) attribute UNSIGNED. Unsigned values can be used when you want to allow only positive numbers in a column and you need a little bigger numeric range for the column.

The FLOAT type is used to represent approximate numeric data types. The ANSI/ISO SQL92 standard allows an optional specification of the precision (but not the range of the exponent) in bits following the keyword FLOAT in parentheses. The MySQL implementation also supports this optional precision specification. When the keyword FLOAT is used for a column type without a precision specification, MySQL uses four bytes to store the values. A variant syntax is also supported, with two numbers given in parentheses following the FLOAT keyword. With this option, the first number continues to represent the storage requirements for the value in bytes, and the second number specifies the number of digits to be stored and displayed following the decimal point (as with DECIMAL and NUMERIC). When MySQL is asked to store a number for such a column with more decimal digits following the decimal point than specified for the column, the value is rounded to eliminate the extra digits when the value is stored.

The REAL and DOUBLE PRECISION types do not accept precision specifications. As an extension to the ANSI/ISO SQL92 standard, MySQL recognizes DOUBLE as a synonym for the DOUBLE PRECISION type. In contrast with the standard's requirement that the precision for REAL be smaller than that used for DOUBLE PRECISION, MySQL implements both as 8-byte double-precision floating-point values (when not running in ``ANSI mode''). For maximum portability, code requiring storage of approximate numeric data values should use FLOAT or DOUBLE PRECISION with no specification of precision or number of decimal points.

When asked to store a value in a numeric column that is outside the column type's allowable range, MySQL clips the value to the appropriate endpoint of the range and stores the resulting value instead.

For example, the range of an INT column is -2147483648 to 2147483647. If you try to insert -9999999999 into an INT column, the value is clipped to the lower endpoint of the range, and -2147483648 is stored instead. Similarly, if you try to insert 9999999999, 2147483647 is stored instead.

If the INT column is UNSIGNED, the size of the column's range is the same but its endpoints shift up to 0 and 4294967295. If you try to store -9999999999 and 9999999999, the values stored in the column become 0 and 4294967296.

Conversions that occur due to clipping are reported as ``warnings'' for ALTER TABLE, LOAD DATA INFILE, UPDATE, and multi-row INSERT statements.

7.3.3 Date and Time Types

The date and time types are DATETIME, DATE, TIMESTAMP, TIME, and YEAR. Each of these has a range of legal values, as well as a ``zero'' value that is used when you specify a really illegal value. Note that MySQL allows you to store certain 'not strictly' legal date values, for example 1999-11-31. The reason for this is that we think it's the responsibility of the application to handle date checking, not the SQL servers. To make the date checking 'fast', MySQL only checks that the month is in the range of 0-12 and the day is in the range of 0-31. The above ranges are defined this way because MySQL allows you to store, in a DATE or DATETIME column, dates where the day or month-day is zero. This is extremely useful for applications that need to store a birth-date for which you don't know the exact date. In this case you simply store the date like 1999-00-00 or 1999-01-00. (You cannot expect to get a correct value from functions like DATE_SUB() or DATE_ADD for dates like these.)

Here are some general considerations to keep in mind when working with date and time types:

7.3.3.1 Y2K Issues and Date Types

MySQL itself is Y2K-safe (see section 1.8 Year 2000 Compliance), but input values presented to MySQL may not be. Any input containing 2-digit year values is ambiguous, because the century is unknown. Such values must be interpreted into 4-digit form because MySQL stores years internally using four digits.

For DATETIME, DATE, TIMESTAMP, and YEAR types, MySQL interprets dates with ambiguous year values using the following rules:

Remember that these rules provide only reasonable guesses as to what your data mean. If the heuristics used by MySQL don't produce the correct values, you should provide unambiguous input containing 4-digit year values.

ORDER BY will sort 2-digit YEAR/DATE/DATETIME types properly.

Note also that some functions like MIN() and MAX() will convert a TIMESTAMP/DATE to a number. This means that a timestamp with a 2-digit year will not work properly with these functions. The fix in this case is to convert the TIMESTAMP/DATE to 4-digit year format or use something like MIN(DATE_ADD(timestamp,INTERVAL 0 DAYS)).

7.3.3.2 The DATETIME, DATE, and TIMESTAMP Types

The DATETIME, DATE, and TIMESTAMP types are related. This section describes their characteristics, how they are similar, and how they differ.

The DATETIME type is used when you need values that contain both date and time information. MySQL retrieves and displays DATETIME values in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' format. The supported range is '1000-01-01 00:00:00' to '9999-12-31 23:59:59'. (``Supported'' means that although earlier values might work, there is no guarantee that they will.)

The DATE type is used when you need only a date value, without a time part. MySQL retrieves and displays DATE values in 'YYYY-MM-DD' format. The supported range is '1000-01-01' to '9999-12-31'.

The TIMESTAMP column type provides a type that you can use to automatically mark INSERT or UPDATE operations with the current date and time. If you have multiple TIMESTAMP columns, only the first one is updated automatically.

Automatic updating of the first TIMESTAMP column occurs under any of the following conditions:

TIMESTAMP columns other than the first may also be set to the current date and time. Just set the column to NULL or to NOW().

You can set any TIMESTAMP column to a value different than the current date and time by setting it explicitly to the desired value. This is true even for the first TIMESTAMP column. You can use this property if, for example, you want a TIMESTAMP to be set to the current date and time when you create a row, but not to be changed whenever the row is updated later:

On the other hand, you may find it just as easy to use a DATETIME column that you initialize to NOW() when the row is created and leave alone for subsequent updates.

TIMESTAMP values may range from the beginning of 1970 to sometime in the year 2037, with a resolution of one second. Values are displayed as numbers.

The format in which MySQL retrieves and displays TIMESTAMP values depends on the display size, as illustrated by the table below. The `full' TIMESTAMP format is 14 digits, but TIMESTAMP columns may be created with shorter display sizes:

Column type Display format
TIMESTAMP(14) YYYYMMDDHHMMSS
TIMESTAMP(12) YYMMDDHHMMSS
TIMESTAMP(10) YYMMDDHHMM
TIMESTAMP(8) YYYYMMDD
TIMESTAMP(6) YYMMDD
TIMESTAMP(4) YYMM
TIMESTAMP(2) YY

All TIMESTAMP columns have the same storage size, regardless of display size. The most common display sizes are 6, 8, 12, and 14. You can specify an arbitrary display size at table creation time, but values of 0 or greater than 14 are coerced to 14. Odd-valued sizes in the range from 1 to 13 are coerced to the next higher even number.

You can specify DATETIME, DATE, and TIMESTAMP values using any of a common set of formats:

Illegal DATETIME, DATE, or TIMESTAMP values are converted to the ``zero'' value of the appropriate type ('0000-00-00 00:00:00', '0000-00-00', or 00000000000000).

For values specified as strings that include date part delimiters, it is not necessary to specify two digits for month or day values that are less than 10. '1979-6-9' is the same as '1979-06-09'. Similarly, for values specified as strings that include time part delimiters, it is not necessary to specify two digits for hour, month, or second values that are less than 10. '1979-10-30 1:2:3' is the same as '1979-10-30 01:02:03'.

Values specified as numbers should be 6, 8, 12, or 14 digits long. If the number is 8 or 14 digits long, it is assumed to be in YYYYMMDD or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format and that the year is given by the first 4 digits. If the number is 6 or 12 digits long, it is assumed to be in YYMMDD or YYMMDDHHMMSS format and that the year is given by the first 2 digits. Numbers that are not one of these lengths are interpreted as though padded with leading zeros to the closest length.

Values specified as non-delimited strings are interpreted using their length as given. If the string is 8 or 14 characters long, the year is assumed to be given by the first 4 characters. Otherwise the year is assumed to be given by the first 2 characters. The string is interpreted from left to right to find year, month, day, hour, minute, and second values, for as many parts as are present in the string. This means you should not use strings that have fewer than 6 characters. For example, if you specify '9903', thinking that will represent March, 1999, you will find that MySQL inserts a ``zero'' date into your table. This is because the year and month values are 99 and 03, but the day part is missing (zero), so the value is not a legal date.

TIMESTAMP columns store legal values using the full precision with which the value was specified, regardless of the display size. This has several implications:

You can to some extent assign values of one date type to an object of a different date type. However, there may be some alteration of the value or loss of information:

Be aware of certain pitfalls when specifying date values:

7.3.3.3 The TIME Type

MySQL retrieves and displays TIME values in 'HH:MM:SS' format (or 'HHH:MM:SS' format for large hours values). TIME values may range from '-838:59:59' to '838:59:59'. The reason the hours part may be so large is that the TIME type may be used not only to represent a time of day (which must be less than 24 hours), but also elapsed time or a time interval between two events (which may be much greater than 24 hours, or even negative).

You can specify TIME values in a variety of formats:

For TIME values specified as strings that include a time part delimiter, it is not necessary to specify two digits for hours, minutes, or seconds values that are less than 10. '8:3:2' is the same as '08:03:02'.

Be careful about assigning ``short'' TIME values to a TIME column. Without semicolon, MySQL interprets values using the assumption that the rightmost digits represent seconds. (MySQL interprets TIME values as elapsed time rather than as time of day.) For example, you might think of '1112' and 1112 as meaning '11:12:00' (12 minutes after 11 o'clock), but MySQL interprets them as '00:11:12' (11 minutes, 12 seconds). Similarly, '12' and 12 are interpreted as '00:00:12'. TIME values with semicolon, instead, are always treated as time of the day. That is '11:12' will mean '11:12:00', not '00:11:12'.

Values that lie outside the TIME range but are otherwise legal are clipped to the appropriate endpoint of the range. For example, '-850:00:00' and '850:00:00' are converted to '-838:59:59' and '838:59:59'.

Illegal TIME values are converted to '00:00:00'. Note that because '00:00:00' is itself a legal TIME value, there is no way to tell, from a value of '00:00:00' stored in a table, whether the original value was specified as '00:00:00' or whether it was illegal.

7.3.3.4 The YEAR Type

The YEAR type is a 1-byte type used for representing years.

MySQL retrieves and displays YEAR values in YYYY format. The range is 1901 to 2155.

You can specify YEAR values in a variety of formats:

Illegal YEAR values are converted to 0000.

7.3.4 String Types

The string types are CHAR, VARCHAR, BLOB, TEXT, ENUM, and SET. This section describes how these types work, their storage requirements, and how to use them in your queries.

7.3.4.1 The CHAR and VARCHAR Types

The CHAR and VARCHAR types are similar, but differ in the way they are stored and retrieved.

The length of a CHAR column is fixed to the length that you declare when you create the table. The length can be any value between 1 and 255. (As of MySQL Version 3.23, the length of CHAR may be 0 to 255.) When CHAR values are stored, they are right-padded with spaces to the specified length. When CHAR values are retrieved, trailing spaces are removed.

Values in VARCHAR columns are variable-length strings. You can declare a VARCHAR column to be any length between 1 and 255, just as for CHAR columns. However, in contrast to CHAR, VARCHAR values are stored using only as many characters as are needed, plus one byte to record the length. Values are not padded; instead, trailing spaces are removed when values are stored. (This space removal differs from the ANSI SQL specification.)

If you assign a value to a CHAR or VARCHAR column that exceeds the column's maximum length, the value is truncated to fit.

The table below illustrates the differences between the two types of columns by showing the result of storing various string values into CHAR(4) and VARCHAR(4) columns:

Value CHAR(4) Storage required VARCHAR(4) Storage required
'' ' ' 4 bytes '' 1 byte
'ab' 'ab ' 4 bytes 'ab' 3 bytes
'abcd' 'abcd' 4 bytes 'abcd' 5 bytes
'abcdefgh' 'abcd' 4 bytes 'abcd' 5 bytes

The values retrieved from the CHAR(4) and VARCHAR(4) columns will be the same in each case, because trailing spaces are removed from CHAR columns upon retrieval.

Values in CHAR and VARCHAR columns are sorted and compared in case-insensitive fashion, unless the BINARY attribute was specified when the table was created. The BINARY attribute means that column values are sorted and compared in case-sensitive fashion according to the ASCII order of the machine where the MySQL server is running. BINARY doesn't affect how the column is stored or retrieved.

The BINARY attribute is sticky. This means that if a column marked BINARY is used in an expression, the whole expression is compared as a BINARY value.

MySQL may silently change the type of a CHAR or VARCHAR column at table creation time. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes.

7.3.4.2 The BLOB and TEXT Types

A BLOB is a binary large object that can hold a variable amount of data. The four BLOB types TINYBLOB, BLOB, MEDIUMBLOB, and LONGBLOB differ only in the maximum length of the values they can hold. See section 7.3.1 Column Type Storage Requirements.

The four TEXT types TINYTEXT, TEXT, MEDIUMTEXT, and LONGTEXT correspond to the four BLOB types and have the same maximum lengths and storage requirements. The only difference between BLOB and TEXT types is that sorting and comparison is performed in case-sensitive fashion for BLOB values and case-insensitive fashion for TEXT values. In other words, a TEXT is a case-insensitive BLOB.

If you assign a value to a BLOB or TEXT column that exceeds the column type's maximum length, the value is truncated to fit.

In most respects, you can regard a TEXT column as a VARCHAR column that can be as big as you like. Similarly, you can regard a BLOB column as a VARCHAR BINARY column. The differences are:

MyODBC defines BLOB values as LONGVARBINARY and TEXT values as LONGVARCHAR.

Because BLOB and TEXT values may be extremely long, you may run up against some constraints when using them:

Note that each BLOB or TEXT value is represented internally by a separately allocated object. This is in contrast to all other column types, for which storage is allocated once per column when the table is opened.

7.3.4.3 The ENUM Type

An ENUM is a string object whose value normally is chosen from a list of allowed values that are enumerated explicitly in the column specification at table creation time.

The value may also be the empty string ("") or NULL under certain circumstances:

Each enumeration value has an index:

For example, a column specified as ENUM("one", "two", "three") can have any of the values shown below. The index of each value is also shown:

Value Index
NULL NULL
"" 0
"one" 1
"two" 2
"three" 3

An enumeration can have a maximum of 65535 elements.

Lettercase is irrelevant when you assign values to an ENUM column. However, values retrieved from the column later have lettercase matching the values that were used to specify the allowable values at table creation time.

If you retrieve an ENUM in a numeric context, the column value's index is returned. For example, you can retrieve numeric values from an ENUM column like this:

mysql> SELECT enum_col+0 FROM tbl_name;

If you store a number into an ENUM, the number is treated as an index, and the value stored is the enumeration member with that index. (However, this will not work with LOAD DATA, which treats all input as strings.)

ENUM values are sorted according to the order in which the enumeration members were listed in the column specification. (In other words, ENUM values are sorted according to their index numbers.) For example, "a" sorts before "b" for ENUM("a", "b"), but "b" sorts before "a" for ENUM("b", "a"). The empty string sorts before non-empty strings, and NULL values sort before all other enumeration values.

If you want to get all possible values for an ENUM column, you should use: SHOW COLUMNS FROM table_name LIKE enum_column_name and parse the ENUM definition in the second column.

7.3.4.4 The SET Type

A SET is a string object that can have zero or more values, each of which must be chosen from a list of allowed values specified when the table is created. SET column values that consist of multiple set members are specified with members separated by commas (`,'). A consequence of this is that SET member values cannot themselves contain commas.

For example, a column specified as SET("one", "two") NOT NULL can have any of these values:

""
"one"
"two"
"one,two"

A SET can have a maximum of 64 different members.

MySQL stores SET values numerically, with the low-order bit of the stored value corresponding to the first set member. If you retrieve a SET value in a numeric context, the value retrieved has bits set corresponding to the set members that make up the column value. For example, you can retrieve numeric values from a SET column like this:

mysql> SELECT set_col+0 FROM tbl_name;

If a number is stored into a SET column, the bits that are set in the binary representation of the number determine the set members in the column value. Suppose a column is specified as SET("a","b","c","d"). Then the members have the following bit values:

SET member Decimal value Binary value
a 1 0001
b 2 0010
c 4 0100
d 8 1000

If you assign a value of 9 to this column, that is 1001 in binary, so the first and fourth SET value members "a" and "d" are selected and the resulting value is "a,d".

For a value containing more than one SET element, it does not matter what order the elements are listed in when you insert the value. It also does not matter how many times a given element is listed in the value. When the value is retrieved later, each element in the value will appear once, with elements listed according to the order in which they were specified at table creation time. For example, if a column is specified as SET("a","b","c","d"), then "a,d", "d,a", and "d,a,a,d,d" will all appear as "a,d" when retrieved.

SET values are sorted numerically. NULL values sort before non-NULL SET values.

Normally, you perform a SELECT on a SET column using the LIKE operator or the FIND_IN_SET() function:

mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE set_col LIKE '%value%';
mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE FIND_IN_SET('value',set_col)>0;

But the following will also work:

mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE set_col = 'val1,val2';
mysql> SELECT * FROM tbl_name WHERE set_col & 1;

The first of these statements looks for an exact match. The second looks for values containing the first set member.

If you want to get all possible values for a SET column, you should use: SHOW COLUMNS FROM table_name LIKE set_column_name and parse the SET definition in the second column.

7.3.5 Choosing the Right Type for a Column

For the most efficient use of storage, try to use the most precise type in all cases. For example, if an integer column will be used for values in the range between 1 and 99999, MEDIUMINT UNSIGNED is the best type.

Accurate representation of monetary values is a common problem. In MySQL, you should use the DECIMAL type. This is stored as a string, so no loss of accuracy should occur. If accuracy is not too important, the DOUBLE type may also be good enough.

For high precision, you can always convert to a fixed-point type stored in a BIGINT. This allows you to do all calculations with integers and convert results back to floating-point values only when necessary.

7.3.6 Column Indexes

All MySQL column types can be indexed. Use of indexes on the relevant columns is the best way to improve the performance of SELECT operations.

The maximum number of keys and the maximum index length is defined per table handler. See section 8 MySQL Table Types. You can with all table handlers have at least 16 keys and a total index length of at least 256 bytes.

For CHAR and VARCHAR columns, you can index a prefix of a column. This is much faster and requires less disk space than indexing the whole column. The syntax to use in the CREATE TABLE statement to index a column prefix looks like this:

KEY index_name (col_name(length))

The example below creates an index for the first 10 characters of the name column:

mysql> CREATE TABLE test (
           name CHAR(200) NOT NULL,
           KEY index_name (name(10)));

For BLOB and TEXT columns, you must index a prefix of the column. You cannot index the entire column.

In MySQL Version 3.23.23 or later, you can also create special FULLTEXT indexes. They are used for full-text search. Only the MyISAM table type supports FULLTEXT indexes. They can be created only from VARCHAR and TEXT columns. Indexing always happens over the entire column and partial indexing is not supported. See section 12 MySQL Full-text Search for details.

7.3.7 Multiple-column Indexes

MySQL can create indexes on multiple columns. An index may consist of up to 15 columns. (On CHAR and VARCHAR columns you can also use a prefix of the column as a part of an index).

A multiple-column index can be considered a sorted array containing values that are created by concatenating the values of the indexed columns.

MySQL uses multiple-column indexes in such a way that queries are fast when you specify a known quantity for the first column of the index in a WHERE clause, even if you don't specify values for the other columns.

Suppose a table is created using the following specification:

mysql> CREATE TABLE test (
           id INT NOT NULL,
           last_name CHAR(30) NOT NULL,
           first_name CHAR(30) NOT NULL,
           PRIMARY KEY (id),
           INDEX name (last_name,first_name));

Then the index name is an index over last_name and first_name. The index will be used for queries that specify values in a known range for last_name, or for both last_name and first_name. Therefore, the name index will be used in the following queries:

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius";

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          AND first_name="Michael";

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          AND (first_name="Michael" OR first_name="Monty");

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          AND first_name >="M" AND first_name < "N";

However, the name index will NOT be used in the following queries:

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE first_name="Michael";

mysql> SELECT * FROM test WHERE last_name="Widenius"
                          OR first_name="Michael";

For more information on the manner in which MySQL uses indexes to improve query performance, see section 13.4 How MySQL Uses Indexes.

7.3.8 Using Column Types from Other Database Engines

To make it easier to use code written for SQL implementations from other vendors, MySQL maps column types as shown in the table below. These mappings make it easier to move table definitions from other database engines to MySQL:

Other vendor type MySQL type
BINARY(NUM) CHAR(NUM) BINARY
CHAR VARYING(NUM) VARCHAR(NUM)
FLOAT4 FLOAT
FLOAT8 DOUBLE
INT1 TINYINT
INT2 SMALLINT
INT3 MEDIUMINT
INT4 INT
INT8 BIGINT
LONG VARBINARY MEDIUMBLOB
LONG VARCHAR MEDIUMTEXT
MIDDLEINT MEDIUMINT
VARBINARY(NUM) VARCHAR(NUM) BINARY

Column type mapping occurs at table creation time. If you create a table with types used by other vendors and then issue a DESCRIBE tbl_name statement, MySQL reports the table structure using the equivalent MySQL types.

7.4 Functions for Use in SELECT and WHERE Clauses

A select_expression or where_definition in a SQL statement can consist of any expression using the functions described below.

An expression that contains NULL always produces a NULL value unless otherwise indicated in the documentation for the operators and functions involved in the expression.

NOTE: There must be no whitespace between a function name and the parenthesis following it. This helps the MySQL parser distinguish between function calls and references to tables or columns that happen to have the same name as a function. Spaces around arguments are permitted, though.

You can force MySQL to accept spaces after the function name by starting mysqld with --ansi or using the CLIENT_IGNORE_SPACE to mysql_connect(), but in this case all function names will become reserved words. See section 5.2 Running MySQL in ANSI Mode.

For the sake of brevity, examples display the output from the mysql program in abbreviated form. So this:

mysql> select MOD(29,9);
1 rows in set (0.00 sec)

+-----------+
| mod(29,9) |
+-----------+
|         2 |
+-----------+

is displayed like this:

mysql> select MOD(29,9);
        -> 2

7.4.1 Grouping Functions

( ... )
Parentheses. Use these to force the order of evaluation in an expression:
mysql> select 1+2*3;
        -> 7
mysql> select (1+2)*3;
        -> 9

7.4.2 Normal Arithmetic Operations

The usual arithmetic operators are available. Note that in the case of `-', `+', and `*', the result is calculated with BIGINT (64-bit) precision if both arguments are integers!

+
Addition:
mysql> select 3+5;
        -> 8
-
Subtraction:
mysql> select 3-5;
        -> -2
*
Multiplication:
mysql> select 3*5;
        -> 15
mysql> select 18014398509481984*18014398509481984.0;
        -> 324518553658426726783156020576256.0
mysql> select 18014398509481984*18014398509481984;
        -> 0
The result of the last expression is incorrect because the result of the integer multiplication exceeds the 64-bit range of BIGINT calculations.
/
Division:
mysql> select 3/5;
        -> 0.60
Division by zero produces a NULL result:
mysql> select 102/(1-1);
        -> NULL
A division will be calculated with BIGINT arithmetic only if performed in a context where its result is converted to an integer!

