The myisamchk utility gets information
about your database tables or checks, repairs, or optimizes
them. myisamchk works with
MyISAM tables (tables that have
for storing data and indexes).
Invoke myisamchk like this:
options specify what you want
myisamchk to do. They are described in the
following sections. You can also get a list of options by
invoking myisamchk --help.
With no options, myisamchk simply checks your table as the default operation. To get more information or to tell myisamchk to take corrective action, specify options as described in the following discussion.
tbl_name is the database table you
want to check or repair. If you run
myisamchk somewhere other than in the
database directory, you must specify the path to the database
directory, because myisamchk has no idea
where the database is located. In fact,
myisamchk doesn't actually care whether the
files you are working on are located in a database directory.
You can copy the files that correspond to a database table
into some other location and perform recovery operations on
You can name several tables on the
myisamchk command line if you wish. You can
also specify a table by naming its index file (the file with
.MYI suffix). This allows you to
specify all tables in a directory by using the pattern
*.MYI. For example, if you are in a
database directory, you can check all the
MyISAM tables in that directory like this:
If you are not in the database directory, you can check all the tables there by specifying the path to the directory:
You can even check all tables in all databases by specifying a wildcard with the path to the MySQL data directory:
The recommended way to quickly check all
MyISAM tables is:
myisamchk --silent --fast
If you want to check all
MyISAM tables and
repair any that are corrupted, you can use the following
myisamchk --silent --force --fast --update-state \
--key_buffer_size=64M --sort_buffer_size=64M \
--read_buffer_size=1M --write_buffer_size=1M \
This command assumes that you have more than 64MB free. For more information about memory allocation with myisamchk, see Section 8.3.5, “myisamchk Memory Usage”.
You must ensure that no other program is using the tables while you are running myisamchk. Otherwise, when you run myisamchk, it may display the following error message:
warning: clients are using or haven't closed the table properly
This means that you are trying to check a table that has been updated by another program (such as the mysqld server) that hasn't yet closed the file or that has died without closing the file properly.
If mysqld is running, you must force it to
flush any table modifications that are still buffered in
memory by using
FLUSH TABLES. You should
then ensure that no one is using the tables while you are
running myisamchk. The easiest way to avoid
this problem is to use
CHECK TABLE instead
of myisamchk to check tables.
The options described in this section can be used for any type of table maintenance operation performed by myisamchk. The sections following this one describe options that pertain only to specific operations, such as table checking or repairing.
Display a help message and exit.
Write a debugging log. The
debug_options string often is
Silent mode. Write output only when errors occur. You can
-s twice (
make myisamchk very silent.
Verbose mode. Print more information about what the
program does. This can be used with
even more output.
Display version information and exit.
Instead of terminating with an error if the table is locked, wait until the table is unlocked before continuing. Note that if you are running mysqld with external locking disabled, the table can be locked only by another myisamchk command.
You can also set the following variables by using
The possible myisamchk variables and their default values can be examined with myisamchk --help:
sort_buffer_size is used when the keys are
repaired by sorting keys, which is the normal case when you
key_buffer_size is used when you are
checking the table with
when the keys are repaired by inserting keys row by row into
the table (like when doing normal inserts). Repairing through
the key buffer is used in the following cases:
The temporary files needed to sort the keys would be more
than twice as big as when creating the key file directly.
This is often the case when you have large key values for
TEXT columns, because the sort
operation needs to store the complete key values as it
proceeds. If you have lots of temporary space and you can
force myisamchk to repair by sorting,
you can use the
Repairing through the key buffer takes much less disk space than using sorting, but is also much slower.
If you want a faster repair, set the
sort_buffer_size variables to about 25% of
your available memory. You can set both variables to large
values, because only one of them is used at a time.
myisam_block_size is the size used for
stats_method influences how
NULL values are treated for index
statistics collection when the
option is given. It acts like the
myisam_stats_method system variable. For
more information, see the description of
Section 5.2.2, “Server System Variables”, and
Section 7.4.7, “
MyISAM Index Statistics Collection”. For MySQL
stats_method was added in
MySQL 5.0.14. For older versions, the statistics collection
method is equivalent to
ft_max_word_len indicate the minimum and
maximum word length for
ft_stopword_file names the stopword file.
These need to be set under the following circumstances.
If you use myisamchk to perform an
operation that modifies table indexes (such as repair or
FULLTEXT indexes are rebuilt
using the default full-text parameter values for minimum and
maximum word length and the stopword file unless you specify
otherwise. This can result in queries failing.
The problem occurs because these parameters are known only by
the server. They are not stored in
index files. To avoid the problem if you have modified the
minimum or maximum word length or the stopword file in the
server, specify the same
ft_stopword_file values to
myisamchk that you use for
mysqld. For example, if you have set the
minimum word length to 3, you can repair a table with
myisamchk like this:
myisamchk --recover --ft_min_word_len=3
To ensure that myisamchk and the server use
the same values for full-text parameters, you can place each
one in both the
[myisamchk] sections of an option file:
[mysqld] ft_min_word_len=3 [myisamchk] ft_min_word_len=3
An alternative to using myisamchk is to use
OPTIMIZE TABLE, or
ALTER TABLE. These statements are performed
by the server, which knows the proper full-text parameter
values to use.
myisamchk supports the following options for table checking operations:
Check the table for errors. This is the default operation if you specify no option that selects an operation type explicitly.
Check only tables that have changed since the last check.
Check the table very thoroughly. This is quite slow if the table has many indexes. This option should only be used in extreme cases. Normally, myisamchk or myisamchk --medium-check should be able to determine whether there are any errors in the table.
If you are using
--extend-check and have
plenty of memory, setting the
key_buffer_size variable to a large
value helps the repair operation run faster.
Check only tables that haven't been closed properly.
