A.4.2. What to Do If MySQL Keeps Crashing
Each MySQL version is tested on many platforms before it is
released. This doesn't mean that there are no bugs in MySQL, but
if there are bugs, they should be very few and can be hard to
find. If you have a problem, it always helps if you try to find
out exactly what crashes your system, because you have a much
better chance of getting the problem fixed quickly.
First, you should try to find out whether the problem is that
the mysqld server dies or whether your
problem has to do with your client. You can check how long your
mysqld server has been up by executing
mysqladmin version. If
mysqld has died and restarted, you may find
the reason by looking in the server's error log. See
Section 5.11.2, “The Error Log”.
On some systems, you can find in the error log a stack trace of
where mysqld died that you can resolve with
resolve_stack_dump program. See
Section E.1.4, “Using a Stack Trace”. Note that the variable
values written in the error log may not always be 100% correct.
Many server crashes are caused by corrupted data files or index
files. MySQL updates the files on disk with the
write() system call after every SQL statement
and before the client is notified about the result. (This is not
true if you are running with
in which case data files are written but not index files.) This
means that data file contents are safe even if
mysqld crashes, because the operating system
ensures that the unflushed data is written to disk. You can
force MySQL to flush everything to disk after every SQL
statement by starting mysqld with the
The preceding means that normally you should not get corrupted
tables unless one of the following happens:
The MySQL server or the server host was killed in the middle
of an update.
You have found a bug in mysqld that
caused it to die in the middle of an update.
Some external program is manipulating data files or index
files at the same time as mysqld without
locking the table properly.
You are running many mysqld servers using
the same data directory on a system that doesn't support
good filesystem locks (normally handled by the
lockd lock manager), or you are running
multiple servers with external locking disabled.
You have a crashed data file or index file that contains
very corrupt data that confused mysqld.
You have found a bug in the data storage code. This isn't
likely, but it's at least possible. In this case, you can
try to change the storage engine to another engine by using
ALTER TABLE on a repaired copy of the
Because it is very difficult to know why something is crashing,
first try to check whether things that work for others crash for
you. Please try the following things:
Stop the mysqld server with
mysqladmin shutdown, run
myisamchk --silent --force */*.MYI from
the data directory to check all
tables, and restart mysqld. This ensures
that you are running from a clean state. See
Chapter 5, Database Administration.
Start mysqld with the
--log option and try to determine from the
information written to the log whether some specific query
kills the server. About 95% of all bugs are related to a
particular query. Normally, this is one of the last queries
in the log file just before the server restarts. See
Section 5.11.3, “The General Query Log”. If you can repeatedly kill
MySQL with a specific query, even when you have checked all
tables just before issuing it, then you have been able to
locate the bug and should submit a bug report for it. See
Section 1.8, “How to Report Bugs or Problems”.
Try to make a test case that we can use to repeat the
problem. See Section E.1.6, “Making a Test Case If You Experience Table Corruption”.
Try running the tests in the
directory and the MySQL benchmarks. See
Section 27.1.2, “MySQL Test Suite”. They should test MySQL
rather well. You can also add code to the benchmarks that
simulates your application. The benchmarks can be found in
sql-bench directory in a source
distribution or, for a binary distribution, in the
sql-bench directory under your MySQL
fork_big.pl script. (It is
located in the
tests directory of
If you configure MySQL for debugging, it is much easier to
gather information about possible errors if something goes
wrong. Configuring MySQL for debugging causes a safe memory
allocator to be included that can find some errors. It also
provides a lot of output about what is happening.
Reconfigure MySQL with the
--with-debug=full option to
configure and then recompile. See
Section E.1, “Debugging a MySQL Server”.
Make sure that you have applied the latest patches for your
--skip-external-locking option to
mysqld. On some systems, the
lockd lock manager does not work
option tells mysqld not to use external
locking. (This means that you cannot run two
mysqld servers on the same data directory
and that you must be careful if you use
myisamchk. Nevertheless, it may be
instructive to try the option as a test.)
Have you tried mysqladmin -u root
processlist when mysqld appears
to be running but not responding? Sometimes
mysqld is not comatose even though you
might think so. The problem may be that all connections are
in use, or there may be some internal lock problem.
mysqladmin -u root processlist usually is
able to make a connection even in these cases, and can
provide useful information about the current number of
connections and their status.
Run the command mysqladmin -i 5 status or
mysqladmin -i 5 -r status in a separate
window to produce statistics while you run your other
Try the following:
Start mysqld from
gdb (or another debugger). See
Section E.1.3, “Debugging mysqld under gdb”.
Run your test scripts.
Print the backtrace and the local variables at the three
lowest levels. In gdb, you can do
this with the following commands when
mysqld has crashed inside
With gdb, you can also examine which
threads exist with
info threads and
switch to a specific thread with
N is the thread ID.
Try to simulate your application with a Perl script to force
MySQL to crash or misbehave.
Send a normal bug report. See Section 1.8, “How to Report Bugs or Problems”.
Be even more detailed than usual. Because MySQL works for
many people, it may be that the crash results from something
that exists only on your computer (for example, an error
that is related to your particular system libraries).
If you have a problem with tables containing dynamic-length
rows and you are using only
TEXT columns), you can try to change all
ALTER TABLE. This forces MySQL to use
fixed-size rows. Fixed-size rows take a little extra space,
but are much more tolerant to corruption.
The current dynamic row code has been in use at MySQL AB for
several years with very few problems, but dynamic-length
rows are by nature more prone to errors, so it may be a good
idea to try this strategy to see whether it helps.
Do not rule out your server hardware when diagnosing
problems. Defective hardware can be the cause of data
corruption. Particular attention should be paid to both RAMS
and hard-drives when troubleshooting hardware.