7.4.3 Bit Functions

MySQL uses BIGINT (64-bit) arithmetic for bit operations, so these operators have a maximum range of 64 bits.

|
Bitwise OR:
mysql> select 29 | 15;
        -> 31
&
Bitwise AND:
mysql> select 29 & 15;
        -> 13
<<
Shifts a longlong (BIGINT) number to the left:
mysql> select 1 << 2;
        -> 4
>>
Shifts a longlong (BIGINT) number to the right:
mysql> select 4 >> 2;
        -> 1
~
Invert all bits:
mysql> select 5 & ~1;
        -> 4
BIT_COUNT(N)
Returns the number of bits that are set in the argument N:
mysql> select BIT_COUNT(29);
        -> 4

7.4.4 Logical Operations

All logical functions return 1 (TRUE), 0 (FALSE) or NULL (unknown, which is in most cases the same as FALSE):

NOT
!
Logical NOT. Returns 1 if the argument is 0, otherwise returns 0. Exception: NOT NULL returns NULL:
mysql> select NOT 1;
        -> 0
mysql> select NOT NULL;
        -> NULL
mysql> select ! (1+1);
        -> 0
mysql> select ! 1+1;
        -> 1
The last example returns 1 because the expression evaluates the same way as (!1)+1.
OR
||
Logical OR. Returns 1 if either argument is not 0 and not NULL:
mysql> select 1 || 0;
        -> 1
mysql> select 0 || 0;
        -> 0
mysql> select 1 || NULL;
        -> 1

AND
&&
Logical AND. Returns 0 if either argument is 0 or NULL, otherwise returns 1:
mysql> select 1 && NULL;
        -> 0
mysql> select 1 && 0;
        -> 0

7.4.5 Comparison Operators

Comparison operations result in a value of 1 (TRUE), 0 (FALSE), or NULL. These functions work for both numbers and strings. Strings are automatically converted to numbers and numbers to strings as needed (as in Perl).

MySQL performs comparisons using the following rules:

By default, string comparisons are done in case-independent fashion using the current character set (ISO-8859-1 Latin1 by default, which also works excellently for English).

The examples below illustrate conversion of strings to numbers for comparison operations:

mysql> SELECT 1 > '6x';
         -> 0
mysql> SELECT 7 > '6x';
         -> 1
mysql> SELECT 0 > 'x6';
         -> 0
mysql> SELECT 0 = 'x6';
         -> 1
=
Equal:
mysql> select 1 = 0;
        -> 0
mysql> select '0' = 0;
        -> 1
mysql> select '0.0' = 0;
        -> 1
mysql> select '0.01' = 0;
        -> 0
mysql> select '.01' = 0.01;
        -> 1
<>
!=
Not equal:
mysql> select '.01' <> '0.01';
        -> 1
mysql> select .01 <> '0.01';
        -> 0
mysql> select 'zapp' <> 'zappp';
        -> 1
<=
Less than or equal:
mysql> select 0.1 <= 2;
        -> 1
<
Less than:
mysql> select 2 <= 2;
        -> 1
>=
Greater than or equal:
mysql> select 2 >= 2;
        -> 1
>
Greater than:
mysql> select 2 > 2;
        -> 0
<=>
Null safe equal:
mysql> select 1 <=> 1, NULL <=> NULL, 1 <=> NULL;
        -> 1 1 0
IS NULL
IS NOT NULL
Test whether or not a value is or is not NULL:
mysql> select 1 IS NULL, 0 IS NULL, NULL IS NULL;
        -> 0 0 1
mysql> select 1 IS NOT NULL, 0 IS NOT NULL, NULL IS NOT NULL;
        -> 1 1 0
expr BETWEEN min AND max
If expr is greater than or equal to min and expr is less than or equal to max, BETWEEN returns 1, otherwise it returns 0. This is equivalent to the expression (min <= expr AND expr <= max) if all the arguments are of the same type. The first argument (expr) determines how the comparison is performed as follows:
mysql> select 1 BETWEEN 2 AND 3;
        -> 0
mysql> select 'b' BETWEEN 'a' AND 'c';
        -> 1
mysql> select 2 BETWEEN 2 AND '3';
        -> 1
mysql> select 2 BETWEEN 2 AND 'x-3';
        -> 0
expr IN (value,...)
Returns 1 if expr is any of the values in the IN list, else returns 0. If all values are constants, then all values are evaluated according to the type of expr and sorted. The search for the item is then done using a binary search. This means IN is very quick if the IN value list consists entirely of constants. If expr is a case-sensitive string expression, the string comparison is performed in case-sensitive fashion:
mysql> select 2 IN (0,3,5,'wefwf');
        -> 0
mysql> select 'wefwf' IN (0,3,5,'wefwf');
        -> 1
expr NOT IN (value,...)
Same as NOT (expr IN (value,...)).
ISNULL(expr)
If expr is NULL, ISNULL() returns 1, otherwise it returns 0:
mysql> select ISNULL(1+1);
        -> 0
mysql> select ISNULL(1/0);
        -> 1
Note that a comparison of NULL values using = will always be false!
COALESCE(list)
Returns first non-NULL element in list:
mysql> select COALESCE(NULL,1);
        -> 1
mysql> select COALESCE(NULL,NULL,NULL);
        -> NULL
INTERVAL(N,N1,N2,N3,...)
Returns 0 if N < N1, 1 if N < N2 and so on. All arguments are treated as integers. It is required that N1 < N2 < N3 < ... < Nn for this function to work correctly. This is because a binary search is used (very fast):
mysql> select INTERVAL(23, 1, 15, 17, 30, 44, 200);
        -> 3
mysql> select INTERVAL(10, 1, 10, 100, 1000);
        -> 2
mysql> select INTERVAL(22, 23, 30, 44, 200);
        -> 0

7.4.6 String Comparison Functions

Normally, if any expression in a string comparison is case sensitive, the comparison is performed in case-sensitive fashion.

expr LIKE pat [ESCAPE 'escape-char']
Pattern matching using SQL simple regular expression comparison. Returns 1 (TRUE) or 0 (FALSE). With LIKE you can use the following two wild-card characters in the pattern:
% Matches any number of characters, even zero characters
_ Matches exactly one character
mysql> select 'David!' LIKE 'David_';
        -> 1
mysql> select 'David!' LIKE '%D%v%';
        -> 1
To test for literal instances of a wild-card character, precede the character with the escape character. If you don't specify the ESCAPE character, `\' is assumed:
\% Matches one % character
\_ Matches one _ character
mysql> select 'David!' LIKE 'David\_';
        -> 0
mysql> select 'David_' LIKE 'David\_';
        -> 1
To specify a different escape character, use the ESCAPE clause:
mysql> select 'David_' LIKE 'David|_' ESCAPE '|';
        -> 1
The following two statements illustrate that string comparisons are case insensitive unless one of the operands is a binary string:
mysql> select 'abc' LIKE 'ABC';
        -> 1
mysql> SELECT 'abc' LIKE BINARY 'ABC';
        -> 0
LIKE is allowed on numeric expressions! (This is a MySQL extension to the ANSI SQL LIKE.)
mysql> select 10 LIKE '1%';
        -> 1
Note: Because MySQL uses the C escape syntax in strings (for example, `\n'), you must double any `\' that you use in your LIKE strings. For example, to search for `\n', specify it as `\\n'. To search for `\', specify it as `\\\\' (the backslashes are stripped once by the parser and another time when the pattern match is done, leaving a single backslash to be matched).
expr NOT LIKE pat [ESCAPE 'escape-char']
Same as NOT (expr LIKE pat [ESCAPE 'escape-char']).
expr REGEXP pat
expr RLIKE pat
Performs a pattern match of a string expression expr against a pattern pat. The pattern can be an extended regular expression. See section J Description of MySQL regular expression syntax. Returns 1 if expr matches pat, otherwise returns 0. RLIKE is a synonym for REGEXP, provided for mSQL compatibility. Note: Because MySQL uses the C escape syntax in strings (for example, `\n'), you must double any `\' that you use in your REGEXP strings. As of MySQL Version 3.23.4, REGEXP is case insensitive for normal (not binary) strings:
mysql> select 'Monty!' REGEXP 'm%y%%';
        -> 0
mysql> select 'Monty!' REGEXP '.*';
        -> 1
mysql> select 'new*\n*line' REGEXP 'new\\*.\\*line';
        -> 1
mysql> select "a" REGEXP "A", "a" REGEXP BINARY "A";
        -> 1  0
mysql> select "a" REGEXP "^[a-d]";
        -> 1
REGEXP and RLIKE use the current character set (ISO-8859-1 Latin1 by default) when deciding the type of a character.
expr NOT REGEXP pat
expr NOT RLIKE pat
Same as NOT (expr REGEXP pat).
STRCMP(expr1,expr2)
STRCMP() returns 0 if the strings are the same, -1 if the first argument is smaller than the second according to the current sort order, and 1 otherwise:
mysql> select STRCMP('text', 'text2');
        -> -1
mysql> select STRCMP('text2', 'text');
        -> 1
mysql> select STRCMP('text', 'text');
        -> 0
MATCH (col1,col2,...) AGAINST (expr)
MATCH ... AGAINST() is used for full-text search and returns relevance - similarity measure between the text in columns (col1,col2,...) and the query expr. Relevance is a positive floating-point number. Zero relevance means no similarity. For MATCH ... AGAINST() to work, a FULLTEXT index must be created first. See section 7.7 CREATE TABLE Syntax. MATCH ... AGAINST() is available in MySQL Version 3.23.23 or later. For details and usage examples see section 12 MySQL Full-text Search.

7.4.7 Cast Operators

BINARY
The BINARY operator casts the string following it to a binary string. This is an easy way to force a column comparison to be case sensitive even if the column isn't defined as BINARY or BLOB:
mysql> select "a" = "A";
        -> 1
mysql> select BINARY "a" = "A";
        -> 0
BINARY was introduced in MySQL Version 3.23.0. Note that in some context MySQL will not be able to use the index efficiently when you cast an indexed column to BINARY.

If you want to compare a blob case-insensitively you can always convert the blob to upper case before doing the comparison:

SELECT 'A' LIKE UPPER(blob_col) FROM table_name;

We plan to soon introduce casting between different character sets to make string comparison even more flexible.

7.4.8 Control Flow Functions

IFNULL(expr1,expr2)
If expr1 is not NULL, IFNULL() returns expr1, else it returns expr2. IFNULL() returns a numeric or string value, depending on the context in which it is used:
mysql> select IFNULL(1,0);
        -> 1
mysql> select IFNULL(NULL,10);
        -> 10
mysql> select IFNULL(1/0,10);
        -> 10
mysql> select IFNULL(1/0,'yes');
        -> 'yes'
NULLIF(expr1,expr2)
If expr1 = expr2 is true, return NULL else return expr1. This is the same as CASE WHEN x = y THEN NULL ELSE x END:
mysql> select NULLIF(1,1);
        -> NULL
mysql> select NULLIF(1,2);
        -> 1
Note that expr1 is evaluated twice in MySQL if the arguments are equal.
IF(expr1,expr2,expr3)
If expr1 is TRUE (expr1 <> 0 and expr1 <> NULL) then IF() returns expr2, else it returns expr3. IF() returns a numeric or string value, depending on the context in which it is used:
mysql> select IF(1>2,2,3);
        -> 3
mysql> select IF(1<2,'yes','no');
        -> 'yes'
mysql> select IF(strcmp('test','test1'),'no','yes');
        -> 'no'
expr1 is evaluated as an integer value, which means that if you are testing floating-point or string values, you should do so using a comparison operation:
mysql> select IF(0.1,1,0);
        -> 0
mysql> select IF(0.1<>0,1,0);
        -> 1
In the first case above, IF(0.1) returns 0 because 0.1 is converted to an integer value, resulting in a test of IF(0). This may not be what you expect. In the second case, the comparison tests the original floating-point value to see whether it is non-zero. The result of the comparison is used as an integer. The default return type of IF() (which may matter when it is stored into a temporary table) is calculated in MySQL Version 3.23 as follows:
Expression Return value
expr2 or expr3 returns string string
expr2 or expr3 returns a floating-point value floating-point
expr2 or expr3 returns an integer integer
CASE value WHEN [compare-value] THEN result [WHEN [compare-value] THEN result ...] [ELSE result] END
CASE WHEN [condition] THEN result [WHEN [condition] THEN result ...] [ELSE result] END
The first version returns the result where value=compare-value. The second version returns the result for the first condition, which is true. If there was no matching result value, then the result after ELSE is returned. If there is no ELSE part then NULL is returned:
mysql> SELECT CASE 1 WHEN 1 THEN "one" WHEN 2 THEN "two" ELSE "more" END;
       -> "one"
mysql> SELECT CASE WHEN 1>0 THEN "true" ELSE "false" END;
       -> "true"
mysql> SELECT CASE BINARY "B" when "a" then 1 when "b" then 2 END;
       -> NULL

The type of the return value (INTEGER, DOUBLE or STRING) is the same as the type of the first returned value (the expression after the first THEN).

7.4.9 Mathematical Functions

All mathematical functions return NULL in case of an error.

-
Unary minus. Changes the sign of the argument:
mysql> select - 2;
        -> -2
Note that if this operator is used with a BIGINT, the return value is a BIGINT! This means that you should avoid using - on integers that may have the value of -2^63!
ABS(X)
Returns the absolute value of X:
mysql> select ABS(2);
        -> 2
mysql> select ABS(-32);
        -> 32
This function is safe to use with BIGINT values.
SIGN(X)
Returns the sign of the argument as -1, 0, or 1, depending on whether X is negative, zero, or positive:
mysql> select SIGN(-32);
        -> -1
mysql> select SIGN(0);
        -> 0
mysql> select SIGN(234);
        -> 1
MOD(N,M)
%
Modulo (like the % operator in C). Returns the remainder of N divided by M:
mysql> select MOD(234, 10);
        -> 4
mysql> select 253 % 7;
        -> 1
mysql> select MOD(29,9);
        -> 2
This function is safe to use with BIGINT values.
FLOOR(X)
Returns the largest integer value not greater than X:
mysql> select FLOOR(1.23);
        -> 1
mysql> select FLOOR(-1.23);
        -> -2
Note that the return value is converted to a BIGINT!
CEILING(X)
Returns the smallest integer value not less than X:
mysql> select CEILING(1.23);
        -> 2
mysql> select CEILING(-1.23);
        -> -1
Note that the return value is converted to a BIGINT!
ROUND(X)
Returns the argument X, rounded to the nearest integer:
mysql> select ROUND(-1.23);
        -> -1
mysql> select ROUND(-1.58);
        -> -2
mysql> select ROUND(1.58);
        -> 2
Note that the behavior of ROUND() when the argument is half way between two integers depends on the C library implementation. Some round to the nearest even number, always up, always down, or always towards zero. If you need one kind of rounding, you should use a well-defined function like TRUNCATE() or FLOOR() instead.
ROUND(X,D)
Returns the argument X, rounded to a number with D decimals. If D is 0, the result will have no decimal point or fractional part:
mysql> select ROUND(1.298, 1);
        -> 1.3
mysql> select ROUND(1.298, 0);
        -> 1
EXP(X)
Returns the value of e (the base of natural logarithms) raised to the power of X:
mysql> select EXP(2);
        -> 7.389056
mysql> select EXP(-2);
        -> 0.135335
LOG(X)
Returns the natural logarithm of X:
mysql> select LOG(2);
        -> 0.693147
mysql> select LOG(-2);
        -> NULL
If you want the log of a number X to some arbitary base B, use the formula LOG(X)/LOG(B).
LOG10(X)
Returns the base-10 logarithm of X:
mysql> select LOG10(2);
        -> 0.301030
mysql> select LOG10(100);
        -> 2.000000
mysql> select LOG10(-100);
        -> NULL
POW(X,Y)
POWER(X,Y)
Returns the value of X raised to the power of Y:
mysql> select POW(2,2);
        -> 4.000000
mysql> select POW(2,-2);
        -> 0.250000
SQRT(X)
Returns the non-negative square root of X:
mysql> select SQRT(4);
        -> 2.000000
mysql> select SQRT(20);
        -> 4.472136
PI()
Returns the value of PI. The default shown number of decimals is 5, but MySQL internally uses the full double precession for PI.
mysql> select PI();
        -> 3.141593
mysql> SELECT PI()+0.000000000000000000;
        -> 3.141592653589793116
COS(X)
Returns the cosine of X, where X is given in radians:
mysql> select COS(PI());
        -> -1.000000
SIN(X)
Returns the sine of X, where X is given in radians:
mysql> select SIN(PI());
        -> 0.000000
TAN(X)
Returns the tangent of X, where X is given in radians:
mysql> select TAN(PI()+1);
        -> 1.557408
ACOS(X)
Returns the arc cosine of X, that is, the value whose cosine is X. Returns NULL if X is not in the range -1 to 1:
mysql> select ACOS(1);
        -> 0.000000
mysql> select ACOS(1.0001);
        -> NULL
mysql> select ACOS(0);
        -> 1.570796
ASIN(X)
Returns the arc sine of X, that is, the value whose sine is X. Returns NULL if X is not in the range -1 to 1:
mysql> select ASIN(0.2);
        -> 0.201358
mysql> select ASIN('foo');
        -> 0.000000
ATAN(X)
Returns the arc tangent of X, that is, the value whose tangent is X:
mysql> select ATAN(2);
        -> 1.107149
mysql> select ATAN(-2);
        -> -1.107149
ATAN2(Y,X)
Returns the arc tangent of the two variables X and Y. It is similar to calculating the arc tangent of Y / X, except that the signs of both arguments are used to determine the quadrant of the result:
mysql> select ATAN(-2,2);
        -> -0.785398
mysql> select ATAN(PI(),0);
        -> 1.570796
COT(X)
Returns the cotangent of X:
mysql> select COT(12);
        -> -1.57267341
mysql> select COT(0);
        -> NULL
RAND()
RAND(N)
Returns a random floating-point value in the range 0 to 1.0. If an integer argument N is specified, it is used as the seed value:
mysql> select RAND();
        -> 0.5925
mysql> select RAND(20);
        -> 0.1811
mysql> select RAND(20);
        -> 0.1811
mysql> select RAND();
        -> 0.2079
mysql> select RAND();
        -> 0.7888
You can't use a column with RAND() values in an ORDER BY clause, because ORDER BY would evaluate the column multiple times. In MySQL Version 3.23, you can, however, do: SELECT * FROM table_name ORDER BY RAND() This is useful to get a random sample of a set SELECT * FROM table1,table2 WHERE a=b AND c<d ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 1000. Note that a RAND() in a WHERE clause will be re-evaluated every time the WHERE is executed.
LEAST(X,Y,...)
With two or more arguments, returns the smallest (minimum-valued) argument. The arguments are compared using the following rules:
mysql> select LEAST(2,0);
        -> 0
mysql> select LEAST(34.0,3.0,5.0,767.0);
        -> 3.0
mysql> select LEAST("B","A","C");
        -> "A"
In MySQL versions prior to Version 3.22.5, you can use MIN() instead of LEAST.
GREATEST(X,Y,...)
Returns the largest (maximum-valued) argument. The arguments are compared using the same rules as for LEAST:
mysql> select GREATEST(2,0);
        -> 2
mysql> select GREATEST(34.0,3.0,5.0,767.0);
        -> 767.0
mysql> select GREATEST("B","A","C");
        -> "C"
In MySQL versions prior to Version 3.22.5, you can use MAX() instead of GREATEST.
DEGREES(X)
Returns the argument X, converted from radians to degrees:
mysql> select DEGREES(PI());
        -> 180.000000
RADIANS(X)
Returns the argument X, converted from degrees to radians:
mysql> select RADIANS(90);
        -> 1.570796
TRUNCATE(X,D)
Returns the number X, truncated to D decimals. If D is 0, the result will have no decimal point or fractional part:
mysql> select TRUNCATE(1.223,1);
        -> 1.2
mysql> select TRUNCATE(1.999,1);
        -> 1.9
mysql> select TRUNCATE(1.999,0);
        -> 1
Note that as decimal numbers are normally not stored as exact numbers in computers, but as double values, you may be fooled by the following result:
mysql> select TRUNCATE(10.28*100,0);
       -> 1027
The above happens because 10.28 is actually stored as something like 10.2799999999999999.

7.4.10 String Functions

String-valued functions return NULL if the length of the result would be greater than the max_allowed_packet server parameter. See section 13.2.4 Tuning Server Parameters.

For functions that operate on string positions, the first position is numbered 1.