Do a repair operation automatically if
myisamchk finds any errors in the
table. The repair type is the same as that specified with
Print informational statistics about the table that is checked.
Do a check that is faster than an
--extend-check operation. This finds only
99.99% of all errors, which should be good enough in most
Don't mark the table as checked. This is useful if you use myisamchk to check a table that is in use by some other application that doesn't use locking, such as mysqld when run with external locking disabled.
Store information in the
.MYI file to
indicate when the table was checked and whether the table
crashed. This should be used to get full benefit of the
--check-only-changed option, but you
shouldn't use this option if the mysqld
server is using the table and you are running it with
external locking disabled.
myisamchk supports the following options for table repair operations:
Make a backup of the
.MYD file as
The directory where character sets are installed. See Section 5.11.1, “The Character Set Used for Data and Sorting”.
Correct the checksum information for the table.
Maximum length of the data file (when re-creating data file when it is “full”).
Do a repair that tries to recover every possible row from the data file. Normally, this also finds a lot of garbage rows. Don't use this option unless you are desperate.
Overwrite old intermediate files (files with names like
instead of aborting.
For myisamchk, the option value is a bit-value that indicates which indexes to update. Each binary bit of the option value corresponds to a table index, where the first index is bit 0. An option value of 0 disables updates to all indexes, which can be used to get faster inserts. Deactivated indexes can be reactivated by using myisamchk -r.
Skip rows larger than the given length if myisamchk cannot allocate memory to hold them.
Uses the same technique as
-n, but creates all the keys in parallel,
using different threads. This is beta-quality
code. Use at your own risk!
Achieve a faster repair by not modifying the data file. You can specify this option twice to force myisamchk to modify the original data file in case of duplicate keys.
Do a repair that can fix almost any problem except unique
keys that aren't unique (which is an extremely unlikely
MyISAM tables). If you want
to recover a table, this is the option to try first. You
--safe-recover only if
myisamchk reports that the table can't
be recovered using
--recover. (In the
unlikely case that
--recover fails, the
data file remains intact.)
If you have lots of memory, you should increase the value
Do a repair using an old recovery method that reads
through all rows in order and updates all index trees
based on the rows found. This is an order of magnitude
--recover, but can handle a
couple of very unlikely cases that
--recover cannot. This recovery method
also uses much less disk space than
--recover. Normally, you should repair
--recover, and then with
--safe-recover only if
If you have lots of memory, you should increase the value
Change the character set used by the table indexes. This
option was replaced by
Specify the collation to use for sorting table indexes. The character set name is implied by the first part of the collation name. This option was added in MySQL 5.0.3.
Force myisamchk to use sorting to resolve the keys even if the temporary files would be very large.
Path of the directory to be used for storing temporary
files. If this is not set, myisamchk
uses the value of the
tmpdir can be set
to a list of directory paths that are used successively in
round-robin fashion for creating temporary files. The
separator character between directory names is the colon
:’) on Unix and the
;’) on Windows,
NetWare, and OS/2.
Unpack a table that was packed with myisampack.
myisamchk supports the following options for actions other than table checks and repairs:
Analyze the distribution of key values. This improves join
performance by enabling the join optimizer to better
choose the order in which to join the tables and which
indexes it should use. To obtain information about the key
distribution, use a myisamchk --description
command or the
SHOW INDEX FROM
Find the record that a block at the given offset belongs to.
Print some descriptive information about the table.
AUTO_INCREMENT numbering for new
records to start at the given value (or higher, if there
are existing records with
AUTO_INCREMENT values this large). If
value is not specified,
AUTO_INCREMENT numbers for new records
begin with the largest value currently in the table, plus
Sort the index tree blocks in high-low order. This optimizes seeks and makes table scans that use indexes faster.
Sort records according to a particular index. This makes
your data much more localized and may speed up range-based
operations that use this index. (The first time you use
this option to sort a table, it may be very slow.) To
determine a table's index numbers, use
INDEX, which displays a table's indexes in the
same order that myisamchk sees them.
Indexes are numbered beginning with 1.
If keys are not packed (
they have the same length, so when
myisamchk sorts and moves records, it
just overwrites record offsets in the index. If keys are
myisamchk must unpack key blocks first,
then re-create indexes and pack the key blocks again. (In
this case, re-creating indexes is faster than updating
offsets for each index.)
Memory allocation is important when you run myisamchk. myisamchk uses no more memory than its memory-related variables are set to. If you are going to use myisamchk on very large tables, you should first decide how much memory you want it to use. The default is to use only about 3MB to perform repairs. By using larger values, you can get myisamchk to operate faster. For example, if you have more than 32MB RAM, you could use options such as these (in addition to any other options you might specify):
myisamchk --sort_buffer_size=16M --key_buffer_size=16M \
--read_buffer_size=1M --write_buffer_size=1M ...
--sort_buffer_size=16M should probably
be enough for most cases.
Be aware that myisamchk uses temporary
TMPDIR points to a memory filesystem, you
may easily get out of memory errors. If this happens, run
myisamchk with the
option to specify some directory located on a filesystem that
has more space.
When repairing, myisamchk also needs a lot of disk space:
Double the size of the data file (the original file and a
copy). This space is not needed if you do a repair with
--quick; in this case, only the index
file is re-created. This space is needed on the same
filesystem as the original data file! (The copy is created
in the same directory as the original.)
Space for the new index file that replaces the old one. The old index file is truncated at the start of the repair operation, so you usually ignore this space. This space is needed on the same filesystem as the original index file!
--sort-recover (but not when using
--safe-recover), you need space for a
sort buffer. The following formula yields the amount of
You can check the length of the keys and the
tbl_name. This space
is allocated in the temporary directory (specified by
If you have a problem with disk space during repair, you can
--safe-recover instead of