ASCII(str)
Returns the ASCII code value of the leftmost character of the string str. Returns 0 if str is the empty string. Returns NULL if str is NULL:
mysql> select ASCII('2');
        -> 50
mysql> select ASCII(2);
        -> 50
mysql> select ASCII('dx');
        -> 100
See also the ORD() function.
ORD(str)
If the leftmost character of the string str is a multi-byte character, returns the code of multi-byte character by returning the ASCII code value of the character in the format of: ((first byte ASCII code)*256+(second byte ASCII code))[*256+third byte ASCII code...]. If the leftmost character is not a multi-byte character, returns the same value as the like ASCII() function does:
mysql> select ORD('2');
        -> 50
CONV(N,from_base,to_base)
Converts numbers between different number bases. Returns a string representation of the number N, converted from base from_base to base to_base. Returns NULL if any argument is NULL. The argument N is interpreted as an integer, but may be specified as an integer or a string. The minimum base is 2 and the maximum base is 36. If to_base is a negative number, N is regarded as a signed number. Otherwise, N is treated as unsigned. CONV works with 64-bit precision:
mysql> select CONV("a",16,2);
        -> '1010'
mysql> select CONV("6E",18,8);
        -> '172'
mysql> select CONV(-17,10,-18);
        -> '-H'
mysql> select CONV(10+"10"+'10'+0xa,10,10);
        -> '40'
BIN(N)
Returns a string representation of the binary value of N, where N is a longlong (BIGINT) number. This is equivalent to CONV(N,10,2). Returns NULL if N is NULL:
mysql> select BIN(12);
        -> '1100'
OCT(N)
Returns a string representation of the octal value of N, where N is a longlong number. This is equivalent to CONV(N,10,8). Returns NULL if N is NULL:
mysql> select OCT(12);
        -> '14'
HEX(N)
Returns a string representation of the hexadecimal value of N, where N is a longlong (BIGINT) number. This is equivalent to CONV(N,10,16). Returns NULL if N is NULL:
mysql> select HEX(255);
        -> 'FF'
CHAR(N,...)
CHAR() interprets the arguments as integers and returns a string consisting of the characters given by the ASCII code values of those integers. NULL values are skipped:
mysql> select CHAR(77,121,83,81,'76');
        -> 'MySQL'
mysql> select CHAR(77,77.3,'77.3');
        -> 'MMM'
CONCAT(str1,str2,...)
Returns the string that results from concatenating the arguments. Returns NULL if any argument is NULL. May have more than 2 arguments. A numeric argument is converted to the equivalent string form:
mysql> select CONCAT('My', 'S', 'QL');
        -> 'MySQL'
mysql> select CONCAT('My', NULL, 'QL');
        -> NULL
mysql> select CONCAT(14.3);
        -> '14.3'
CONCAT_WS(separator, str1, str2,...)
CONCAT_WS() stands for CONCAT With Separator and is a special form of CONCAT(). The first argument is the separator for the rest of the arguments. The separator can be a string as well as the rest of the arguments. If the separator is NULL, the result will be NULL. The function will skip any NULLs and empty strings, after the separator argument. The separator will be added between the strings to be concatenated:
mysql> select CONCAT_WS(",","First name","Second name","Last Name");
       -> 'First name,Second name,Last Name'
mysql> select CONCAT_WS(",","First name",NULL,"Last Name");
       -> 'First name,Last Name'
LENGTH(str)
OCTET_LENGTH(str)
CHAR_LENGTH(str)
CHARACTER_LENGTH(str)
Returns the length of the string str:
mysql> select LENGTH('text');
        -> 4
mysql> select OCTET_LENGTH('text');
        -> 4
Note that for CHAR_LENGTH(), multi-byte characters are only counted once.
LOCATE(substr,str)
POSITION(substr IN str)
Returns the position of the first occurrence of substring substr in string str. Returns 0 if substr is not in str:
mysql> select LOCATE('bar', 'foobarbar');
        -> 4
mysql> select LOCATE('xbar', 'foobar');
        -> 0
This function is multi-byte safe.
LOCATE(substr,str,pos)
Returns the position of the first occurrence of substring substr in string str, starting at position pos. Returns 0 if substr is not in str:
mysql> select LOCATE('bar', 'foobarbar',5);
        -> 7
This function is multi-byte safe.
INSTR(str,substr)
Returns the position of the first occurrence of substring substr in string str. This is the same as the two-argument form of LOCATE(), except that the arguments are swapped:
mysql> select INSTR('foobarbar', 'bar');
        -> 4
mysql> select INSTR('xbar', 'foobar');
        -> 0
This function is multi-byte safe.
LPAD(str,len,padstr)
Returns the string str, left-padded with the string padstr until str is len characters long. If str is longer than len' then it will be shortened to len characters.
mysql> select LPAD('hi',4,'??');
        -> '??hi'
RPAD(str,len,padstr)
Returns the string str, right-padded with the string padstr until str is len characters long. If str is longer than len' then it will be shortened to len characters.
mysql> select RPAD('hi',5,'?');
        -> 'hi???'
LEFT(str,len)
Returns the leftmost len characters from the string str:
mysql> select LEFT('foobarbar', 5);
        -> 'fooba'
This function is multi-byte safe.
RIGHT(str,len)
Returns the rightmost len characters from the string str:
mysql> select RIGHT('foobarbar', 4);
        -> 'rbar'
This function is multi-byte safe.
SUBSTRING(str,pos,len)
SUBSTRING(str FROM pos FOR len)
MID(str,pos,len)
Returns a substring len characters long from string str, starting at position pos. The variant form that uses FROM is ANSI SQL92 syntax:
mysql> select SUBSTRING('Quadratically',5,6);
        -> 'ratica'
This function is multi-byte safe.
SUBSTRING(str,pos)
SUBSTRING(str FROM pos)
Returns a substring from string str starting at position pos:
mysql> select SUBSTRING('Quadratically',5);
        -> 'ratically'
mysql> select SUBSTRING('foobarbar' FROM 4);
        -> 'barbar'
This function is multi-byte safe.
SUBSTRING_INDEX(str,delim,count)
Returns the substring from string str before count occurrences of the delimiter delim. If count is positive, everything to the left of the final delimiter (counting from the left) is returned. If count is negative, everything to the right of the final delimiter (counting from the right) is returned:
mysql> select SUBSTRING_INDEX('www.mysql.com', '.', 2);
        -> 'www.mysql'
mysql> select SUBSTRING_INDEX('www.mysql.com', '.', -2);
        -> 'mysql.com'
This function is multi-byte safe.
LTRIM(str)
Returns the string str with leading space characters removed:
mysql> select LTRIM('  barbar');
        -> 'barbar'
RTRIM(str)
Returns the string str with trailing space characters removed:
mysql> select RTRIM('barbar   ');
        -> 'barbar'
This function is multi-byte safe.
TRIM([[BOTH | LEADING | TRAILING] [remstr] FROM] str)
Returns the string str with all remstr prefixes and/or suffixes removed. If none of the specifiers BOTH, LEADING or TRAILING are given, BOTH is assumed. If remstr is not specified, spaces are removed:
mysql> select TRIM('  bar   ');
        -> 'bar'
mysql> select TRIM(LEADING 'x' FROM 'xxxbarxxx');
        -> 'barxxx'
mysql> select TRIM(BOTH 'x' FROM 'xxxbarxxx');
        -> 'bar'
mysql> select TRIM(TRAILING 'xyz' FROM 'barxxyz');
        -> 'barx'
This function is multi-byte safe.
SOUNDEX(str)
Returns a soundex string from str. Two strings that sound almost the same should have identical soundex strings. A standard soundex string is 4 characters long, but the SOUNDEX() function returns an arbitrarily long string. You can use SUBSTRING() on the result to get a standard soundex string. All non-alphanumeric characters are ignored in the given string. All international alpha characters outside the A-Z range are treated as vowels:
mysql> select SOUNDEX('Hello');
        -> 'H400'
mysql> select SOUNDEX('Quadratically');
        -> 'Q36324'
SPACE(N)
Returns a string consisting of N space characters:
mysql> select SPACE(6);
        -> '      '
REPLACE(str,from_str,to_str)
Returns the string str with all all occurrences of the string from_str replaced by the string to_str:
mysql> select REPLACE('www.mysql.com', 'w', 'Ww');
        -> 'WwWwWw.mysql.com'
This function is multi-byte safe.
REPEAT(str,count)
Returns a string consisting of the string str repeated count times. If count <= 0, returns an empty string. Returns NULL if str or count are NULL:
mysql> select REPEAT('MySQL', 3);
        -> 'MySQLMySQLMySQL'
REVERSE(str)
Returns the string str with the order of the characters reversed:
mysql> select REVERSE('abc');
        -> 'cba'
This function is multi-byte safe.
INSERT(str,pos,len,newstr)
Returns the string str, with the substring beginning at position pos and len characters long replaced by the string newstr:
mysql> select INSERT('Quadratic', 3, 4, 'What');
        -> 'QuWhattic'
This function is multi-byte safe.
ELT(N,str1,str2,str3,...)
Returns str1 if N = 1, str2 if N = 2, and so on. Returns NULL if N is less than 1 or greater than the number of arguments. ELT() is the complement of FIELD():
mysql> select ELT(1, 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 'ej'
mysql> select ELT(4, 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 'foo'
FIELD(str,str1,str2,str3,...)
Returns the index of str in the str1, str2, str3, ... list. Returns 0 if str is not found. FIELD() is the complement of ELT():
mysql> select FIELD('ej', 'Hej', 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 2
mysql> select FIELD('fo', 'Hej', 'ej', 'Heja', 'hej', 'foo');
        -> 0
FIND_IN_SET(str,strlist)
Returns a value 1 to N if the string str is in the list strlist consisting of N substrings. A string list is a string composed of substrings separated by `,' characters. If the first argument is a constant string and the second is a column of type SET, the FIND_IN_SET() function is optimized to use bit arithmetic! Returns 0 if str is not in strlist or if strlist is the empty string. Returns NULL if either argument is NULL. This function will not work properly if the first argument contains a `,':
mysql> SELECT FIND_IN_SET('b','a,b,c,d');
        -> 2
MAKE_SET(bits,str1,str2,...)
Returns a set (a string containing substrings separated by `,' characters) consisting of the strings that have the corresponding bit in bits set. str1 corresponds to bit 0, str2 to bit 1, etc. NULL strings in str1, str2, ... are not appended to the result:
mysql> SELECT MAKE_SET(1,'a','b','c');
        -> 'a'
mysql> SELECT MAKE_SET(1 | 4,'hello','nice','world');
        -> 'hello,world'
mysql> SELECT MAKE_SET(0,'a','b','c');
        -> ''
EXPORT_SET(bits,on,off,[separator,[number_of_bits]])
Returns a string where for every bit set in 'bit', you get an 'on' string and for every reset bit you get an 'off' string. Each string is separated with 'separator' (default ',') and only 'number_of_bits' (default 64) of 'bits' is used:
mysql> select EXPORT_SET(5,'Y','N',',',4)
        -> Y,N,Y,N
LCASE(str)
LOWER(str)
Returns the string str with all characters changed to lowercase according to the current character set mapping (the default is ISO-8859-1 Latin1):
mysql> select LCASE('QUADRATICALLY');
        -> 'quadratically'
This function is multi-byte safe.
UCASE(str)
UPPER(str)
Returns the string str with all characters changed to uppercase according to the current character set mapping (the default is ISO-8859-1 Latin1):
mysql> select UCASE('Hej');
        -> 'HEJ'
This function is multi-byte safe.
LOAD_FILE(file_name)
Reads the file and returns the file contents as a string. The file must be on the server, you must specify the full pathname to the file, and you must have the file privilege. The file must be readable by all and be smaller than max_allowed_packet. If the file doesn't exist or can't be read due to one of the above reasons, the function returns NULL:
mysql> UPDATE table_name
           SET blob_column=LOAD_FILE("/tmp/picture")
           WHERE id=1;

If you are not using MySQL Version 3.23, you have to do the reading of the file inside your application and create an INSERT statement to update the database with the file information. One way to do this, if you are using the MySQL++ library, can be found at http://www.mysql.com/documentation/mysql++/mysql++-examples.html.

MySQL automatically converts numbers to strings as necessary, and vice-versa:

mysql> SELECT 1+"1";
        -> 2
mysql> SELECT CONCAT(2,' test');
        -> '2 test'

If you want to convert a number to a string explicitly, pass it as the argument to CONCAT().

If a string function is given a binary string as an argument, the resulting string is also a binary string. A number converted to a string is treated as a binary string. This only affects comparisons.

7.4.11 Date and Time Functions

See section 7.3.3 Date and Time Types for a description of the range of values each type has and the valid formats in which date and time values may be specified.

Here is an example that uses date functions. The query below selects all records with a date_col value from within the last 30 days:

mysql> SELECT something FROM table
           WHERE TO_DAYS(NOW()) - TO_DAYS(date_col) <= 30;
DAYOFWEEK(date)
Returns the weekday index for date (1 = Sunday, 2 = Monday, ... 7 = Saturday). These index values correspond to the ODBC standard:
mysql> select DAYOFWEEK('1998-02-03');
        -> 3
WEEKDAY(date)
Returns the weekday index for date (0 = Monday, 1 = Tuesday, ... 6 = Sunday):
mysql> select WEEKDAY('1997-10-04 22:23:00');
        -> 5
mysql> select WEEKDAY('1997-11-05');
        -> 2
DAYOFMONTH(date)
Returns the day of the month for date, in the range 1 to 31:
mysql> select DAYOFMONTH('1998-02-03');
        -> 3
DAYOFYEAR(date)
Returns the day of the year for date, in the range 1 to 366:
mysql> select DAYOFYEAR('1998-02-03');
        -> 34
MONTH(date)
Returns the month for date, in the range 1 to 12:
mysql> select MONTH('1998-02-03');
        -> 2
DAYNAME(date)
Returns the name of the weekday for date:
mysql> select DAYNAME("1998-02-05");
        -> 'Thursday'
MONTHNAME(date)
Returns the name of the month for date:
mysql> select MONTHNAME("1998-02-05");
        -> 'February'
QUARTER(date)
Returns the quarter of the year for date, in the range 1 to 4:
mysql> select QUARTER('98-04-01');
        -> 2
WEEK(date)
WEEK(date,first)
With a single argument, returns the week for date, in the range 0 to 53 (yes, there may be the beginnings of a week 53), for locations where Sunday is the first day of the week. The two-argument form of WEEK() allows you to specify whether the week starts on Sunday or Monday. The week starts on Sunday if the second argument is 0, on Monday if the second argument is 1:
mysql> select WEEK('1998-02-20');
        -> 7
mysql> select WEEK('1998-02-20',0);
        -> 7
mysql> select WEEK('1998-02-20',1);
        -> 8
mysql> select WEEK('1998-12-31',1);
        -> 53
YEAR(date)
Returns the year for date, in the range 1000 to 9999:
mysql> select YEAR('98-02-03');
        -> 1998
YEARWEEK(date)
YEARWEEK(date,first)
Returns year and week for a date. The second arguments works exactly like the second argument to WEEK(). Note that the year may be different from the year in the date argument for the first and the last week of the year:
mysql> select YEARWEEK('1987-01-01');
        -> 198653
HOUR(time)
Returns the hour for time, in the range 0 to 23:
mysql> select HOUR('10:05:03');
        -> 10
MINUTE(time)
Returns the minute for time, in the range 0 to 59:
mysql> select MINUTE('98-02-03 10:05:03');
        -> 5
SECOND(time)
Returns the second for time, in the range 0 to 59:
mysql> select SECOND('10:05:03');
        -> 3
PERIOD_ADD(P,N)
Adds N months to period P (in the format YYMM or YYYYMM). Returns a value in the format YYYYMM. Note that the period argument P is not a date value:
mysql> select PERIOD_ADD(9801,2);
        -> 199803
PERIOD_DIFF(P1,P2)
Returns the number of months between periods P1 and P2. P1 and P2 should be in the format YYMM or YYYYMM. Note that the period arguments P1 and P2 are not date values:
mysql> select PERIOD_DIFF(9802,199703);
        -> 11
DATE_ADD(date,INTERVAL expr type)
DATE_SUB(date,INTERVAL expr type)
ADDDATE(date,INTERVAL expr type)
SUBDATE(date,INTERVAL expr type)
These functions perform date arithmetic. They are new for MySQL Version 3.22. ADDDATE() and SUBDATE() are synonyms for DATE_ADD() and DATE_SUB(). In MySQL Version 3.23, you can use + and - instead of DATE_ADD() and DATE_SUB() if the expression on the right side is a date or datetime column. (See example) date is a DATETIME or DATE value specifying the starting date. expr is an expression specifying the interval value to be added or subtracted from the starting date. expr is a string; it may start with a `-' for negative intervals. type is a keyword indicating how the expression should be interpreted. The EXTRACT(type FROM date) function returns the 'type' interval from the date. The following table shows how the type and expr arguments are related:
type value Expected expr format
SECOND SECONDS
MINUTE MINUTES
HOUR HOURS
DAY DAYS
MONTH MONTHS
YEAR YEARS
MINUTE_SECOND "MINUTES:SECONDS"
HOUR_MINUTE "HOURS:MINUTES"
DAY_HOUR "DAYS HOURS"
YEAR_MONTH "YEARS-MONTHS"
HOUR_SECOND "HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS"
DAY_MINUTE "DAYS HOURS:MINUTES"
DAY_SECOND "DAYS HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS"
MySQL allows any punctuation delimiter in the expr format. Those shown in the table are the suggested delimiters. If the date argument is a DATE value and your calculations involve only YEAR, MONTH, and DAY parts (that is, no time parts), the result is a DATE value. Otherwise the result is a DATETIME value:
mysql> SELECT "1997-12-31 23:59:59" + INTERVAL 1 SECOND;
        -> 1998-01-01 00:00:00
mysql> SELECT INTERVAL 1 DAY + "1997-12-31";
        -> 1998-01-01
mysql> SELECT "1998-01-01" - INTERVAL 1 SECOND;
       -> 1997-12-31 23:59:59
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1997-12-31 23:59:59",
                       INTERVAL 1 SECOND);
        -> 1998-01-01 00:00:00
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1997-12-31 23:59:59",
                       INTERVAL 1 DAY);
        -> 1998-01-01 23:59:59
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1997-12-31 23:59:59",
                       INTERVAL "1:1" MINUTE_SECOND);
        -> 1998-01-01 00:01:00
mysql> SELECT DATE_SUB("1998-01-01 00:00:00",
                       INTERVAL "1 1:1:1" DAY_SECOND);
        -> 1997-12-30 22:58:59
mysql> SELECT DATE_ADD("1998-01-01 00:00:00",
                       INTERVAL "-1 10" DAY_HOUR);
        -> 1997-12-30 14:00:00
mysql> SELECT DATE_SUB("1998-01-02", INTERVAL 31 DAY);
        -> 1997-12-02
mysql> SELECT EXTRACT(YEAR FROM "1999-07-02");
       -> 1999
mysql> SELECT EXTRACT(YEAR_MONTH FROM "1999-07-02 01:02:03");
       -> 199907
mysql> SELECT EXTRACT(DAY_MINUTE FROM "1999-07-02 01:02:03");
       -> 20102
If you specify an interval value that is too short (does not include all the interval parts that would be expected from the type keyword), MySQL assumes you have left out the leftmost parts of the interval value. For example, if you specify a type of DAY_SECOND, the value of expr is expected to have days, hours, minutes, and seconds parts. If you specify a value like "1:10", MySQL assumes that the days and hours parts are missing and the value represents minutes and seconds. In other words, "1:10" DAY_SECOND is interpreted in such a way that it is equivalent to "1:10" MINUTE_SECOND. This is analogous to the way that MySQL interprets TIME values as representing elapsed time rather than as time of day. Note that if you add or subtract a date value against something that contains a time part, the date value will be automatically converted to a datetime value:
mysql> select date_add("1999-01-01", interval 1 day);
       -> 1999-01-02
mysql> select date_add("1999-01-01", interval 1 hour);
       -> 1999-01-01 01:00:00
If you use really incorrect dates, the result is NULL. If you add MONTH, YEAR_MONTH, or YEAR and the resulting date has a day that is larger than the maximum day for the new month, the day is adjusted to the maximum days in the new month:
mysql> select DATE_ADD('1998-01-30', Interval 1 month);
        -> 1998-02-28
Note from the preceding example that the word INTERVAL and the type keyword are not case sensitive.
TO_DAYS(date)
Given a date date, returns a daynumber (the number of days since year 0):
mysql> select TO_DAYS(950501);
        -> 728779
mysql> select TO_DAYS('1997-10-07');
        -> 729669
TO_DAYS() is not intended for use with values that precede the advent of the Gregorian calendar (1582), because it doesn't take into account the days that were lost when the calendar was changed.
FROM_DAYS(N)
Given a daynumber N, returns a DATE value:
mysql> select FROM_DAYS(729669);
        -> '1997-10-07'
FROM_DAYS() is not intended for use with values that precede the advent of the Gregorian calendar (1582), because it doesn't take into account the days that were lost when the calendar was changed.
DATE_FORMAT(date,format)
Formats the date value according to the format string. The following specifiers may be used in the format string:
%M Month name (January..December)
%W Weekday name (Sunday..Saturday)
%D Day of the month with English suffix (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
%Y Year, numeric, 4 digits
%y Year, numeric, 2 digits
%X Year for the week where Sunday is the first day of the week, numeric, 4 digits, used with '%V'
%x Year for the week, where Monday is the first day of the week, numeric, 4 digits, used with '%v'
%a Abbreviated weekday name (Sun..Sat)
%d Day of the month, numeric (00..31)
%e Day of the month, numeric (0..31)
%m Month, numeric (01..12)
%c Month, numeric (1..12)
%b Abbreviated month name (Jan..Dec)
%j Day of year (001..366)
%H Hour (00..23)
%k Hour (0..23)
%h Hour (01..12)
%I Hour (01..12)
%l Hour (1..12)
%i Minutes, numeric (00..59)
%r Time, 12-hour (hh:mm:ss [AP]M)
%T Time, 24-hour (hh:mm:ss)
%S Seconds (00..59)
%s Seconds (00..59)
%p AM or PM
%w Day of the week (0=Sunday..6=Saturday)
%U Week (0..53), where Sunday is the first day of the week
%u Week (0..53), where Monday is the first day of the week
%V Week (1..53), where Sunday is the first day of the week. Used with '%X'
%v Week (1..53), where Monday is the first day of the week. Used with '%x'
%% A literal `%'.
All other characters are just copied to the result without interpretation:
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00', '%W %M %Y');
        -> 'Saturday October 1997'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00', '%H:%i:%s');
        -> '22:23:00'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00',
                          '%D %y %a %d %m %b %j');
        -> '4th 97 Sat 04 10 Oct 277'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1997-10-04 22:23:00',
                          '%H %k %I %r %T %S %w');
        -> '22 22 10 10:23:00 PM 22:23:00 00 6'
mysql> select DATE_FORMAT('1999-01-01', '%X %V');
        -> '1998 52'
As of MySQL Version 3.23, the `%' character is required before format specifier characters. In earlier versions of MySQL, `%' was optional.
TIME_FORMAT(time,format)
This is used like the DATE_FORMAT() function above, but the format string may contain only those format specifiers that handle hours, minutes, and seconds. Other specifiers produce a NULL value or 0.
CURDATE()
CURRENT_DATE
Returns today's date as a value in 'YYYY-MM-DD' or YYYYMMDD format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context:
mysql> select CURDATE();
        -> '1997-12-15'
mysql> select CURDATE() + 0;
        -> 19971215
CURTIME()
CURRENT_TIME
Returns the current time as a value in 'HH:MM:SS' or HHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context:
mysql> select CURTIME();
        -> '23:50:26'
mysql> select CURTIME() + 0;
        -> 235026
NOW()
SYSDATE()
CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
Returns the current date and time as a value in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context:
mysql> select NOW();
        -> '1997-12-15 23:50:26'
mysql> select NOW() + 0;
        -> 19971215235026
UNIX_TIMESTAMP()
UNIX_TIMESTAMP(date)
If called with no argument, returns a Unix timestamp (seconds since '1970-01-01 00:00:00' GMT). If UNIX_TIMESTAMP() is called with a date argument, it returns the value of the argument as seconds since '1970-01-01 00:00:00' GMT. date may be a DATE string, a DATETIME string, a TIMESTAMP, or a number in the format YYMMDD or YYYYMMDD in local time:
mysql> select UNIX_TIMESTAMP();
        -> 882226357
mysql> select UNIX_TIMESTAMP('1997-10-04 22:23:00');
        -> 875996580
When UNIX_TIMESTAMP is used on a TIMESTAMP column, the function will receive the value directly, with no implicit ``string-to-unix-timestamp'' conversion. If you give UNIX_TIMESTAMP() a wrong or out-of-range date, it will return 0.
FROM_UNIXTIME(unix_timestamp)
Returns a representation of the unix_timestamp argument as a value in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context:
mysql> select FROM_UNIXTIME(875996580);
        -> '1997-10-04 22:23:00'
mysql> select FROM_UNIXTIME(875996580) + 0;
        -> 19971004222300
FROM_UNIXTIME(unix_timestamp,format)
Returns a string representation of the Unix timestamp, formatted according to the format string. format may contain the same specifiers as those listed in the entry for the DATE_FORMAT() function:
mysql> select FROM_UNIXTIME(UNIX_TIMESTAMP(),
                            '%Y %D %M %h:%i:%s %x');
        -> '1997 23rd December 03:43:30 x'
SEC_TO_TIME(seconds)
Returns the seconds argument, converted to hours, minutes, and seconds, as a value in 'HH:MM:SS' or HHMMSS format, depending on whether the function is used in a string or numeric context:
mysql> select SEC_TO_TIME(2378);
        -> '00:39:38'
mysql> select SEC_TO_TIME(2378) + 0;
        -> 3938
TIME_TO_SEC(time)
Returns the time argument, converted to seconds:
mysql> select TIME_TO_SEC('22:23:00');
        -> 80580
mysql> select TIME_TO_SEC('00:39:38');
        -> 2378

7.4.12 Miscellaneous Functions

DATABASE()
Returns the current database name:
mysql> select DATABASE();
        -> 'test'
If there is no current database, DATABASE() returns the empty string.
USER()
SYSTEM_USER()
SESSION_USER()
Returns the current MySQL user name:
mysql> select USER();
        -> 'davida@localhost'
In MySQL Version 3.22.11 or later, this includes the client hostname as well as the user name. You can extract just the user name part like this (which works whether or not the value includes a hostname part):
mysql> select substring_index(USER(),"@",1);
        -> 'davida'
PASSWORD(str)
Calculates a password string from the plaintext password str. This is the function that is used for encrypting MySQL passwords for storage in the Password column of the user grant table:
mysql> select PASSWORD('badpwd');
        -> '7f84554057dd964b'
PASSWORD() encryption is non-reversible. PASSWORD() does not perform password encryption in the same way that Unix passwords are encrypted. You should not assume that if your Unix password and your MySQL password are the same, PASSWORD() will result in the same encrypted value as is stored in the Unix password file. See ENCRYPT().
ENCRYPT(str[,salt])
Encrypt str using the Unix crypt() system call. The salt argument should be a string with two characters. (As of MySQL Version 3.22.16, salt may be longer than two characters.):
mysql> select ENCRYPT("hello");
        -> 'VxuFAJXVARROc'
If crypt() is not available on your system, ENCRYPT() always returns NULL. ENCRYPT() ignores all but the first 8 characters of str, at least on some systems. This will be determined by the behavior of the underlying crypt() system call.
ENCODE(str,pass_str)
Encrypt str using pass_str as the password. To decrypt the result, use DECODE(). The results is a binary string of the same length as string. If you want to save it in a column, use a BLOB column type.
DECODE(crypt_str,pass_str)
Descrypts the encrypted string crypt_str using pass_str as the password. crypt_str should be a string returned from ENCODE().
MD5(string)
Calculates a MD5 checksum for the string. Value is returned as a 32 long hex number that may, for example, be used as a hash key:
mysql> select MD5("testing");
        -> 'ae2b1fca515949e5d54fb22b8ed95575'
This is an "RSA Data Security, Inc. MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm".
LAST_INSERT_ID([expr])
Returns the last automatically generated value that was inserted into an AUTO_INCREMENT column. See section 24.1.3.126 mysql_insert_id().
mysql> select LAST_INSERT_ID();
        -> 195
The last ID that was generated is maintained in the server on a per-connection basis. It will not be changed by another client. It will not even be changed if you update another AUTO_INCREMENT column with a non-magic value (that is, a value that is not NULL and not 0). If you insert many rows at the same time with an insert statement, LAST_INSERT_ID() returns the value for the first inserted row. The reason for this is so that you it makes it possible to easily reproduce the same INSERT statement against some other server. If expr is given as an argument to LAST_INSERT_ID() in an UPDATE clause, then the value of the argument is returned as a LAST_INSERT_ID() value. This can be used to simulate sequences. First create the table:
mysql> create table sequence (id int not null);
mysql> insert into sequence values (0);
Then the table can be used to generate sequence numbers like this:
mysql> update sequence set id=LAST_INSERT_ID(id+1);
You can generate sequences without calling LAST_INSERT_ID(), but the utility of using the function this way is that the ID value is maintained in the server as the last automatically generated value. You can retrieve the new ID as you would read any normal AUTO_INCREMENT value in MySQL. For example, LAST_INSERT_ID() (without an argument) will return the new ID. The C API function mysql_insert_id() can also be used to get the value.
FORMAT(X,D)
Formats the number X to a format like '#,###,###.##', rounded to D decimals. If D is 0, the result will have no decimal point or fractional part:
mysql> select FORMAT(12332.123456, 4);
        -> '12,332.1235'
mysql> select FORMAT(12332.1,4);
        -> '12,332.1000'
mysql> select FORMAT(12332.2,0);
        -> '12,332'
VERSION()
Returns a string indicating the MySQL server version:
mysql> select VERSION();
        -> '3.23.13-log'
Note that if your version ends with -log this means that logging is enabled.
CONNECTION_ID()
Returns the connection id (thread_id) for the connection. Every connection has its own unique id:
mysql> select CONNECTION_ID();
        -> 1
GET_LOCK(str,timeout)
Tries to obtain a lock with a name given by the string str, with a timeout of timeout seconds. Returns 1 if the lock was obtained successfully, 0 if the attempt timed out, or NULL if an error occurred (such as running out of memory or the thread was killed with mysqladmin kill). A lock is released when you execute RELEASE_LOCK(), execute a new GET_LOCK(), or the thread terminates. This function can be used to implement application locks or to simulate record locks. It blocks requests by other clients for locks with the same name; clients that agree on a given lock string name can use the string to perform cooperative advisory locking:
mysql> select GET_LOCK("lock1",10);
        -> 1
mysql> select GET_LOCK("lock2",10);
        -> 1
mysql> select RELEASE_LOCK("lock2");
        -> 1
mysql> select RELEASE_LOCK("lock1");
        -> NULL
Note that the second RELEASE_LOCK() call returns NULL because the lock "lock1" was automatically released by the second GET_LOCK() call.
RELEASE_LOCK(str)
Releases the lock named by the string str that was obtained with GET_LOCK(). Returns 1 if the lock was released, 0 if the lock wasn't locked by this thread (in which case the lock is not released), and NULL if the named lock didn't exist. The lock will not exist if it was never obtained by a call to GET_LOCK() or if it already has been released.
BENCHMARK(count,expr)
The BENCHMARK() function executes the expression expr repeatedly count times. It may be used to time how fast MySQL processes the expression. The result value is always 0. The intended use is in the mysql client, which reports query execution times:
mysql> select BENCHMARK(1000000,encode("hello","goodbye"));
+----------------------------------------------+
| BENCHMARK(1000000,encode("hello","goodbye")) |
+----------------------------------------------+
|                                            0 |
+----------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (4.74 sec)
The time reported is elapsed time on the client end, not CPU time on the server end. It may be advisable to execute BENCHMARK() several times, and interpret the result with regard to how heavily loaded the server machine is.
INET_NTOA(expr)
Returns the network address (4 or 8 byte) for the numeric expression:
mysql> select INET_NTOA(3520061480);
       ->  "209.207.224.40"
INET_ATON(expr)
Returns an integer that represents the numeric value for a network address. Addresses may be 4 or 8 byte addresses:
mysql> select INET_ATON("209.207.224.40");
       ->  3520061480
The generated number is always in network byte order; For example the above number is calculated as 209*255^3 + 207*255^2 + 224*255 +40.
MASTER_POS_WAIT(log_name, log_pos)
Blocks until the slave reaches the specified position in the master log during replication. If master information is not initialized, returns NULL. If the slave is not running, will block and wait until it is started and goes to or past the specified position. If the slave is already past the specified position, returns immediately. The return value is the number of log events it had to wait to get to the specified position, or NULL in case of error. Useful for control of master-slave synchronization, but was originally written to facilitate replication testing.

7.4.13 Functions for Use with GROUP BY Clauses

If you use a group function in a statement containing no GROUP BY clause, it is equivalent to grouping on all rows.

COUNT(expr)
Returns a count of the number of non-NULL values in the rows retrieved by a SELECT statement:
mysql> select student.student_name,COUNT(*)
           from student,course
           where student.student_id=course.student_id
           GROUP BY student_name;

COUNT(*) is somewhat different in that it returns a count of the number of rows retrieved, whether or not they contain NULL values. COUNT(*) is optimized to return very quickly if the SELECT retrieves from one table, no other columns are retrieved, and there is no WHERE clause. For example:
mysql> select COUNT(*) from student;
COUNT(DISTINCT expr,[expr...])
Returns a count of the number of different non-NULL values:
mysql> select COUNT(DISTINCT results) from student;
In MySQL you can get the number of distinct expression combinations that don't contain NULL by giving a list of expressions. In ANSI SQL you would have to do a concatenation of all expressions inside CODE(DISTINCT ..).
AVG(expr)
Returns the average value of expr:
mysql> select student_name, AVG(test_score)
           from student
           GROUP BY student_name;
MIN(expr)
MAX(expr)
Returns the minimum or maximum value of expr. MIN() and MAX() may take a string argument; in such cases they return the minimum or maximum string value. See section 13.4 How MySQL Uses Indexes.
mysql> select student_name, MIN(test_score), MAX(test_score)
           from student
           GROUP BY student_name;
SUM(expr)
Returns the sum of expr. Note that if the return set has no rows, it returns NULL!
STD(expr)
STDDEV(expr)
Returns the standard deviation of expr. This is an extension to ANSI SQL. The STDDEV() form of this function is provided for Oracle compatibility.
BIT_OR(expr)
Returns the bitwise OR of all bits in expr. The calculation is performed with 64-bit (BIGINT) precision.
BIT_AND(expr)
Returns the bitwise AND of all bits in expr. The calculation is performed with 64-bit (BIGINT) precision.

MySQL has extended the use of GROUP BY. You can use columns or calculations in the SELECT expressions that don't appear in the GROUP BY part. This stands for any possible value for this group. You can use this to get better performance by avoiding sorting and grouping on unnecessary items. For example, you don't need to group on customer.name in the following query:

mysql> select order.custid,customer.name,max(payments)
       from order,customer
       where order.custid = customer.custid
       GROUP BY order.custid;

In ANSI SQL, you would have to add customer.name to the GROUP BY clause. In MySQL, the name is redundant if you don't run in ANSI mode.

Don't use this feature if the columns you omit from the GROUP BY part aren't unique in the group! You will get unpredictable results.

In some cases, you can use MIN() and MAX() to obtain a specific column value even if it isn't unique. The following gives the value of column from the row containing the smallest value in the sort column:

substr(MIN(concat(rpad(sort,6,' '),column)),7)

See section 9.5.4 The Rows Holding the Group-wise Maximum of a Certain Field.

Note that if you are using MySQL Version 3.22 (or earlier) or if you are trying to follow ANSI SQL, you can't use expressions in GROUP BY or ORDER BY clauses. You can work around this limitation by using an alias for the expression:

mysql> SELECT id,FLOOR(value/100) AS val FROM tbl_name
           GROUP BY id,val ORDER BY val;

In MySQL Version 3.23 you can do:

mysql> SELECT id,FLOOR(value/100) FROM tbl_name ORDER BY RAND();

7.5 CREATE DATABASE Syntax

CREATE DATABASE [IF NOT EXISTS] db_name

CREATE DATABASE creates a database with the given name. Rules for allowable database names are given in section 7.1.5 Database, Table, Index, Column, and Alias Names. An error occurs if the database already exists and you didn't specify IF NOT EXISTS.

Databases in MySQL are implemented as directories containing files that correspond to tables in the database. Because there are no tables in a database when it is initially created, the CREATE DATABASE statement only creates a directory under the MySQL data directory.

You can also create databases with mysqladmin. See section 15.1 Overview of the Different MySQL Programs.

7.6 DROP DATABASE Syntax

DROP DATABASE [IF EXISTS] db_name

DROP DATABASE drops all tables in the database and deletes the database. If you do a DROP DATABASE on a symbolic linked database, both the link and the original database is deleted. Be VERY careful with this command!

DROP DATABASE returns the number of files that were removed from the database directory. Normally, this is three times the number of tables, because normally each table corresponds to a `.MYD' file, a `.MYI' file, and a `.frm' file.

The DROP DATABASE command removes from the given database directory all files with the following extensions:

.BAK .DAT .HSH .ISD
.ISM .ISM .MRG .MYD
.MYI .db .frm

All subdirectories that consists of 2 digits (RAID directories) are also removed.

In MySQL Version 3.22 or later, you can use the keywords IF EXISTS to prevent an error from occurring if the database doesn't exist.

You can also drop databases with mysqladmin. See section 15.1 Overview of the Different MySQL Programs.

7.7 CREATE TABLE Syntax

CREATE [TEMPORARY] TABLE [IF NOT EXISTS] tbl_name [(create_definition,...)]
[table_options] [select_statement]

create_definition:
  col_name type [NOT NULL | NULL] [DEFAULT default_value] [AUTO_INCREMENT]
            [PRIMARY KEY] [reference_definition]
  or    PRIMARY KEY (index_col_name,...)
  or    KEY [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    INDEX [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    UNIQUE [INDEX] [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    FULLTEXT [INDEX] [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    [CONSTRAINT symbol] FOREIGN KEY index_name (index_col_name,...)
            [reference_definition]
  or    CHECK (expr)

type:
        TINYINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    SMALLINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    MEDIUMINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    INT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    INTEGER[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    BIGINT[(length)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    REAL[(length,decimals)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    DOUBLE[(length,decimals)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    FLOAT[(length,decimals)] [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    DECIMAL(length,decimals) [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    NUMERIC(length,decimals) [UNSIGNED] [ZEROFILL]
  or    CHAR(length) [BINARY]
  or    VARCHAR(length) [BINARY]
  or    DATE
  or    TIME
  or    TIMESTAMP
  or    DATETIME
  or    TINYBLOB
  or    BLOB
  or    MEDIUMBLOB
  or    LONGBLOB
  or    TINYTEXT
  or    TEXT
  or    MEDIUMTEXT
  or    LONGTEXT
  or    ENUM(value1,value2,value3,...)
  or    SET(value1,value2,value3,...)

index_col_name:
        col_name [(length)]

reference_definition:
        REFERENCES tbl_name [(index_col_name,...)]
                   [MATCH FULL | MATCH PARTIAL]
                   [ON DELETE reference_option]
                   [ON UPDATE reference_option]

reference_option:
        RESTRICT | CASCADE | SET NULL | NO ACTION | SET DEFAULT

table_options:
	TYPE = {BDB | HEAP | ISAM | InnoDB | MERGE | MYISAM }
or	AUTO_INCREMENT = #
or	AVG_ROW_LENGTH = #
or	CHECKSUM = {0 | 1}
or	COMMENT = "string"
or	MAX_ROWS = #
or	MIN_ROWS = #
or	PACK_KEYS = {0 | 1}
or	PASSWORD = "string"
or	DELAY_KEY_WRITE = {0 | 1}
or      ROW_FORMAT= { default | dynamic | fixed | compressed }
or	RAID_TYPE= {1 | STRIPED | RAID0 } RAID_CHUNKS=#  RAID_CHUNKSIZE=#
or	UNION = (table_name,[table_name...])
or      DATA DIRECTORY="directory"
or      INDEX DIRECTORY="directory"

select_statement:
	[IGNORE | REPLACE] SELECT ...  (Some legal select statement)

CREATE TABLE creates a table with the given name in the current database. Rules for allowable table names are given in section 7.1.5 Database, Table, Index, Column, and Alias Names. An error occurs if there is no current database or if the table already exists.

In MySQL Version 3.22 or later, the table name can be specified as db_name.tbl_name. This works whether or not there is a current database.

In MySQL Version 3.23, you can use the TEMPORARY keyword when you create a table. A temporary table will automatically be deleted if a connection dies and the name is per connection. This means that two different connections can both use the same temporary table name without conflicting with each other or with an existing table of the same name. (The existing table is hidden until the temporary table is deleted).

In MySQL Version 3.23 or later, you can use the keywords IF NOT EXISTS so that an error does not occur if the table already exists. Note that there is no verification that the table structures are identical.

Each table tbl_name is represented by some files in the database directory. In the case of MyISAM-type tables you will get:

File Purpose
tbl_name.frm Table definition (form) file
tbl_name.MYD Data file
tbl_name.MYI Index file

For more information on the properties of the various column types, see section 7.3 Column Types:

7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes

In some cases, MySQL silently changes a column specification from that given in a CREATE TABLE statement. (This may also occur with ALTER TABLE.):

If you want to see whether or not MySQL used a column type other than the one you specified, issue a DESCRIBE tbl_name statement after creating or altering your table.

Certain other column type changes may occur if you compress a table using myisampack. See section 8.1.2.3 Compressed Table Characteristics.

7.8 ALTER TABLE Syntax

ALTER [IGNORE] TABLE tbl_name alter_spec [, alter_spec ...]

alter_specification:
        ADD [COLUMN] create_definition [FIRST | AFTER column_name ]
  or    ADD [COLUMN] (create_definition, create_definition,...)
  or    ADD INDEX [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    ADD PRIMARY KEY (index_col_name,...)
  or    ADD UNIQUE [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or    ADD FULLTEXT [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
  or	ADD [CONSTRAINT symbol] FOREIGN KEY index_name (index_col_name,...)
            [reference_definition]
  or    ALTER [COLUMN] col_name {SET DEFAULT literal | DROP DEFAULT}
  or    CHANGE [COLUMN] old_col_name create_definition
  or    MODIFY [COLUMN] create_definition
  or    DROP [COLUMN] col_name
  or    DROP PRIMARY KEY
  or    DROP INDEX index_name
  or    RENAME [TO] new_tbl_name
  or    ORDER BY col
  or    table_options

ALTER TABLE allows you to change the structure of an existing table. For example, you can add or delete columns, create or destroy indexes, change the type of existing columns, or rename columns or the table itself. You can also change the comment for the table and type of the table. See section 7.7 CREATE TABLE Syntax.

If you use ALTER TABLE to change a column specification but DESCRIBE tbl_name indicates that your column was not changed, it is possible that MySQL ignored your modification for one of the reasons described in section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes. For example, if you try to change a VARCHAR column to CHAR, MySQL will still use VARCHAR if the table contains other variable-length columns.

ALTER TABLE works by making a temporary copy of the original table. The alteration is performed on the copy, then the original table is deleted and the new one is renamed. This is done in such a way that all updates are automatically redirected to the new table without any failed updates. While ALTER TABLE is executing, the original table is readable by other clients. Updates and writes to the table are stalled until the new table is ready.

Note that if you use any other option to ALTER TABLE than RENAME, MySQL will always create a temporary table, even if the data wouldn't strictly need to be copied (like when you change the name of a column). We plan to fix this in the future, but as one doesn't normally do ALTER TABLE that often this isn't that high on our TODO.

Here is an example that shows some of the uses of ALTER TABLE. We begin with a table t1 that is created as shown below:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t1 (a INTEGER,b CHAR(10));

To rename the table from t1 to t2:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t1 RENAME t2;

To change column a from INTEGER to TINYINT NOT NULL (leaving the name the same), and to change column b from CHAR(10) to CHAR(20) as well as renaming it from b to c:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 MODIFY a TINYINT NOT NULL, CHANGE b c CHAR(20);

To add a new TIMESTAMP column named d:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ADD d TIMESTAMP;

To add an index on column d, and make column a the primary key:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ADD INDEX (d), ADD PRIMARY KEY (a);

To remove column c:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 DROP COLUMN c;

To add a new AUTO_INCREMENT integer column named c:

mysql> ALTER TABLE t2 ADD c INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
           ADD INDEX (c);

Note that we indexed c, because AUTO_INCREMENT columns must be indexed, and also that we declare c as NOT NULL, because indexed columns cannot be NULL.

When you add an AUTO_INCREMENT column, column values are filled in with sequence numbers for you automatically. You can set the first sequence number by executing SET INSERT_ID=# before ALTER TABLE or using the AUTO_INCREMENT = # table option. See section 7.33 SET Syntax.

With MyISAM tables, if you don't change the AUTO_INCREMENT column, the sequence number will not be affected. If you drop an AUTO_INCREMENT column and then add another AUTO_INCREMENT column, the numbers will start from 1 again.

See section 21.20 Problems with ALTER TABLE..

7.9 RENAME TABLE Syntax

RENAME TABLE tbl_name TO new_table_name[, tbl_name2 TO new_table_name2,...]

The rename is done atomically, which means that no other thread can access any of the tables while the rename is running. This makes it possible to replace a table with an empty one:

CREATE TABLE new_table (...);
RENAME TABLE old_table TO backup_table, new_table TO old_table;

The rename is done from left to right, which means that if you want to swap two tables names, you have to:

RENAME TABLE old_table    TO backup_table,
             new_table    TO old_table,
             backup_table TO new_table;

As long as two databases are on the same disk you can also rename from one database to another:

RENAME TABLE current_database.table_name TO other_database.table_name;

When you execute RENAME, you can't have any locked tables or active transactions. You must also have the ALTER and DROP privilege on the original table and CREATE and INSERT privilege on the new table.

If MySQL encounters any errors in a multiple table rename, it will do a reverse rename for all renamed tables to get everything back to the original state.

7.10 DROP TABLE Syntax

DROP TABLE [IF EXISTS] tbl_name [, tbl_name,...] [RESTRICT | CASCADE]

DROP TABLE removes one or more tables. All table data and the table definition are removed, so be careful with this command!

In MySQL Version 3.22 or later, you can use the keywords IF EXISTS to prevent an error from occurring for tables that don't exist.

RESTRICT and CASCADE are allowed to make porting easier. For the moment they don't do anything.

NOTE: DROP TABLE is not transaction-safe and will automatically commit any active transactions.

7.11 OPTIMIZE TABLE Syntax

OPTIMIZE TABLE tbl_name[,tbl_name]...

OPTIMIZE TABLE should be used if you have deleted a large part of a table or if you have made many changes to a table with variable-length rows (tables that have VARCHAR, BLOB, or TEXT columns). Deleted records are maintained in a linked list and subsequent INSERT operations reuse old record positions. You can use OPTIMIZE TABLE to reclaim the unused space and to defragment the data file.

For the moment OPTIMIZE TABLE only works on MyISAM and BDB tables. For BDB tables, OPTIMIZE TABLE is currently mapped to ANALYZE TABLE. See section 7.15 ANALYZE TABLE Syntax.

You can get optimize table to work on other table types by starting mysqld with --skip-new or --safe-mode, but in this case OPTIMIZE TABLE is just mapped to ALTER TABLE.

OPTIMIZE TABLE works the following way:

OPTIMIZE TABLE for MyISAM tables is equvialent of running myisamchk --quick --check-changed-tables --sort-index --analyze on the table.

Note that the table is locked during the time OPTIMIZE TABLE is running!

7.12 CHECK TABLE Syntax

CHECK TABLE tbl_name[,tbl_name...] [option [option...]]

option = QUICK | FAST | MEDIUM | EXTEND | CHANGED

CHECK TABLE only works on MyISAM tables. On MyISAM tables it's the same thing as running myisamchk -m table_name on the table.

If you don't specify any option MEDIUM is used.

Checks the table(s) for errors. For MyISAM tables the key statistics is updated. The command returns a table with the following columns:

Column Value
Table Table name.
Op Always ``check''.
Msg_type One of status, error, info, or warning.
Msg_text The message.

Note that you can get many rows of information for each checked table. The last row will be of Msg_type status and should normally be OK. If you don't get OK, or Not checked you should normally run a repair of the table. See section 16.1 Using myisamchk for Table Maintenance and Crash Recovery. Not checked means that the table the given TYPE told MySQL that there wasn't any need to check the table.

The different check types stand for the following:

Type Meaning
QUICK Don't scan the rows to check for wrong links.
FAST Only check tables which haven't been closed properly.
CHANGED Only check tables which have been changed since last check or haven't been closed properly.
MEDIUM Scan rows to verify that deleted links are ok. This also calculates a key checksum for the rows and verifies this with a calcualted checksum for the keys.
EXTENDED Do a full key lookup for all keys for each row. This ensures that the table is 100 % consistent, but will take a long time!

For dynamic sized MyISAM tables a started check will always do a MEDIUM check. For static size rows we skip the row scan for QUICK and FAST as the rows are very seldom corrupted.

You can combine check options as in:

CHECK TABLE test_table FAST QUICK;

Which only would do a quick check on the table if it wasn't closed properly.

NOTE: that in some case CHECK TABLE will change the table! This happens if the table is marked as 'corrupted' or 'not closed properly' but CHECK TABLE didn't find any problems in the table. In this case CHECK TABLE will mark the table as ok.

If a table is corrupted, then it's most likely that the problem is in the indexes and not in the data part. All of the above check types checks the indexes throughly and should thus find most errors.

If you just want to check a table that you assume is ok, you should use no check options or the QUICK option. The later should be used when you are in a hurry and can take the very small risk that QUICK didn't find an error in the data file (In most cases MySQL should find, under normal usage, any error in the data file. If this happens then the table will be marked as 'corrupted', in which case the table can't be used until it's repaired).

FAST and CHANGED are mostly intended to be used from a script (for example to be executed from cron) if you want to check your table from time to time. In most cases you FAST is to be prefered over CHANGED. (The only case when it isn't is when you suspect a bug you have found a bug in the MyISAM code.).

EXTENDED is only to be used after you have run a normal check but still get strange errors from a table when MySQL tries to update a row or find a row by key (this is VERY unlikely to happen if a normal check has succeeded!).

Some things reported by check table, can't be corrected automaticly:

7.13 BACKUP TABLE Syntax

BACKUP TABLE tbl_name[,tbl_name...] TO '/path/to/backup/directory'

Make a copy of all the table files to the backup directory that are the minimum needed to restore it. Currenlty only works for MyISAM tables. For MyISAM table, copies .frm (definition) and .MYD (data) files. The index file can be rebuilt from those two.

Before using this command, please see See section 22.2 Database Backups.

During the backup, read lock will be held for each table, one at time, as they are being backed up. If you want to backup several tables as a snapshot, you must first issue LOCK TABLES obtaining a read lock for each table in the group.

The command returns a table with the following columns:

Column Value
Table Table name
Op Always ``backup''
Msg_type One of status, error, info or warning.
Msg_text The message.

Note that BACKUP TABLE is only available in MySQL version 3.23.25 and later.

7.14 RESTORE TABLE Syntax

RESTORE TABLE tbl_name[,tbl_name...] FROM '/path/to/backup/directory'

Restores the table(s) from the backup that was made with BACKUP TABLE. Existing tables will not be overwritten - if you try to restore over an existing table, you will get an error. Restore will take longer than BACKUP due to the need to rebuilt the index. The more keys you have, the longer it is going to take. Just as BACKUP TABLE, currently only works of MyISAM tables.

The command returns a table with the following columns:

Column Value
Table Table name
Op Always ``restore''
Msg_type One of status, error, info or warning.
Msg_text The message.

7.15 ANALYZE TABLE Syntax

ANALYZE TABLE tbl_name[,tbl_name...]

Analyze and store the key distribution for the table. During the analyze the table is locked with a read lock. This works on MyISAM and BDB tables.

This is equivalent to running myisamchk -a on the table.

MySQL uses the stored key distribution to decide in which order tables should be joined when one does a join on something else than a constant.

The command returns a table with the following columns:

Column Value
Table Table name
Op Always ``analyze''
Msg_type One of status, error, info or warning.
Msg_text The message.

You can check the stored key distribution with the SHOW INDEX command. See section 7.28.1 SHOW Information About Databases, Tables, Columns, and Indexes.

If the table hasn't changed since the last ANALYZE TABLE command, the table will not be analyzed again.

7.16 REPAIR TABLE Syntax

REPAIR TABLE tbl_name[,tbl_name...] [QUICK] [EXTENDED]

REPAIR TABLE only works on MyISAM tables and is the same as running myisamchk -r table_name on the table.

Normally you should never have to run this command, but if disaster strikes you are very likely to get back all your data from a MyISAM table with REPAIR TABLE. If your tables get corrupted a lot you should try to find the reason for this! See section 21.2 What to Do if MySQL Keeps Crashing. See section 8.1.3 MyISAM table problems..

REPAIR TABLE repairs a possible corrupted table. The command returns a table with the following columns:

Column Value
Table Table name
Op Always ``repair''
Msg_type One of status, error, info or warning.
Msg_text The message.

Note that you can get many rows of information for each repaired table. The last one row will be of Msg_type status and should normally be OK. If you don't get OK, you should try repairing the table with myisamchk -o, as REPAIR TABLE does not yet implement all the options of myisamchk. In the near future, we will make it more flexible.

If QUICK is given then MySQL will try to do a REPAIR of only the index tree.

If you use EXTENDED then MySQL will create the index row by row instead of creating one index at a time with sorting; This may be better than sorting on fixed-length keys if you have long char() keys that compress very good.

7.17 DELETE Syntax

DELETE [LOW_PRIORITY] FROM tbl_name
    [WHERE where_definition]
    [LIMIT rows]

DELETE deletes rows from tbl_name that satisfy the condition given by where_definition, and returns the number of records deleted.

If you issue a DELETE with no WHERE clause, all rows are deleted. If you do this in AUTOCOMMIT mode, this works as TRUNCATE. See section 7.18 TRUNCATE Syntax. One problem with this is that DELETE will return zero as the number of affected records, but this will be fixed in 4.0.

If you really want to know how many records are deleted when you are deleting all rows, and are willing to suffer a speed penalty, you can use a DELETE statement of this form:

mysql> DELETE FROM tbl_name WHERE 1>0;

Note that this is MUCH slower than DELETE FROM tbl_name with no WHERE clause, because it deletes rows one at a time.

If you specify the keyword LOW_PRIORITY, execution of the DELETE is delayed until no other clients are reading from the table.

Deleted records are maintained in a linked list and subsequent INSERT operations reuse old record positions. To reclaim unused space and reduce file sizes, use the OPTIMIZE TABLE statement or the myisamchk utility to reorganize tables. OPTIMIZE TABLE is easier, but myisamchk is faster. See section 7.11 OPTIMIZE TABLE Syntax and section 16.5.3 Table Optimization.

The MySQL-specific LIMIT rows option to DELETE tells the server the maximum number of rows to be deleted before control is returned to the client. This can be used to ensure that a specific DELETE command doesn't take too much time. You can simply repeat the DELETE command until the number of affected rows is less than the LIMIT value.

7.18 TRUNCATE Syntax

TRUNCATE TABLE table_name

Is in 3.23 and the same thing as DELETE FROM table_name. See section 7.17 DELETE Syntax. The differences are:

TRUNCATE is an Oracle SQL extension.

7.19 SELECT Syntax

SELECT [STRAIGHT_JOIN] [SQL_SMALL_RESULT] [SQL_BIG_RESULT] [SQL_BUFFER_RESULT]
       [HIGH_PRIORITY]
       [DISTINCT | DISTINCTROW | ALL]
    select_expression,...
    [INTO {OUTFILE | DUMPFILE} 'file_name' export_options]
    [FROM table_references
        [WHERE where_definition]
        [GROUP BY {unsigned_integer | col_name | formula} [ASC | DESC], ...]
        [HAVING where_definition]
        [ORDER BY {unsigned_integer | col_name | formula} [ASC | DESC] ,...]
        [LIMIT [offset,] rows]
        [PROCEDURE procedure_name]
        [FOR UPDATE | LOCK IN SHARE MODE]]

SELECT is used to retrieve rows selected from one or more tables. select_expression indicates the columns you want to retrieve. SELECT may also be used to retrieve rows computed without reference to any table. For example:

mysql> SELECT 1 + 1;
         -> 2

All keywords used must be given in exactly the order shown above. For example, a HAVING clause must come after any GROUP BY clause and before any ORDER BY clause.

7.20 JOIN Syntax

MySQL supports the following JOIN syntaxes for use in SELECT statements:

table_reference, table_reference
table_reference [CROSS] JOIN table_reference
table_reference INNER JOIN table_reference join_condition
table_reference STRAIGHT_JOIN table_reference
table_reference LEFT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference join_condition
table_reference LEFT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference
table_reference NATURAL [LEFT [OUTER]] JOIN table_reference
{ oj table_reference LEFT OUTER JOIN table_reference ON conditional_expr }
table_reference RIGHT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference join_condition
table_reference RIGHT [OUTER] JOIN table_reference
table_reference NATURAL [RIGHT [OUTER]] JOIN table_reference

Where table_reference is defined as:

table_name [[AS] alias] [USE INDEX (key_list)] [IGNORE INDEX (key_list)]

and join_condition is defined as:

ON conditional_expr |
USING (column_list)

Note that in versions before Version 3.23.16, the INNER JOIN didn't take a join condition!

The last LEFT OUTER JOIN syntax shown above exists only for compatibility with ODBC:

Some examples:

mysql> select * from table1,table2 where table1.id=table2.id;
mysql> select * from table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.id=table2.id;
mysql> select * from table1 LEFT JOIN table2 USING (id);
mysql> select * from table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.id=table2.id
           LEFT JOIN table3 ON table2.id=table3.id;
mysql> select * from table1 USE INDEX (key1,key2) WHERE key1=1 and key2=2 AND
       key3=3;
mysql> select * from table1 IGNORE INDEX (key3) WHERE key1=1 and key2=2 AND
       key3=3;

See section 13.5.5 How MySQL Optimizes LEFT JOIN and RIGHT JOIN.

7.21 INSERT Syntax

    INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED] [IGNORE]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        VALUES (expression,...),(...),...
or  INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED] [IGNORE]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        SELECT ...
or  INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED] [IGNORE]
        [INTO] tbl_name
        SET col_name=expression, col_name=expression, ...

INSERT inserts new rows into an existing table. The INSERT ... VALUES form of the statement inserts rows based on explicitly specified values. The INSERT ... SELECT form inserts rows selected from another table or tables. The INSERT ... VALUES form with multiple value lists is supported in MySQL Version 3.22.5 or later. The col_name=expression syntax is supported in MySQL Version 3.22.10 or later.

tbl_name is the table into which rows should be inserted. The column name list or the SET clause indicates which columns the statement specifies values for:

If you use INSERT ... SELECT or an INSERT ... VALUES statement with multiple value lists, you can use the C API function mysql_info() to get information about the query. The format of the information string is shown below:

Records: 100 Duplicates: 0 Warnings: 0

Duplicates indicates the number of rows that couldn't be inserted because they would duplicate some existing unique index value. Warnings indicates the number of attempts to insert column values that were problematic in some way. Warnings can occur under any of the following conditions:

7.21.1 INSERT ... SELECT Syntax

INSERT [LOW_PRIORITY] [IGNORE] [INTO] tbl_name [(column list)] SELECT ...

With INSERT ... SELECT statement you can quickly insert many rows into a table from one or many tables.

INSERT INTO tblTemp2 (fldID) SELECT tblTemp1.fldOrder_ID FROM tblTemp1 WHERE
tblTemp1.fldOrder_ID > 100;

The following conditions hold for an INSERT ... SELECT statement:

You can of course also use REPLACE instead of INSERT to overwrite old rows.

7.21.2 INSERT DELAYED syntax

INSERT DELAYED ...

The DELAYED option for the INSERT statement is a MySQL-specific option that is very useful if you have clients that can't wait for the INSERT to complete. This is a common problem when you use MySQL for logging and you also periodically run SELECT and UPDATE statements that take a long time to complete. DELAYED was introduced in MySQL Version 3.22.15. It is a MySQL extension to ANSI SQL92.

INSERT DELAYED only works with ISAM and MyISAM tables. Note that as MyISAM tables supports concurrent SELECT and INSERT, if there is no free blocks in the middle of the data file, you very seldom need to use INSERT DELAYED with MyISAM. See section 8.1 MyISAM Tables.

When you use INSERT DELAYED, the client will get an OK at once and the row will be inserted when the table is not in use by any other thread.

Another major benefit of using INSERT DELAYED is that inserts from many clients are bundled together and written in one block. This is much faster than doing many separate inserts.

Note that currently the queued rows are only stored in memory until they are inserted into the table. This means that if you kill mysqld the hard way (kill -9) or if mysqld dies unexpectedly, any queued rows that weren't written to disk are lost!

The following describes in detail what happens when you use the DELAYED option to INSERT or REPLACE. In this description, the ``thread'' is the thread that received an INSERT DELAYED command and ``handler'' is the thread that handles all INSERT DELAYED statements for a particular table.

Note that INSERT DELAYED is slower than a normal INSERT if the table is not in use. There is also the additional overhead for the server to handle a separate thread for each table on which you use INSERT DELAYED. This means that you should only use INSERT DELAYED when you are really sure you need it!

7.22 REPLACE Syntax

    REPLACE [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        VALUES (expression,...)
or  REPLACE [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED]
        [INTO] tbl_name [(col_name,...)]
        SELECT ...
or  REPLACE [LOW_PRIORITY | DELAYED]
        [INTO] tbl_name
        SET col_name=expression, col_name=expression,...

REPLACE works exactly like INSERT, except that if an old record in the table has the same value as a new record on a unique index, the old record is deleted before the new record is inserted. See section 7.21 INSERT Syntax.

In other words, you can't access the values of the old row from a REPLACE statement. In some old MySQL version it looked like you could do this, but that was a bug that has been corrected.

When one uses a REPLACE command, mysql_affected_rows() will return 2 if the new row replaced and old row. This is because in this case one row was inserted and then the duplicate was deleted.

The above makes it easy to check if REPLACE added or replaced a row.

7.23 LOAD DATA INFILE Syntax

LOAD DATA [LOW_PRIORITY | CONCURRENT] [LOCAL] INFILE 'file_name.txt'
    [REPLACE | IGNORE]
    INTO TABLE tbl_name
    [FIELDS
        [TERMINATED BY '\t']
        [[OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY '']
        [ESCAPED BY '\\' ]
    ]
    [LINES TERMINATED BY '\n']
    [IGNORE number LINES]
    [(col_name,...)]

The LOAD DATA INFILE statement reads rows from a text file into a table at a very high speed. If the LOCAL keyword is specified, the file is read from the client host. If LOCAL is not specified, the file must be located on the server. (LOCAL is available in MySQL Version 3.22.6 or later.)

For security reasons, when reading text files located on the server, the files must either reside in the database directory or be readable by all. Also, to use LOAD DATA INFILE on server files, you must have the file privilege on the server host. See section 6.8 Privileges Provided by MySQL.

If you specify the keyword LOW_PRIORITY, execution of the LOAD DATA statement is delayed until no other clients are reading from the table.

If you specify the keyword CONCURRENT with a MyISAM table, then other threads can retrieve data from the table while LOAD DATA is executing. Using this option will of course affect the performance of LOAD DATA a bit even if no other thread is using the table at the same time.

Using LOCAL will be a bit slower than letting the server access the files directly, because the contents of the file must travel from the client host to the server host. On the other hand, you do not need the file privilege to load local files.

If you are using MySQL before Version 3.23.24 you can't read from a FIFO with LOAD DATA INFILE. If you need to read from a FIFO (for example the output from gunzip), use LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE instead.

You can also load data files by using the mysqlimport utility; it operates by sending a LOAD DATA INFILE command to the server. The --local option causes mysqlimport to read data files from the client host. You can specify the --compress option to get better performance over slow networks if the client and server support the compressed protocol.

When locating files on the server host, the server uses the following rules:

Note that these rules mean a file given as `./myfile.txt' is read from the server's data directory, whereas a file given as `myfile.txt' is read from the database directory of the current database. For example, the following LOAD DATA statement reads the file `data.txt' from the database directory for db1 because db1 is the current database, even though the statement explicitly loads the file into a table in the db2 database:

mysql> USE db1;
mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE "data.txt" INTO TABLE db2.my_table;

The REPLACE and IGNORE keywords 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.

If you load data from a local file using the LOCAL keyword, the server has no way to stop transmission of the file in the middle of the operation, so the default bahavior is the same as if IGNORE is specified.

If you use LOAD DATA INFILE on an empty MyISAM table, all non-unique indexes are created in a separate batch (like in REPAIR). This normally makes LOAD DATA INFILE much faster when you have many indexes.

LOAD DATA INFILE is the complement of SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE. See section 7.19 SELECT Syntax. To write data from a database to a file, use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE. To read the file back into the database, use LOAD DATA INFILE. The syntax of the FIELDS and LINES clauses is the same for both commands. Both clauses are optional, but FIELDS must precede LINES if both are specified.

If you specify a FIELDS clause, each of its subclauses (TERMINATED BY, [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY, and ESCAPED BY) is also optional, except that you must specify at least one of them.

If you don't specify a FIELDS clause, the defaults are the same as if you had written this:

FIELDS TERMINATED BY '\t' ENCLOSED BY '' ESCAPED BY '\\'

If you don't specify a LINES clause, the default is the same as if you had written this:

LINES TERMINATED BY '\n'

In other words, the defaults cause LOAD DATA INFILE to act as follows when reading input:

Conversely, the defaults cause SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE to act as follows when writing output:

Note that to write FIELDS ESCAPED BY '\\', you must specify two backslashes for the value to be read as a single backslash.

The IGNORE number LINES option can be used to ignore a header of column names at the start of the file:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE "/tmp/file_name" into table test IGNORE 1 LINES;

When you use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE in tandem with LOAD DATA INFILE to write data from a database into a file and then read the file back into the database later, the field and line handling options for both commands must match. Otherwise, LOAD DATA INFILE will not interpret the contents of the file properly. Suppose you use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE to write a file with fields delimited by commas:

mysql> SELECT * INTO OUTFILE 'data.txt'
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY ','
           FROM ...;

To read the comma-delimited file back in, the correct statement would be:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'data.txt' INTO TABLE table2
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',';

If instead you tried to read in the file with the statement shown below, it wouldn't work because it instructs LOAD DATA INFILE to look for tabs between fields:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'data.txt' INTO TABLE table2
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY '\t';

The likely result is that each input line would be interpreted as a single field.

LOAD DATA INFILE can be used to read files obtained from external sources, too. For example, a file in dBASE format will have fields separated by commas and enclosed in double quotes. If lines in the file are terminated by newlines, the command shown below illustrates the field and line handling options you would use to load the file:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'data.txt' INTO TABLE tbl_name
           FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' ENCLOSED BY '"'
           LINES TERMINATED BY '\n';

Any of the field or line handling options may specify an empty string (''). If not empty, the FIELDS [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY and FIELDS ESCAPED BY values must be a single character. The FIELDS TERMINATED BY and LINES TERMINATED BY values may be more than one character. For example, to write lines that are terminated by carriage return-linefeed pairs, or to read a file containing such lines, specify a LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n' clause.

For example, to read a file of jokes, that are separated with a line of %%, into a SQL table you can do:

create table jokes (a int not null auto_increment primary key, joke text
not null);
load data infile "/tmp/jokes.txt" into table jokes fields terminated by ""
lines terminated by "\n%%\n" (joke);

FIELDS [OPTIONALLY] ENCLOSED BY controls quoting of fields. For output (SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE), if you omit the word OPTIONALLY, all fields are enclosed by the ENCLOSED BY character. An example of such output (using a comma as the field delimiter) is shown below:

"1","a string","100.20"
"2","a string containing a , comma","102.20"
"3","a string containing a \" quote","102.20"
"4","a string containing a \", quote and comma","102.20"

If you specify OPTIONALLY, the ENCLOSED BY character is used only to enclose CHAR and VARCHAR fields:

1,"a string",100.20
2,"a string containing a , comma",102.20
3,"a string containing a \" quote",102.20
4,"a string containing a \", quote and comma",102.20

Note that occurrences of the ENCLOSED BY character within a field value are escaped by prefixing them with the ESCAPED BY character. Also note that if you specify an empty ESCAPED BY value, it is possible to generate output that cannot be read properly by LOAD DATA INFILE. For example, the output just shown above would appear as shown below if the escape character is empty. Observe that the second field in the fourth line contains a comma following the quote, which (erroneously) appears to terminate the field:

1,"a string",100.20
2,"a string containing a , comma",102.20
3,"a string containing a " quote",102.20
4,"a string containing a ", quote and comma",102.20

For input, the ENCLOSED BY character, if present, is stripped from the ends of field values. (This is true whether or not OPTIONALLY is specified; OPTIONALLY has no effect on input interpretation.) Occurrences of the ENCLOSED BY character preceded by the ESCAPED BY character are interpreted as part of the current field value. In addition, duplicated ENCLOSED BY characters occurring within fields are interpreted as single ENCLOSED BY characters if the field itself starts with that character. For example, if ENCLOSED BY '"' is specified, quotes are handled as shown below:

"The ""BIG"" boss"  -> The "BIG" boss
The "BIG" boss      -> The "BIG" boss
The ""BIG"" boss    -> The ""BIG"" boss

FIELDS ESCAPED BY controls how to write or read special characters. If the FIELDS ESCAPED BY character is not empty, it is used to prefix the following characters on output:

If the FIELDS ESCAPED BY character is empty, no characters are escaped. It is probably not a good idea to specify an empty escape character, particularly if field values in your data contain any of the characters in the list just given.

For input, if the FIELDS ESCAPED BY character is not empty, occurrences of that character are stripped and the following character is taken literally as part of a field value. The exceptions are an escaped `0' or `N' (for example, \0 or \N if the escape character is `\'). These sequences are interpreted as ASCII 0 (a zero-valued byte) and NULL. See below for the rules on NULL handling.

For more information about `\'-escape syntax, see section 7.1 Literals: How to Write Strings and Numbers.

In certain cases, field and line handling options interact:

Handling of NULL values varies, depending on the FIELDS and LINES options you use:

Some cases are not supported by LOAD DATA INFILE:

The following example loads all columns of the persondata table:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'persondata.txt' INTO TABLE persondata;

No field list is specified, so LOAD DATA INFILE expects input rows to contain a field for each table column. The default FIELDS and LINES values are used.

If you wish to load only some of a table's columns, specify a field list:

mysql> LOAD DATA INFILE 'persondata.txt'
           INTO TABLE persondata (col1,col2,...);

You must also specify a field list if the order of the fields in the input file differs from the order of the columns in the table. Otherwise, MySQL cannot tell how to match up input fields with table columns.

If a row has too few fields, the columns for which no input field is present are set to default values. Default value assignment is described in section 7.7 CREATE TABLE Syntax.

An empty field value is interpreted differently than if the field value is missing:

Note that these are the same values that result if you assign an empty string explicitly to a string, numeric, or date or time type explicitly in an INSERT or UPDATE statement.

TIMESTAMP columns are only set to the current date and time if there is a NULL value for the column, or (for the first TIMESTAMP column only) if the TIMESTAMP column is left out from the field list when a field list is specified.

If an input row has too many fields, the extra fields are ignored and the number of warnings is incremented.

LOAD DATA INFILE regards all input as strings, so you can't use numeric values for ENUM or SET columns the way you can with INSERT statements. All ENUM and SET values must be specified as strings!

If you are using the C API, you can get information about the query by calling the API function mysql_info() when the LOAD DATA INFILE query finishes. The format of the information string is shown below:

Records: 1  Deleted: 0  Skipped: 0  Warnings: 0

Warnings occur under the same circumstances as when values are inserted via the INSERT statement (see section 7.21 INSERT Syntax), except that LOAD DATA INFILE also generates warnings when there are too few or too many fields in the input row. The warnings are not stored anywhere; the number of warnings can only be used as an indication if everything went well. If you get warnings and want to know exactly why you got them, one way to do this is to use SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE into another file and compare this to your original input file.

If you need LOAD DATA to read from a pipe, you can use the following trick:

mkfifo /mysql/db/x/x
chmod 666 /mysql/db/x/x
cat < /dev/tcp/10.1.1.12/4711 > /nt/mysql/db/x/x
mysql -e "LOAD DATA INFILE 'x' INTO TABLE x" x

If you are using a version of MySQL older than 3.23.25 you can only do the above with LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE.

For more information about the efficiency of INSERT versus LOAD DATA INFILE and speeding up LOAD DATA INFILE, See section 13.5.7 Speed of INSERT Queries.

7.24 UPDATE Syntax

UPDATE [LOW_PRIORITY] [IGNORE] tbl_name
    SET col_name1=expr1, [col_name2=expr2, ...]
    [WHERE where_definition]
    [LIMIT #]

UPDATE updates columns in existing table rows with new values. The SET clause indicates which columns to modify and the values they should be given. The WHERE clause, if given, specifies which rows should be updated. Otherwise all rows are updated. If the ORDER BY clause is specified, the rows will be updated in the order that is specified.

If you specify the keyword LOW_PRIORITY, execution of the UPDATE is delayed until no other clients are reading from the table.

If you specify the keyword IGNORE, the update statement will not abort even if we get duplicate key errors during the update. Rows that would cause conflicts will not be updated.

If you access a column from tbl_name in an expression, UPDATE uses the current value of the column. For example, the following statement sets the age column to one more than its current value:

mysql> UPDATE persondata SET age=age+1;

UPDATE assignments are evaluated from left to right. For example, the following statement doubles the age column, then increments it:

mysql> UPDATE persondata SET age=age*2, age=age+1;

If you set a column to the value it currently has, MySQL notices this and doesn't update it.

UPDATE returns the number of rows that were actually changed. In MySQL Version 3.22 or later, the C API function mysql_info() returns the number of rows that were matched and updated and the number of warnings that occurred during the UPDATE.

In MySQL Version 3.23, you can use LIMIT # to ensure that only a given number of rows are changed.

7.25 USE Syntax

USE db_name

The USE db_name statement tells MySQL to use the db_name database as the default database for subsequent queries. The database remains current until the end of the session or until another USE statement is issued:

mysql> USE db1;
mysql> SELECT count(*) FROM mytable;      # selects from db1.mytable
mysql> USE db2;
mysql> SELECT count(*) FROM mytable;      # selects from db2.mytable

Making a particular database current by means of the USE statement does not preclude you from accessing tables in other databases. The example below accesses the author table from the db1 database and the editor table from the db2 database:

mysql> USE db1;
mysql> SELECT author_name,editor_name FROM author,db2.editor
           WHERE author.editor_id = db2.editor.editor_id;

The USE statement is provided for Sybase compatibility.

7.26 FLUSH Syntax

FLUSH flush_option [,flush_option]

You should use the FLUSH command if you want to clear some of the internal caches MySQL uses. To execute FLUSH, you must have the RELOAD privilege.

flush_option can be any of the following:

HOSTS Empties the host cache tables. You should flush the host tables if some of your hosts change IP number or if you get the error message Host ... is blocked. When more than max_connect_errors errors occur in a row for a given host while connection to the MySQL server, MySQL assumes something is wrong and blocks the host from further connection requests. Flushing the host tables allows the host to attempt to connect again. See section 21.4.4 Host '...' is blocked Error.) You can start mysqld with -O max_connection_errors=999999999 to avoid this error message.
LOGS Closes and reopens all log files. If you have specified the update log file or a binary log file without an extension, the extension number of the log file will be incremented by one relative to the previous file. If you have used an extension in the file name, MySQL will close and reopen the update log file. See section 23.3 The Update Log. This is the same thing as sending the SIGHUP signal to the mysqld server.
PRIVILEGES Reloads the privileges from the grant tables in the mysql database.
TABLES Closes all open tables and force all tables in use to be closed.
[TABLE | TABLES] table_name [,table_name...] Flushes only the given tables.
TABLES WITH READ LOCK Closes all open tables and locks all tables for all databases with a read until one executes UNLOCK TABLES. This is very convenient way to get backups if you have a file system, like Veritas,that can take snapshots in time.
STATUS Resets most status variables to zero. This is something one should only use when debugging a query.

You can also access each of the commands shown above with the mysqladmin utility, using the flush-hosts, flush-logs, reload, or flush-tables commands.

Take also a look at the RESET command used with replication. See section 11.6 SQL Commands Related to Replication.

7.27 KILL Syntax

KILL thread_id

Each connection to mysqld runs in a separate thread. You can see which threads are running with the SHOW PROCESSLIST command and kill a thread with the KILL thread_id command.

If you have the process privilege, you can see and kill all threads. Otherwise, you can see and kill only your own threads.

You can also use the mysqladmin processlist and mysqladmin kill commands to examine and kill threads.

When you do a KILL, a thread specific kill flag is set for the thread.

In most cases it may take some time for the thread to die as the kill flag is only checked at specific intervals.

7.28 SHOW Syntax

   SHOW DATABASES [LIKE wild]
or SHOW [OPEN] TABLES [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]
or SHOW [FULL] COLUMNS FROM tbl_name [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]
or SHOW INDEX FROM tbl_name [FROM db_name]
or SHOW TABLE STATUS [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]
or SHOW STATUS [LIKE wild]
or SHOW VARIABLES [LIKE wild]
or SHOW LOGS
or SHOW [FULL] PROCESSLIST
or SHOW GRANTS FOR user
or SHOW CREATE TABLE table_name
or SHOW MASTER STATUS
or SHOW MASTER LOGS
or SHOW SLAVE STATUS

SHOW provides information about databases, tables, columns, or status information about the server. If the LIKE wild part is used, the wild string can be a string that uses the SQL `%' and `_' wild-card characters.

7.28.1 SHOW Information About Databases, Tables, Columns, and Indexes

You can use db_name.tbl_name as an alternative to the tbl_name FROM db_name syntax. These two statements are equivalent:

mysql> SHOW INDEX FROM mytable FROM mydb;
mysql> SHOW INDEX FROM mydb.mytable;

SHOW DATABASES lists the databases on the MySQL server host. You can also get this list using the mysqlshow command.

SHOW TABLES lists the tables in a given database. You can also get this list using the mysqlshow db_name command.

NOTE: If a user doesn't have any privileges for a table, the table will not show up in the output from SHOW TABLES or mysqlshow db_name.

SHOW OPEN TABLES lists the tables that are currently open in the table cache. See section 13.2.5 How MySQL Opens and Closes Tables. The Comment field tells how many times the table is cached and in_use.

SHOW COLUMNS lists the columns in a given table. If you specify the FULL option, you will also get the privileges you have for each column. If the column types are different than you expect them to be based on a CREATE TABLE statement, note that MySQL sometimes changes column types. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes.

The DESCRIBE statement provides information similar to SHOW COLUMNS. See section 7.30 DESCRIBE Syntax (Get Information About Columns).

SHOW FIELDS is a synonym for SHOW COLUMNS, and SHOW KEYS is a synonym for SHOW INDEX. You can also list a table's columns or indexes with mysqlshow db_name tbl_name or mysqlshow -k db_name tbl_name.

SHOW INDEX returns the index information in a format that closely resembles the SQLStatistics call in ODBC. The following columns are returned:

Column Meaning
Table Name of the table.
Non_unique 0 if the index can't contain duplicates.
Key_name Name of the index.
Seq_in_index Column sequence number in index, starting with 1.
Column_name Column name.
Collation How the column is sorted in the index. In MySQL, this can have values `A' (Ascending) or NULL (Not sorted).
Cardinality Number of unique values in the index. This is updated by running isamchk -a.
Sub_part Number of indexed characters if the column is only partly indexed. NULL if the entire key is indexed.
Comment Various remarks. For now, it tells whether index is FULLTEXT or not.

Note that as the Cardinality is counted based on statistics stored as integers, it's not necessarily accurate for small tables.

7.28.2 SHOW TABLE STATUS

SHOW TABLE STATUS [FROM db_name] [LIKE wild]

SHOW TABLE STATUS (new in Version 3.23) works likes SHOW STATUS, but provides a lot of information about each table. You can also get this list using the mysqlshow --status db_name command. The following columns are returned:

Column Meaning
Name Name of the table.
Type Type of table. See section 8 MySQL Table Types.
Row_format The row storage format (Fixed, Dynamic, or Compressed).
Rows Number of rows.
Avg_row_length Average row length.
Data_length Length of the data file.
Max_data_length Max length of the data file.
Index_length Length of the index file.
Data_free Number of allocated but not used bytes.
Auto_increment Next autoincrement value.
Create_time When the table was created.
Update_time When the data file was last updated.
Check_time When the table was last checked.
Create_options Extra options used with CREATE TABLE.
Comment The comment used when creating the table (or some information why MySQL couldn't access the table information).

InnoDB tables will report the free space in the tablespace in the table comment.

7.28.3 SHOW STATUS

SHOW STATUS provides server status information (like mysqladmin extended-status). The output resembles that shown below, though the format and numbers probably differ:

+--------------------------+------------+
| Variable_name            | Value      |
+--------------------------+------------+
| Aborted_clients          | 0          |
| Aborted_connects         | 0          |
| Bytes_received           | 155372598  |
| Bytes_sent               | 1176560426 |
| Connections              | 30023      |
| Created_tmp_disk_tables  | 0          |
| Created_tmp_tables       | 8340       |
| Created_tmp_files        | 60         |
| Delayed_insert_threads   | 0          |
| Delayed_writes           | 0          |
| Delayed_errors           | 0          |
| Flush_commands           | 1          |
| Handler_delete           | 462604     |
| Handler_read_first       | 105881     |
| Handler_read_key         | 27820558   |
| Handler_read_next        | 390681754  |
| Handler_read_prev        | 6022500    |
| Handler_read_rnd         | 30546748   |
| Handler_read_rnd_next    | 246216530  |
| Handler_update           | 16945404   |
| Handler_write            | 60356676   |
| Key_blocks_used          | 14955      |
| Key_read_requests        | 96854827   |
| Key_reads                | 162040     |
| Key_write_requests       | 7589728    |
| Key_writes               | 3813196    |
| Max_used_connections     | 0          |
| Not_flushed_key_blocks   | 0          |
| Not_flushed_delayed_rows | 0          |
| Open_tables              | 1          |
| Open_files               | 2          |
| Open_streams             | 0          |
| Opened_tables            | 44600      |
| Questions                | 2026873    |
| Select_full_join         | 0          |
| Select_full_range_join   | 0          |
| Select_range             | 99646      |
| Select_range_check       | 0          |
| Select_scan              | 30802      |
| Slave_running            | OFF        |
| Slave_open_temp_tables   | 0          |
| Slow_launch_threads      | 0          |
| Slow_queries             | 0          |
| Sort_merge_passes        | 30         |
| Sort_range               | 500        |
| Sort_rows                | 30296250   |
| Sort_scan                | 4650       |
| Table_locks_immediate    | 1920382    |
| Table_locks_waited       | 0          |
| Threads_cached           | 0          |
| Threads_created          | 30022      |
| Threads_connected        | 1          |
| Threads_running          | 1          |
| Uptime                   | 80380      |
+--------------------------+------------+

The status variables listed above have the following meaning:

Variable Meaning
Aborted_clients Number of connections aborted because the client died without closing the connection properly. See section 21.4.9 Communication Errors / Aborted Connection.
Aborted_connects Number of tries to connect to the MySQL server that failed. See section 21.4.9 Communication Errors / Aborted Connection.
Bytes_received Number of bytes received from all clients.
Bytes_sent Number of bytes sent to all clients.
Connections Number of connection attempts to the MySQL server.
Created_tmp_disk_tables Number of implicit temporary tables on disk created while executing statements.
Created_tmp_tables Number of implicit temporary tables in memory created while executing statements.
Created_tmp_files How many temporary files mysqld have created.
Delayed_insert_threads Number of delayed insert handler threads in use.
Delayed_writes Number of rows written with INSERT DELAYED.
Delayed_errors Number of rows written with INSERT DELAYED for which some error occurred (probably duplicate key).
Flush_commands Number of executed FLUSH commands.
Handler_delete Number of times a row was deleted from a table.
Handler_read_first Number of times the first entry was read from an index. If this is high, it suggests that the server is doing a lot of full index scans, for example, SELECT col1 FROM foo, assuming that col1 is indexed.
Handler_read_key Number of requests to read a row based on a key. If this is high, it is a good indication that your queries and tables are properly indexed.
Handler_read_next Number of requests to read next row in key order. This will be incremented if you are querying an index column with a range constraint. This also will be incremented if you are doing an index scan.
Handler_read_rnd Number of requests to read a row based on a fixed position. This will be high if you are doing a lot of queries that require sorting of the result.
Handler_read_rnd_next Number of requests to read the next row in the datafile. This will be high if you are doing a lot of table scans. Generally this suggests that your tables are not properly indexed or that your queries are not written to take advantage of the indexes you have.
Handler_update Number of requests to update a row in a table.
Handler_write Number of requests to insert a row in a table.
Key_blocks_used The number of used blocks in the key cache.
Key_read_requests The number of requests to read a key block from the cache.
Key_reads The number of physical reads of a key block from disk.
Key_write_requests The number of requests to write a key block to the cache.
Key_writes The number of physical writes of a key block to disk.
Max_used_connections The maximum number of connections in use simultaneously.
Not_flushed_key_blocks Keys blocks in the key cache that has changed but hasn't yet been flushed to disk.
Not_flushed_delayed_rows Number of rows waiting to be written in INSERT DELAY queues.
Open_tables Number of tables that are open.
Open_files Number of files that are open.
Open_streams Number of streams that are open (used mainly for logging).
Opened_tables Number of tables that have been opened.
Select_full_join Number of joins without keys (Should be 0).
Select_full_range_join Number of joins where we used a range search on reference table.
Select_range Number of joins where we used ranges on the first table. (It's normally not critical even if this is big.)
Select_scan Number of joins where we scanned the first table.
Select_range_check Number of joins without keys where we check for key usage after each row (Should be 0).
Questions Number of queries sent to the server.
Slave_open_temp_tables Number of temporary tables currently open by the slave thread
Slow_launch_threads Number of threads that have taken more than slow_launch_time to connect.
Slow_queries Number of queries that have taken more than long_query_time. See section 23.5 The Slow Query Log.
Sort_merge_passes Number of merges the sort has to do. If this value is large you should consider increasing sort_buffer.
Sort_range Number of sorts that where done with ranges.
Sort_rows Number of sorted rows.
Sort_scan Number of sorts that where done by scanning the table.
Table_locks_immediate Number of times a table lock was acquired immediately. Available after 3.23.33.
Table_locks_waited Number of times a table lock could not be acquired immediately and a wait was needed. If this is high, and you have performance problems, you should first optimize your queries, and then either split your table(s) or use replication. Available after 3.23.33.
Threads_cached Number of threads in the thread cache.
Threads_connected Number of currently open connections.
Threads_created Number of threads created to handle connections.
Threads_running Number of threads that are not sleeping.
Uptime How many seconds the server has been up.

Some comments about the above:

7.28.4 SHOW VARIABLES

SHOW VARIABLES [LIKE wild]

SHOW VARIABLES shows the values of some MySQL system variables. You can also get this information using the mysqladmin variables command. If the default values are unsuitable, you can set most of these variables using command-line options when mysqld starts up. See section 4.16.4 mysqld Command-line Options.

The output resembles that shown below, though the format and numbers may differ somewhat:

+-------------------------+---------------------------+
| Variable_name           | Value                     |
+-------------------------+---------------------------+
| ansi_mode               | OFF                       |
| back_log                | 50                        |
| basedir                 | /my/monty/                |
| bdb_cache_size          | 16777216                  |
| bdb_log_buffer_size     | 32768                     |
| bdb_home                | /my/monty/data/           |
| bdb_max_lock            | 10000                     |
| bdb_logdir              |                           |
| bdb_shared_data         | OFF                       |
| bdb_tmpdir              | /tmp/                     |
| binlog_cache_size       | 32768                     |
| concurrent_insert       | ON                        |
| connect_timeout         | 5                         |
| datadir                 | /my/monty/data/           |
| delay_key_write         | ON                        |
| delayed_insert_limit    | 100                       |
| delayed_insert_timeout  | 300                       |
| delayed_queue_size      | 1000                      |
| flush                   | OFF                       |
| flush_time              | 0                         |
| have_bdb                | YES                       |
| have_innodb             | YES                       |
| have_raid               | YES                       |
| have_ssl                | NO                        |
| init_file               |                           |
| interactive_timeout     | 28800                     |
| join_buffer_size        | 131072                    |
| key_buffer_size         | 16776192                  |
| language                | /my/monty/share/english/  |
| large_files_support     | ON                        |
| log                     | OFF                       |
| log_update              | OFF                       |
| log_bin                 | OFF                       |
| log_slave_updates       | OFF                       |
| long_query_time         | 10                        |
| low_priority_updates    | OFF                       |
| lower_case_table_names  | 0                         |
| max_allowed_packet      | 1048576                   |
| max_binlog_cache_size   | 4294967295                |
| max_connections         | 100                       |
| max_connect_errors      | 10                        |
| max_delayed_threads     | 20                        |
| max_heap_table_size     | 16777216                  |
| max_join_size           | 4294967295                |
| max_sort_length         | 1024                      |
| max_tmp_tables          | 32                        |
| max_write_lock_count    | 4294967295                |
| myisam_recover_options  | DEFAULT                   |
| myisam_sort_buffer_size | 8388608                   |
| net_buffer_length       | 16384                     |
| net_read_timeout        | 30                        |
| net_retry_count         | 10                        |
| net_write_timeout       | 60                        |
| open_files_limit        | 0                         |
| pid_file                | /my/monty/data/donna.pid  |
| port                    | 3306                      |
| protocol_version        | 10                        |
| record_buffer           | 131072                    |
| query_buffer_size       | 0                         |
| safe_show_database      | OFF                       |
| server_id               | 0                         |
| skip_locking            | ON                        |
| skip_networking         | OFF                       |
| skip_show_database      | OFF                       |
| slow_launch_time        | 2                         |
| socket                  | /tmp/mysql.sock           |
| sort_buffer             | 2097116                   |
| table_cache             | 64                        |
| table_type              | MYISAM                    |
| thread_cache_size       | 4                         |
| thread_stack            | 65536                     |
| tmp_table_size          | 1048576                   |
| tmpdir                  | /tmp/                     |
| version                 | 3.23.29a-gamma-debug      |
| wait_timeout            | 28800                     |
+-------------------------+---------------------------+

Each option is described below. Values for buffer sizes, lengths, and stack sizes are given in bytes. You can specify values with a suffix of `K' or `M' to indicate kilobytes or megabytes. For example, 16M indicates 16 megabytes. The case of suffix letters does not matter; 16M and 16m are equivalent:

ansi_mode.
Is ON if mysqld was started with --ansi. See section 5.2 Running MySQL in ANSI Mode.
back_log
The number of outstanding connection requests MySQL can have. This comes into play when the main MySQL thread gets VERY many connection requests in a very short time. It then takes some time (although very little) for the main thread to check the connection and start a new thread. The back_log value indicates how many requests can be stacked during this short time before MySQL momentarily stops answering new requests. You need to increase this only if you expect a large number of connections in a short period of time. In other words, this value is the size of the listen queue for incoming TCP/IP connections. Your operating system has its own limit on the size of this queue. The manual page for the Unix listen(2) system call should have more details. Check your OS documentation for the maximum value for this variable. Attempting to set back_log higher than your operating system limit will be ineffective.
basedir
The value of the --basedir option.
bdb_cache_size
The buffer that is allocated to cache index and rows for BDB tables. If you don't use BDB tables, you should start mysqld with --skip-bdb to not waste memory for this cache.
bdb_log_buffer_size
The buffer that is allocated to cache index and rows for BDB tables. If you don't use BDB tables, you should set this to 0 or start mysqld with --skip-bdb to not waste memory for this cache.
bdb_home
The value of the --bdb-home option.
bdb_max_lock
The maximum number of locks (1000 by default) you can have active on a BDB table. You should increase this if you get errors of type bdb: Lock table is out of available locks or Got error 12 from ... when you have do long transactions or when mysqld has to examine a lot of rows to calculate the query.
bdb_logdir
The value of the --bdb-logdir option.
bdb_shared_data
Is ON if you are using --bdb-shared-data.
bdb_tmpdir
The value of the --bdb-tmpdir option.
binlog_cache_size. The size of the cache to hold the SQL
statements for the binary log during a transaction. If you often use big, multi-statement transactions you can increase this to get more performance. See section 7.31 BEGIN/COMMIT/ROLLBACK Syntax.
character_set
The default character set.
character_sets
The supported character sets.
concurrent_inserts
If ON (the default), MySQL will allow you to use INSERT on MyISAM tables at the same time as you run SELECT queries on them. You can turn this option off by starting mysqld with --safe or --skip-new.
connect_timeout
The number of seconds the mysqld server is waiting for a connect packet before responding with Bad handshake.
datadir
The value of the --datadir option.
delay_key_write
If enabled (is on by default), MySQL will honor the delay_key_write option CREATE TABLE. This means that the key buffer for tables with this option will not get flushed on every index update, but only when a table is closed. This will speed up writes on keys a lot, but you should add automatic checking of all tables with myisamchk --fast --force if you use this. Note that if you start mysqld with the --delay-key-write-for-all-tables option this means that all tables will be treated as if they were created with the delay_key_write option. You can clear this flag by starting mysqld with --skip-new or --safe-mode.
delayed_insert_limit
After inserting delayed_insert_limit rows, the INSERT DELAYED handler will check if there are any SELECT statements pending. If so, it allows these to execute before continuing.
delayed_insert_timeout
How long a INSERT DELAYED thread should wait for INSERT statements before terminating.
delayed_queue_size
What size queue (in rows) should be allocated for handling INSERT DELAYED. If the queue becomes full, any client that does INSERT DELAYED will wait until there is room in the queue again.
flush
This is ON if you have started MySQL with the --flush option.
flush_time
If this is set to a non-zero value, then every flush_time seconds all tables will be closed (to free up resources and sync things to disk). We only recommend this option on Win95, Win98, or on systems where you have very little resources.
have_bdb
YES if mysqld supports Berkeley DB tables. DISABLED if --skip-bdb is used.
have_innodb
YES if mysqld supports InnoDB tables. DISABLED if --skip-innodb is used.
have_raid
YES if mysqld supports the RAID option.
have_ssl
YES if mysqld supports SSL (encryption) on the client/server protocol.
init_file
The name of the file specified with the --init-file option when you start the server. This is a file of SQL statements you want the server to execute when it starts.
interactive_timeout
The number of seconds the server waits for activity on an interactive connection before closing it. An interactive client is defined as a client that uses the CLIENT_INTERACTIVE option to mysql_real_connect(). See also wait_timeout.
join_buffer_size
The size of the buffer that is used for full joins (joins that do not use indexes). The buffer is allocated one time for each full join between two tables. Increase this value to get a faster full join when adding indexes is not possible. (Normally the best way to get fast joins is to add indexes.)
key_buffer_size
Index blocks are buffered and are shared by all threads. key_buffer_size is the size of the buffer used for index blocks. Increase this to get better index handling (for all reads and multiple writes) to as much as you can afford; 64M on a 256M machine that mainly runs MySQL is quite common. If you, however, make this too big (more than 50% of your total memory?) your system may start to page and become REALLY slow. Remember that because MySQL does not cache data read, that you will have to leave some room for the OS filesystem cache. You can check the performance of the key buffer by doing show status and examine the variables Key_read_requests, Key_reads, Key_write_requests, and Key_writes. The Key_reads/Key_read_request ratio should normally be < 0.01. The Key_write/Key_write_requests is usually near 1 if you are using mostly updates/deletes but may be much smaller if you tend to do updates that affect many at the same time or if you are using delay_key_write. See section 7.28 SHOW Syntax. To get even more speed when writing many rows at the same time, use LOCK TABLES. See section 7.32 LOCK TABLES/UNLOCK TABLES Syntax.
language
The language used for error messages.
large_file_support
If mysqld was compiled with options for big file support.
locked_in_memory
If mysqld was locked in memory with --memlock
log
If logging of all queries is enabled.
log_update
If the update log is enabled.
log_bin
If the binary log is enabled.
log_slave_updates
If the updates from the slave should be logged.
long_query_time
If a query takes longer than this (in seconds), the Slow_queries counter will be incremented. If you are using --log-slow-queries, the query will be logged to the slow query logfile. See section 23.5 The Slow Query Log.
lower_case_table_names
If set to 1 table names are stored in lowercase on disk. This will enable you to access the table names case-insensitive also on Unix. See section 7.1.5.1 Case Sensitivity in Names.
max_allowed_packet
The maximum size of one packet. The message buffer is initialized to net_buffer_length bytes, but can grow up to max_allowed_packet bytes when needed. This value by default is small, to catch big (possibly wrong) packets. You must increase this value if you are using big BLOB columns. It should be as big as the biggest BLOB you want to use. The current protocol limits max_allowed_packet to 16M.
max_binlog_cache_size
If a multi-statement transaction requires more than this amount of memory, one will get the error "Multi-statement transaction required more than 'max_binlog_cache_size' bytes of storage".
max_binlog_size
Available after 3.23.33. If a write to the binary (replication) log exceeds the given value, rotate the logs. You cannot set it to less than 1024 bytes, or more than 1 GB. Default is 1 GB.
max_connections
The number of simultaneous clients allowed. Increasing this value increases the number of file descriptors that mysqld requires. See below for comments on file descriptor limits. See section 21.4.5 Too many connections Error.
max_connect_errors
If there is more than this number of interrupted connections from a host this host will be blocked from further connections. You can unblock a host with the command FLUSH HOSTS.
max_delayed_threads
Don't start more than this number of threads to handle INSERT DELAYED statements. If you try to insert data into a new table after all INSERT DELAYED threads are in use, the row will be inserted as if the DELAYED attribute wasn't specified.
max_heap_table_size
Don't allow creation of heap tables bigger than this.
max_join_size
Joins that are probably going to read more than max_join_size records return an error. Set this value if your users tend to perform joins that lack a WHERE clause, that take a long time, and that return millions of rows.
max_sort_length
The number of bytes to use when sorting BLOB or TEXT values (only the first max_sort_length bytes of each value are used; the rest are ignored).
max_user_connections
The maximum number of active connections for a single user (0 = no limit).
max_tmp_tables
(This option doesn't yet do anything.) Maximum number of temporary tables a client can keep open at the same time.
max_write_lock_count
After this many write locks, allow some read locks to run in between.
myisam_recover_options
The value of the --myisam-recover option.
myisam_sort_buffer_size
The buffer that is allocated when sorting the index when doing a REPAIR or when creating indexes with CREATE INDEX or ALTER TABLE.
myisam_max_extra_sort_file_size.
If the creating of the temporary file for fast index creation would be this much bigger than using the key cache, then prefer the key cache method. This is mainly used to force long character keys in large tables to use the slower key cache method to create the index. NOTE that this parameter is given in megabytes!
myisam_max_sort_file_size
The maximum size of the temporary file MySQL is allowed to use while recreating the index (during REPAIR, ALTER TABLE or LOAD DATA INFILE. If the file size would be bigger than this, the index will be created through the key cache (which is slower). NOTE that this parameter is given in megabytes!
net_buffer_length
The communication buffer is reset to this size between queries. This should not normally be changed, but if you have very little memory, you can set it to the expected size of a query. (That is, the expected length of SQL statements sent by clients. If statements exceed this length, the buffer is automatically enlarged, up to max_allowed_packet bytes.)
net_read_timeout
Number of seconds to wait for more data from a connection before aborting the read. Note that when we don't expect data from a connection, the timeout is defined by write_timeout. See also slave_read_timeout.
net_retry_count
If a read on a communication port is interrupted, retry this many times before giving up. This value should be quite high on FreeBSD as internal interrupts are sent to all threads.
net_write_timeout
Number of seconds to wait for a block to be written to a connection before aborting the write.
open_files_limit
If this is not 0, then mysqld will use this value to reserve file descriptors to use with setrlimit(). If this value is 0 then mysqld will reserve max_connections*5 or max_connections + table_cache*2 (whichever is larger) number of files. You should try increasing this if mysqld gives you the error 'Too many open files'.
pid_file
The value of the --pid-file option.
port
The value of the --port option.
protocol_version
The protocol version used by the MySQL server.
record_buffer
Each thread that does a sequential scan allocates a buffer of this size for each table it scans. If you do many sequential scans, you may want to increase this value.
query_buffer_size
The initial allocation of the query buffer. If most of your queries are long (like when inserting blobs), you should increase this!
safe_show_databases
Don't show databases for which the user doesn't have any database or table privileges. This can improve security if you're concerned about people being able to see what databases other users have. See also skip_show_databases.
server_id
The value of the --server-id option.
skip_locking
Is OFF if mysqld uses external locking.
skip_networking
Is ON if we only allow local (socket) connections.
skip_show_databases
This prevents people from doing SHOW DATABASES if they don't have the PROCESS_PRIV privilege. This can improve security if you're concerned about people being able to see what databases other users have. See also safe_show_databases.
slave_read_timeout
Number of seconds to wait for more data from a master/slave connection before aborting the read.
slow_launch_time
If creating the thread takes longer than this value (in seconds), the Slow_launch_threads counter will be incremented.
socket
The Unix socket used by the server.
sort_buffer
Each thread that needs to do a sort allocates a buffer of this size. Increase this value for faster ORDER BY or GROUP BY operations. See section 21.7 Where MySQL Stores Temporary Files.
table_cache
The number of open tables for all threads. Increasing this value increases the number of file descriptors that mysqld requires. MySQL needs two file descriptors for each unique open table. See below for comments on file descriptor limits. You can check if you need to increase the table cache by checking the Opened_tables variable. See section 7.28 SHOW Syntax. If this variable is big and you don't do FLUSH TABLES a lot (which just forces all tables to be closed and reopenend), then you should increase the value of this variable. Make sure that your operating system can handle the number of open file descriptors implied by the table_cache setting. If table_cache is set too high, MySQL may run out of file descriptors and refuse connections, fail to perform queries, and be very unreliable. For information about how the table cache works, see section 13.2.5 How MySQL Opens and Closes Tables.
table_type
The default table type
thread_cache_size
How many threads we should keep in a cache for reuse. When a client disconnects, the client's threads are put in the cache if there aren't more than thread_cache_size threads from before. All new threads are first taken from the cache, and only when the cache is empty is a new thread created. This variable can be increased to improve performance if you have a lot of new connections. (Normally this doesn't give a notable performance improvement if you have a good thread implementation.) By examing the difference between the Connections and Threads_created you can see how efficient the current thread cache is for you.
thread_concurrency
On Solaris, mysqld will call thr_setconcurrency() with this value. thr_setconcurrency() permits the application to give the threads system a hint for the desired number of threads that should be run at the same time.
thread_stack
The stack size for each thread. Many of the limits detected by the crash-me test are dependent on this value. The default is large enough for normal operation. See section 13.7 Using Your Own Benchmarks.
timezone
The timezone for the server.
tmp_table_size
If an in-memory temporary table exceeds this size, MySQL will automatically convert it to an on-disk MyISAM table. Increase the value of tmp_table_size if you do many advanced GROUP BY queries and you have lots of memory.
tmpdir
The directory used for temporary files and temporary tables.
version
The version number for the server.
wait_timeout
The number of seconds the server waits for activity on a connection before closing it. See also interactive_timeout.

The manual section that describes tuning MySQL contains some information of how to tune the above variables. See section 13.2.4 Tuning Server Parameters.

7.28.5 SHOW LOGS

SHOW LOGS shows you status information about existing log files. It currently only displays information about Berkeley DB log files.

7.28.6 SHOW PROCESSLIST

SHOW PROCESSLIST shows you which threads are running. You can also get this information using the mysqladmin processlist command. If you have the process privilege, you can see all threads. Otherwise, you can see only your own threads. See section 7.27 KILL Syntax. If you don't use the FULL option, then only the first 100 characters of each query will be shown.

This command is very useful if you get the 'too many connections' error message and want to find out what's going on. MySQL reserves one extra connection for a client with the Process_priv privilege to ensure that you should always be able to login and check the system (assuming you are not giving this privilege to all your users).

7.28.7 SHOW GRANTS

SHOW GRANTS FOR user lists the grant commands that must be issued to duplicate the grants for a user.

mysql> SHOW GRANTS FOR root@localhost;
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Grants for root@localhost                                           |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+
| GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'root'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------+

7.28.8 SHOW CREATE TABLE

Shows a CREATE TABLE statement that will create the given table:

mysql> show create table t\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
       Table: t
Create Table: CREATE TABLE t (
  id int(11) default NULL auto_increment,
  s char(60) default NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (id)
) TYPE=MyISAM

SHOW CREATE TABLE will quote table and column names according to SQL_QUOTE_SHOW_CREATE option. section 7.33 SET Syntax.

7.29 EXPLAIN Syntax (Get Information About a SELECT)

    EXPLAIN tbl_name
or  EXPLAIN SELECT select_options

EXPLAIN tbl_name is a synonym for DESCRIBE tbl_name or SHOW COLUMNS FROM tbl_name.

When you precede a SELECT statement with the keyword EXPLAIN, MySQL explains how it would process the SELECT, providing information about how tables are joined and in which order.

With the help of EXPLAIN, you can see when you must add indexes to tables to get a faster SELECT that uses indexes to find the records. You can also see if the optimizer joins the tables in an optimal order. To force the optimizer to use a specific join order for a SELECT statement, add a STRAIGHT_JOIN clause.

For non-simple joins, EXPLAIN returns a row of information for each table used in the SELECT statement. The tables are listed in the order they would be read. MySQL resolves all joins using a single-sweep multi-join method. This means that MySQL reads a row from the first table, then finds a matching row in the second table, then in the third table and so on. When all tables are processed, it outputs the selected columns and backtracks through the table list until a table is found for which there are more matching rows. The next row is read from this table and the process continues with the next table.

Output from EXPLAIN includes the following columns:

table
The table to which the row of output refers.
type
The join type. Information about the various types is given below.
possible_keys
The possible_keys column indicates which indexes MySQL could use to find the rows in this table. Note that this column is totally independent of the order of the tables. That means that some of the keys in possible_keys may not be usable in practice with the generated table order. If this column is empty, there are no relevant indexes. In this case, you may be able to improve the performance of your query by examining the WHERE clause to see if it refers to some column or columns that would be suitable for indexing. If so, create an appropriate index and check the query with EXPLAIN again. See section 7.8 ALTER TABLE Syntax. To see what indexes a table has, use SHOW INDEX FROM tbl_name.
key
The key column indicates the key that MySQL actually decided to use. The key is NULL if no index was chosen. If MySQL chooses the wrong index, you can probably force MySQL to use another index by using myisamchk --analyze, See section 16.1.1 myisamchk Invocation Syntax, or by using USE INDEX/IGNORE INDEX. See section 7.20 JOIN Syntax.
key_len
The key_len column indicates the length of the key that MySQL decided to use. The length is NULL if the key is NULL. Note that this tells us how many parts of a multi-part key MySQL will actually use.
ref
The ref column shows which columns or constants are used with the key to select rows from the table.
rows
The rows column indicates the number of rows MySQL believes it must examine to execute the query.
Extra
This column contains additional information of how MySQL will resolve the query. Here is an explanation of the different text strings that can be found in this column:
Distinct
MySQL will not continue searching for more rows for the current row combination after it has found the first matching row.
Not exists
MySQL was able to do a LEFT JOIN optimization on the query and will not examine more rows in this table for the previous row combination after it finds one row that matches the LEFT JOIN criteria. Here is an example for this:
SELECT * FROM t1 LEFT JOIN t2 ON t1.id=t2.id WHERE t2.id IS NULL;
Assume that t2.id is defined with NOT NULL. In this case MySQL will scan t1 and look up the rows in t2 through t1.id. If MySQL finds a matching row in t2, it knows that t2.id can never be NULL, and will not scan through the rest of the rows in t2 that has the same id. In other words, for each row in t1, MySQL only needs to do a single lookup in t2, independent of how many matching rows there are in t2.
range checked for each record (index map: #)
MySQL didn't find a real good index to use. It will, instead, for each row combination in the preceding tables, do a check on which index to use (if any), and use this index to retrieve the rows from the table. This isn't very fast but is faster than having to do a join without an index.
Using filesort
MySQL will need to do an extra pass to find out how to retrieve the rows in sorted order. The sort is done by going through all rows according to the join type and storing the sort key + pointer to the row for all rows that match the WHERE. Then the keys are sorted. Finally the rows are retrieved in sorted order.
Using index
The column information is retrieved from the table using only information in the index tree without having to do an additional seek to read the actual row. This can be done when all the used columns for the table are part of the same index.
Using temporary
To resolve the query MySQL will need to create a temporary table to hold the result. This typically happens if you do an ORDER BY on a different column set than you did a GROUP BY on.
Where used
A WHERE clause will be used to restrict which rows will be matched against the next table or sent to the client. If you don't have this information and the table is of type ALL or index, you may have something wrong in your query (if you don't intend to fetch/examine all rows from the table).
If you want to get your queries as fast as possible, you should look out for Using filesort and Using temporary.

The different join types are listed below, ordered from best to worst type:

system
The table has only one row (= system table). This is a special case of the const join type.
const
The table has at most one matching row, which will be read at the start of the query. Because there is only one row, values from the column in this row can be regarded as constants by the rest of the optimizer. const tables are very fast as they are read only once!
eq_ref
One row will be read from this table for each combination of rows from the previous tables. This is the best possible join type, other than the const types. It is used when all parts of an index are used by the join and the index is UNIQUE or a PRIMARY KEY.
ref
All rows with matching index values will be read from this table for each combination of rows from the previous tables. ref is used if the join uses only a leftmost prefix of the key, or if the key is not UNIQUE or a PRIMARY KEY (in other words, if the join cannot select a single row based on the key value). If the key that is used matches only a few rows, this join type is good.
range
Only rows that are in a given range will be retrieved, using an index to select the rows. The key column indicates which index is used. The key_len contains the longest key part that was used. The ref column will be NULL for this type.
index
This is the same as ALL, except that only the index tree is scanned. This is usually faster than ALL, as the index file is usually smaller than the data file.
ALL
A full table scan will be done for each combination of rows from the previous tables. This is normally not good if the table is the first table not marked const, and usually very bad in all other cases. You normally can avoid ALL by adding more indexes, so that the row can be retrieved based on constant values or column values from earlier tables.

You can get a good indication of how good a join is by multiplying all values in the rows column of the EXPLAIN output. This should tell you roughly how many rows MySQL must examine to execute the query. This number is also used when you restrict queries with the max_join_size variable. See section 13.2.4 Tuning Server Parameters.

The following example shows how a JOIN can be optimized progressively using the information provided by EXPLAIN.

Suppose you have the SELECT statement shown below, that you examine using EXPLAIN:

EXPLAIN SELECT tt.TicketNumber, tt.TimeIn,
            tt.ProjectReference, tt.EstimatedShipDate,
            tt.ActualShipDate, tt.ClientID,
            tt.ServiceCodes, tt.RepetitiveID,
            tt.CurrentProcess, tt.CurrentDPPerson,
            tt.RecordVolume, tt.DPPrinted, et.COUNTRY,
            et_1.COUNTRY, do.CUSTNAME
        FROM tt, et, et AS et_1, do
        WHERE tt.SubmitTime IS NULL
            AND tt.ActualPC = et.EMPLOYID
            AND tt.AssignedPC = et_1.EMPLOYID
            AND tt.ClientID = do.CUSTNMBR;

For this example, assume that:

Initially, before any optimizations have been performed, the EXPLAIN statement produces the following information:

table type possible_keys                key  key_len ref  rows  Extra
et    ALL  PRIMARY                      NULL NULL    NULL 74
do    ALL  PRIMARY                      NULL NULL    NULL 2135
et_1  ALL  PRIMARY                      NULL NULL    NULL 74
tt    ALL  AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC NULL NULL    NULL 3872
      range checked for each record (key map: 35)

Because type is ALL for each table, this output indicates that MySQL is doing a full join for all tables! This will take quite a long time, as the product of the number of rows in each table must be examined! For the case at hand, this is 74 * 2135 * 74 * 3872 = 45,268,558,720 rows. If the tables were bigger, you can only imagine how long it would take.

One problem here is that MySQL can't (yet) use indexes on columns efficiently if they are declared differently. In this context, VARCHAR and CHAR are the same unless they are declared as different lengths. Because tt.ActualPC is declared as CHAR(10) and et.EMPLOYID is declared as CHAR(15), there is a length mismatch.

To fix this disparity between column lengths, use ALTER TABLE to lengthen ActualPC from 10 characters to 15 characters:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tt MODIFY ActualPC VARCHAR(15);

Now tt.ActualPC and et.EMPLOYID are both VARCHAR(15). Executing the EXPLAIN statement again produces this result:

table type   possible_keys   key     key_len ref         rows    Extra
tt    ALL    AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC NULL NULL NULL 3872    where used
do    ALL    PRIMARY         NULL    NULL    NULL        2135
      range checked for each record (key map: 1)
et_1  ALL    PRIMARY         NULL    NULL    NULL        74
      range checked for each record (key map: 1)
et    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ActualPC 1

This is not perfect, but is much better (the product of the rows values is now less by a factor of 74). This version is executed in a couple of seconds.

A second alteration can be made to eliminate the column length mismatches for the tt.AssignedPC = et_1.EMPLOYID and tt.ClientID = do.CUSTNMBR comparisons:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tt MODIFY AssignedPC VARCHAR(15),
                      MODIFY ClientID   VARCHAR(15);

Now EXPLAIN produces the output shown below:

table type   possible_keys   key     key_len ref            rows     Extra
et    ALL    PRIMARY         NULL    NULL    NULL           74
tt    ref    AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC ActualPC 15 et.EMPLOYID 52 where used
et_1  eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.AssignedPC  1
do    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ClientID    1

This is almost as good as it can get.

The remaining problem is that, by default, MySQL assumes that values in the tt.ActualPC column are evenly distributed, and that isn't the case for the tt table. Fortunately, it is easy to tell MySQL about this:

shell> myisamchk --analyze PATH_TO_MYSQL_DATABASE/tt
shell> mysqladmin refresh

Now the join is perfect, and EXPLAIN produces this result:

table type   possible_keys   key     key_len ref            rows    Extra
tt    ALL    AssignedPC,ClientID,ActualPC NULL NULL NULL    3872    where used
et    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ActualPC    1
et_1  eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.AssignedPC  1
do    eq_ref PRIMARY         PRIMARY 15      tt.ClientID    1

Note that the rows column in the output from EXPLAIN is an educated guess from the MySQL join optimizer. To optimize a query, you should check if the numbers are even close to the truth. If not, you may get better performance by using STRAIGHT_JOIN in your SELECT statement and trying to list the tables in a different order in the FROM clause.

7.30 DESCRIBE Syntax (Get Information About Columns)

{DESCRIBE | DESC} tbl_name {col_name | wild}

DESCRIBE is a shortcut for SHOW COLUMNS FROM. See section 7.28.1 SHOW Information About Databases, Tables, Columns, and Indexes.

DESCRIBE provides information about a table's columns. col_name may be a column name or a string containing the SQL `%' and `_' wild-card characters.

If the column types are different than you expect them to be based on a CREATE TABLE statement, note that MySQL sometimes changes column types. See section 7.7.1 Silent Column Specification Changes.

This statement is provided for Oracle compatibility.

The SHOW statement provides similar information. See section 7.28 SHOW Syntax.

7.31 BEGIN/COMMIT/ROLLBACK Syntax

By default, MySQL runs in autocommit mode. This means that as soon as you execute an update, MySQL will store the update on disk.

If you are using transactions safe tables (like BDB, InnoDB, you can put MySQL into non-autocommit mode with the following command:

SET AUTOCOMMIT=0

After this you must use COMMIT to store your changes to disk or ROLLBACK if you want to ignore the changes you have made since the beginning of your transaction.

If you want to switch from AUTOCOMMIT mode for one series of statements, you can use the BEGIN or BEGIN WORK statement:

BEGIN;
SELECT @A:=SUM(salary) FROM table1 WHERE type=1;
UPDATE table2 SET summmary=@A WHERE type=1;
COMMIT;

Note that if you are using non-transaction-safe tables, the changes will be stored at once, independent of the status of the autocommit mode.

If you do a ROLLBACK when you have updated a non-transactional table you will get an error (ER_WARNING_NOT_COMPLETE_ROLLBACK) as a warning. All transactional safe tables will be restored but any non-transactional table will not change.

If you are using BEGIN or SET AUTOCOMMIT=0, you should use the MySQL binary log for backups instead of the older update log. Transactions are stored in the binary log in one chunk, upon COMMIT, to ensure that transactions which are rolled back are not stored. See section 23.4 The Binary Log.

The following commands automatically end a transaction (as if you had done a COMMIT before executing the command):

ALTER TABLE BEGIN CREATE INDEX
DROP DATABASE DROP TABLE RENAME TABLE
TRUNCATE

You can change the isolation level for transactions with SET TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL .... See section 7.34 SET TRANSACTION Syntax.

7.32 LOCK TABLES/UNLOCK TABLES Syntax

LOCK TABLES tbl_name [AS alias] {READ | [READ LOCAL] | [LOW_PRIORITY] WRITE}
            [, tbl_name {READ | [LOW_PRIORITY] WRITE} ...]
...
UNLOCK TABLES

LOCK TABLES locks tables for the current thread. UNLOCK TABLES releases any locks held by the current thread. All tables that are locked by the current thread are automatically unlocked when the thread issues another LOCK TABLES, or when the connection to the server is closed.

The main reasons to use LOCK TABLES are:

If a thread obtains a READ lock on a table, that thread (and all other threads) can only read from the table. If a thread obtains a WRITE lock on a table, then only the thread holding the lock can READ from or WRITE to the table. Other threads are blocked.

The difference between READ LOCAL and READ is that READ LOCAL allows non-conflicting INSERT statements to execute while the lock is held. This can't however be used if you are going to manipulate the database files outside MySQL while you hold the lock.

Each thread waits (without timing out) until it obtains all the locks it has requested.

WRITE locks normally have higher priority than READ locks, to ensure that updates are processed as soon as possible. This means that if one thread obtains a READ lock and then another thread requests a WRITE lock, subsequent READ lock requests will wait until the WRITE thread has gotten the lock and released it. You can use LOW_PRIORITY WRITE locks to allow other threads to obtain READ locks while the thread is waiting for the WRITE lock. You should only use LOW_PRIORITY WRITE locks if you are sure that there will eventually be a time when no threads will have a READ lock.

LOCK TABLES and UNLOCK TABLES both commits any active transactions.

When you use LOCK TABLES, you must lock all tables that you are going to use and you must use the same alias that you are going to use in your queries! If you are using a table multiple times in a query (with aliases), you must get a lock for each alias! This policy ensures that table locking is deadlock free and makes the locking code smaller, simpler and much faster.

Note that you should NOT lock any tables that you are using with INSERT DELAYED. This is because that in this case the INSERT is done by a separate thread.

Normally, you don't have to lock tables, as all single UPDATE statements are atomic; no other thread can interfere with any other currently executing SQL statement. There are a few cases when you would like to lock tables anyway:

By using incremental updates (UPDATE customer SET value=value+new_value) or the LAST_INSERT_ID() function, you can avoid using LOCK TABLES in many cases.

You can also solve some cases by using the user-level lock functions GET_LOCK() and RELEASE_LOCK(). These locks are saved in a hash table in the server and implemented with pthread_mutex_lock() and pthread_mutex_unlock() for high speed. See section 7.4.12 Miscellaneous Functions.

See section 13.2.9 How MySQL Locks Tables, for more information on locking policy.

You can also lock all tables in all databases with read locks with the FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK command. See section 7.26 FLUSH Syntax. This is very convenient way to get backups if you have a file system, like Veritas, that can take snapshots in time.

NOTE: LOCK TABLES is not transaction-safe and will automatically commit any active transactions before attempting to lock the tables.

7.33 SET Syntax

SET [OPTION] SQL_VALUE_OPTION= value, ...

SET OPTION sets various options that affect the operation of the server or your client. Any option you set remains in effect until the current session ends, or until you set the option to a different value.

CHARACTER SET character_set_name | DEFAULT
This maps all strings from and to the client with the given mapping. Currently the only option for character_set_name is cp1251_koi8, but you can easily add new mappings by editing the `sql/convert.cc' file in the MySQL source distribution. The default mapping can be restored by using a character_set_name value of DEFAULT. Note that the syntax for setting the CHARACTER SET option differs from the syntax for setting the other options.
PASSWORD = PASSWORD('some password')
Set the password for the current user. Any non-anonymous user can change his own password!
PASSWORD FOR user = PASSWORD('some password')
Set the password for a specific user on the current server host. Only a user with access to the mysql database can do this. The user should be given in user@hostname format, where user and hostname are exactly as they are listed in the User and Host columns of the mysql.user table entry. For example, if you had an entry with User and Host fields of 'bob' and '%.loc.gov', you would write:
mysql> SET PASSWORD FOR bob@"%.loc.gov" = PASSWORD("newpass");

or

mysql> UPDATE mysql.user SET password=PASSWORD("newpass") where user="bob' and host="%.loc.gov";
SQL_AUTO_IS_NULL = 0 | 1
If set to 1 (default) then one can find the last inserted row for a table with an auto_increment row with the following construct: WHERE auto_increment_column IS NULL. This is used by some ODBC programs like Access.
AUTOCOMMIT= 0 | 1
If set to 1 all changes to a table will be done at once. To start a multi-command transaction, you have to use the BEGIN statement. See section 7.31 BEGIN/COMMIT/ROLLBACK Syntax. If set to 0 you have to use COMMIT / ROLLBACK to accept/revoke that transaction. See section 7.31 BEGIN/COMMIT/ROLLBACK Syntax. Note that when you change from not AUTOCOMMIT mode to AUTOCOMMIT mode, MySQL will do an automatic COMMIT on any open transactions.
SQL_BIG_TABLES = 0 | 1
If set to 1, all temporary tables are stored on disk rather than in memory. This will be a little slower, but you will not get the error The table tbl_name is full for big SELECT operations that require a large temporary table. The default value for a new connection is 0 (that is, use in-memory temporary tables).
SQL_BIG_SELECTS = 0 | 1
If set to 0, MySQL will abort if a SELECT is attempted that probably will take a very long time. This is useful when an inadvisable WHERE statement has been issued. A big query is defined as a SELECT that probably will have to examine more than max_join_size rows. The default value for a new connection is 1 (which will allow all SELECT statements).
SQL_BUFFER_RESULT = 0 | 1
SQL_BUFFER_RESULT will force the result from SELECT's to be put into a temporary table. This will help MySQL free the table locks early and will help in cases where it takes a long time to send the result set to the client.
SQL_LOW_PRIORITY_UPDATES = 0 | 1
If set to 1, all INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and and LOCK TABLE WRITE statements wait until there is no pending SELECT or LOCK TABLE READ on the affected table.
SQL_MAX_JOIN_SIZE = value | DEFAULT
Don't allow SELECTs that will probably need to examine more than value row combinations. By setting this value, you can catch SELECTs where keys are not used properly and that would probably take a long time. Setting this to a value other than DEFAULT will reset the SQL_BIG_SELECTS flag. If you set the SQL_BIG_SELECTS flag again, the SQL_MAX_JOIN_SIZE variable will be ignored. You can set a default value for this variable by starting mysqld with -O max_join_size=#.
SQL_SAFE_MODE = 0 | 1
If set to 1, MySQL will abort if an UPDATE or DELETE is attempted that doesn't use a key or LIMIT in the WHERE clause. This makes it possible to catch wrong updates when creating SQL commands by hand.
SQL_SELECT_LIMIT = value | DEFAULT
The maximum number of records to return from SELECT statements. If a SELECT has a LIMIT clause, the LIMIT takes precedence over the value of SQL_SELECT_LIMIT. The default value for a new connection is ``unlimited.'' If you have changed the limit, the default value can be restored by using a SQL_SELECT_LIMIT value of DEFAULT.
SQL_LOG_OFF = 0 | 1
If set to 1, no logging will be done to the standard log for this client, if the client has the process privilege. This does not affect the update log!
SQL_LOG_UPDATE = 0 | 1
If set to 0, no logging will be done to the update log for the client, if the client has the process privilege. This does not affect the standard log!
SQL_QUOTE_SHOW_CREATE = 0 | 1
If set to 1, SHOW CREATE TABLE will quote table and column names. This is on by default, for replication of tables with fancy column names to work. section 7.28.8 SHOW CREATE TABLE.
TIMESTAMP = timestamp_value | DEFAULT
Set the time for this client. This is used to get the original timestamp if you use the update log to restore rows. timestamp_value should be a UNIX Epoch timestamp, not a MySQL timestamp.
LAST_INSERT_ID = #
Set the value to be returned from LAST_INSERT_ID(). This is stored in the update log when you use LAST_INSERT_ID() in a command that updates a table.
INSERT_ID = #
Set the value to be used by the following INSERT or ALTER TABLE command when inserting an AUTO_INCREMENT value. This is mainly used with the update log.

7.34 SET TRANSACTION Syntax

SET [GLOBAL | SESSION] TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL
[READ UNCOMMITTED | READ COMMITTED | REPEATABLE READ | SERIALIZABLE]

Sets the transaction isolation level for the global, whole session or the next transaction.

The default behavior is to set the isolation level for the next (not started) transaction.

If you set the GLOBAL privilege it will affect all new created threads. You will need the PROCESS privilege to do do this.

Setting the SESSION privilege will affect the following and all future transactions.

You can set the default isolation level for mysqld with --transaction-isolation=.... See section 4.16.4 mysqld Command-line Options.

7.35 GRANT and REVOKE Syntax

GRANT priv_type [(column_list)] [, priv_type [(column_list)] ...]
    ON {tbl_name | * | *.* | db_name.*}
    TO user_name [IDENTIFIED BY 'password']
        [, user_name [IDENTIFIED BY 'password'] ...]
    [WITH GRANT OPTION]

REVOKE priv_type [(column_list)] [, priv_type [(column_list)] ...]
    ON {tbl_name | * | *.* | db_name.*}
    FROM user_name [, user_name ...]

GRANT is implemented in MySQL Version 3.22.11 or later. For earlier MySQL versions, the GRANT statement does nothing.

The GRANT and REVOKE commands allow system administrators to create users and grant and revoke rights to MySQL users at four privilege levels:

Global level
Global privileges apply to all databases on a given server. These privileges are stored in the mysql.user table.
Database level
Database privileges apply to all tables in a given database. These privileges are stored in the mysql.db and mysql.host tables.
Table level
Table privileges apply to all columns in a given table. These privileges are stored in the mysql.tables_priv table.
Column level
Column privileges apply to single columns in a given table. These privileges are stored in the mysql.columns_priv table.

If you give a grant for a users that doesn't exists, that user is created. For examples of how GRANT works, see section 6.14 Adding New Users to MySQL.

For the GRANT and REVOKE statements, priv_type may be specified as any of the following:

ALL PRIVILEGES      FILE                RELOAD
ALTER               INDEX               SELECT
CREATE              INSERT              SHUTDOWN
DELETE              PROCESS             UPDATE
DROP                REFERENCES          USAGE

ALL is a synonym for ALL PRIVILEGES. REFERENCES is not yet implemented. USAGE is currently a synonym for ``no privileges.'' It can be used when you want to create a user that has no privileges.

To revoke the grant privilege from a user, use a priv_type value of GRANT OPTION:

REVOKE GRANT OPTION ON ... FROM ...;

The only priv_type values you can specify for a table are SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, GRANT, INDEX, and ALTER.

The only priv_type values you can specify for a column (that is, when you use a column_list clause) are SELECT, INSERT, and UPDATE.

You can set global privileges by using ON *.* syntax. You can set database privileges by using ON db_name.* syntax. If you specify ON * and you have a current database, you will set the privileges for that database. (WARNING: If you specify ON * and you don't have a current database, you will affect the global privileges!)

In order to accommodate granting rights to users from arbitrary hosts, MySQL supports specifying the user_name value in the form user@host. If you want to specify a user string containing special characters (such as `-'), or a host string containing special characters or wild-card characters (such as `%'), you can quote the user or host name (for example, 'test-user'@'test-hostname').

You can specify wild cards in the hostname. For example, user@"%.loc.gov" applies to user for any host in the loc.gov domain, and user@"144.155.166.%" applies to user for any host in the 144.155.166 class C subnet.

The simple form user is a synonym for user@"%". NOTE: If you allow anonymous users to connect to the MySQL server (which is the default), you should also add all local users as user@localhost because otherwise the anonymous user entry for the local host in the mysql.user table will be used when the user tries to log into the MySQL server from the local machine! Anonymous users are defined by inserting entries with User='' into the mysql.user table. You can verify if this applies to you by executing this query:

mysql> SELECT Host,User FROM mysql.user WHERE User='';

For the moment, GRANT only supports host, table, database, and column names up to 60 characters long. A user name can be up to 16 characters.

The privileges for a table or column are formed from the logical OR of the privileges at each of the four privilege levels. For example, if the mysql.user table specifies that a user has a global select privilege, this can't be denied by an entry at the database, table, or column level.

The privileges for a column can be calculated as follows:

global privileges
OR (database privileges AND host privileges)
OR table privileges
OR column privileges

In most cases, you grant rights to a user at only one of the privilege levels, so life isn't normally as complicated as above. The details of the privilege-checking procedure are presented in section 6 The MySQL Access Privilege System.

If you grant privileges for a user/hostname combination that does not exist in the mysql.user table, an entry is added and remains there until deleted with a DELETE command. In other words, GRANT may create user table entries, but REVOKE will not remove them; you must do that explicitly using DELETE.

In MySQL Version 3.22.12 or later, if a new user is created or if you have global grant privileges, the user's password will be set to the password specified by the IDENTIFIED BY clause, if one is given. If the user already had a password, it is replaced by the new one.

WARNING: If you create a new user but do not specify an IDENTIFIED BY clause, the user has no password. This is insecure.

Passwords can also be set with the SET PASSWORD command. See section 7.33 SET Syntax.

If you grant privileges for a database, an entry in the mysql.db table is created if needed. When all privileges for the database have been removed with REVOKE, this entry is deleted.

If a user doesn't have any privileges on a table, the table is not displayed when the user requests a list of tables (for example, with a SHOW TABLES statement).

The WITH GRANT OPTION clause gives the user the ability to give to other users any privileges the user has at the specified privilege level. You should be careful to whom you give the grant privilege, as two users with different privileges may be able to join privileges!

You cannot grant another user a privilege you don't have yourself; the grant privilege allows you to give away only those privileges you possess.

Be aware that when you grant a user the grant privilege at a particular privilege level, any privileges the user already possesses (or is given in the future!) at that level are also grantable by that user. Suppose you grant a user the insert privilege on a database. If you then grant the select privilege on the database and specify WITH GRANT OPTION, the user can give away not only the select privilege, but also insert. If you then grant the update privilege to the user on the database, the user can give away the insert, select and update.

You should not grant alter privileges to a normal user. If you do that, the user can try to subvert the privilege system by renaming tables!

Note that if you are using table or column privileges for even one user, the server examines table and column privileges for all users and this will slow down MySQL a bit.

When mysqld starts, all privileges are read into memory. Database, table, and column privileges take effect at once, and user-level privileges take effect the next time the user connects. Modifications to the grant tables that you perform using GRANT or REVOKE are noticed by the server immediately. If you modify the grant tables manually (using INSERT, UPDATE, etc.), you should execute a FLUSH PRIVILEGES statement or run mysqladmin flush-privileges to tell the server to reload the grant tables. See section 6.12 When Privilege Changes Take Effect.

The biggest differences between the ANSI SQL and MySQL versions of GRANT are:

7.36 CREATE INDEX Syntax

CREATE [UNIQUE|FULLTEXT] INDEX index_name ON tbl_name (col_name[(length)],... )

The CREATE INDEX statement doesn't do anything in MySQL prior to Version 3.22. In Version 3.22 or later, CREATE INDEX is mapped to an ALTER TABLE statement to create indexes. See section 7.8 ALTER TABLE Syntax.

Normally, you create all indexes on a table at the time the table itself is created with CREATE TABLE. See section 7.7 CREATE TABLE Syntax. CREATE INDEX allows you to add indexes to existing tables.

A column list of the form (col1,col2,...) creates a multiple-column index. Index values are formed by concatenating the values of the given columns.

For CHAR and VARCHAR columns, indexes can be created that use only part of a column, using col_name(length) syntax. (On BLOB and TEXT columns the length is required). The statement shown below creates an index using the first 10 characters of the name column:

mysql> CREATE INDEX part_of_name ON customer (name(10));

Because most names usually differ in the first 10 characters, this index should not be much slower than an index created from the entire name column. Also, using partial columns for indexes can make the index file much smaller, which could save a lot of disk space and might also speed up INSERT operations!

Note that you can only add an index on a column that can have NULL values or on a BLOB/TEXT column if you are using MySQL Version 3.23.2 or newer and are using the MyISAM table type.

For more information about how MySQL uses indexes, see section 13.4 How MySQL Uses Indexes.

FULLTEXT indexes can index only VARCHAR and TEXT columns, and only in MyISAM tables. FULLTEXT indexes are available in MySQL Version 3.23.23 and later. section 12 MySQL Full-text Search.

7.37 DROP INDEX Syntax

DROP INDEX index_name ON tbl_name

DROP INDEX drops the index named index_name from the table tbl_name. DROP INDEX doesn't do anything in MySQL prior to Version 3.22. In Version 3.22 or later, DROP INDEX is mapped to an ALTER TABLE statement to drop the index. See section 7.8 ALTER TABLE Syntax.

7.38 Comment Syntax

The MySQL server supports the # to end of line, -- to end of line and /* in-line or multiple-line */ comment styles:

mysql> select 1+1;     # This comment continues to the end of line
mysql> select 1+1;     -- This comment continues to the end of line
mysql> select 1 /* this is an in-line comment */ + 1;
mysql> select 1+
/*
this is a
multiple-line comment
*/
1;

Note that the -- comment style requires you to have at least one space after the --!

Although the server understands the comment syntax just described, there are some limitations on the way that the mysql client parses /* ... */ comments:

These limitations apply both when you run mysql interactively and when you put commands in a file and tell mysql to read its input from that file with mysql < some-file.

MySQL doesn't support the `--' ANSI SQL comment style. See section 5.4.7 `--' as the Start of a Comment.

7.39 CREATE FUNCTION/DROP FUNCTION Syntax

CREATE [AGGREGATE] FUNCTION function_name RETURNS {STRING|REAL|INTEGER}
       SONAME shared_library_name

DROP FUNCTION function_name

A user-definable function (UDF) is a way to extend MySQL with a new function that works like native (built in) MySQL functions such as ABS() and CONCAT().

AGGREGATE is a new option for MySQL Version 3.23. An AGGREGATE function works exactly like a native MySQL GROUP function like SUM or COUNT().

CREATE FUNCTION saves the function's name, type, and shared library name in the mysql.func system table. You must have the insert and delete privileges for the mysql database to create and drop functions.

All active functions are reloaded each time the server starts, unless you start mysqld with the --skip-grant-tables option. In this case, UDF initialization is skipped and UDFs are unavailable. (An active function is one that has been loaded with CREATE FUNCTION and not removed with DROP FUNCTION.)

For instructions on writing user-definable functions, see section 17 Adding New Functions to MySQL. For the UDF mechanism to work, functions must be written in C or C++, your operating system must support dynamic loading and you must have compiled mysqld dynamically (not statically).

7.40 Is MySQL Picky About Reserved Words?

A common problem stems from trying to create a table with column names that use the names of datatypes or functions built into MySQL, such as TIMESTAMP or GROUP. You're allowed to do it (for example, ABS is an allowed column name), but whitespace is not allowed between a function name and the `(' when using functions whose names are also column names.

The following words are explicitly reserved in MySQL. Most of them are forbidden by ANSI SQL92 as column and/or table names (for example, group). A few are reserved because MySQL needs them and is (currently) using a yacc parser:

action add aggregate all
alter after and as
asc avg avg_row_length auto_increment
between bigint bit binary
blob bool both by
cascade case char character
change check checksum column
columns comment constraint create
cross current_date current_time current_timestamp
data database databases date
datetime day day_hour day_minute
day_second dayofmonth dayofweek dayofyear
dec decimal default delayed
delay_key_write delete desc describe
distinct distinctrow double drop
end else escape escaped
enclosed enum explain exists
fields file first float
float4 float8 flush foreign
from for full function
global grant grants group
having heap high_priority hour
hour_minute hour_second hosts identified
ignore in index infile
inner insert insert_id int
integer interval int1 int2
int3 int4 int8 into
if is isam join
key keys kill last_insert_id
leading left length like
lines limit load local
lock logs long longblob
longtext low_priority max max_rows
match mediumblob mediumtext mediumint
middleint min_rows minute minute_second
modify month monthname myisam
natural numeric no not
null on optimize option
optionally or order outer
outfile pack_keys partial password
precision primary procedure process
processlist privileges read real
references reload regexp rename
replace restrict returns revoke
rlike row rows second
select set show shutdown
smallint soname sql_big_tables sql_big_selects
sql_low_priority_updates sql_log_off sql_log_update sql_select_limit
sql_small_result sql_big_result sql_warnings straight_join
starting status string table
tables temporary terminated text
then time timestamp tinyblob
tinytext tinyint trailing to
type use using unique
unlock unsigned update usage
values varchar variables varying
varbinary with write when
where year year_month zerofill

The following symbols (from the table above) are disallowed by ANSI SQL but allowed by MySQL as column/table names. This is because some of these names are very natural names and a lot of people have already used them.


Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.