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Chapter 17. Partitioning

This chapter discusses partitioning as implemented in MySQL 5.1. An introduction to partitioning and partitioning concepts may be found in Section 17.1, “Overview of Partitioning in MySQL”. MySQL 5.1 supports several types of partitioning, which are discussed in Section 17.2, “Partition Types”, as well as subpartitioning (also known sometimes as composite partitioning), which is described in Section 17.2.5, “Subpartitioning”. Methods of adding, removing, and altering partitions in existing partitioned tables are covered in Section 17.3, “Partition Management”. Table maintenance commands for use with partitioned tables are discussed in Section 17.3.3, “Maintenance of Partitions”.

Important: Partitioned tables created with MySQL versions prior to 5.1.6 cannot be read by a 5.1.6 or later MySQL Server. In addition, the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES table cannot be used if such tables are present on a 5.1.6 server. Beginning with MySQL 5.1.7, a suitable warning message is generated instead, to alert the user that incompatible partitioned tables have been found by the server.

Important: If you are using partitioned tables which were created in MySQL 5.1.5 or earlier, be sure to see Section D.1.3, “Changes in release 5.1.6 (01 February 2006)” for more information and suggested workarounds before upgrading to MySQL 5.1.6 or later.

The partitioning implementation in MySQL 5.1 is still undergoing development and is not yet production-ready. Much the same is true of this chapter: Some of the features described herein are not yet actually implemented, and others might not yet function exactly as described (for example, the DATA DIRECTORY and INDEX DIRECTORY options for partitions are adversely affected by Bug #13520). We have attempted to note these discrepancies in this chapter. Before filing bug reports, we encourage you to check the following resources:

Additional Resources:

  • MySQL Partitioning Forum

    This is the official discussion forum for those interested in or experimenting with MySQL Partitioning technology. It features announcements and updates from MySQL developers and others. It is monitored by members of the Partitioning Development and Documentation Teams.

  • Mikael Ronström's Blog

    MySQL Partitioning Architect and Lead Developer Mikael Ronström frequently posts articles here concerning his work with MySQL Partitioning and MySQL Cluster.

  • PlanetMySQL

    A MySQL news site featuring MySQL-related blogs, which should be of interest to anyone using my MySQL. We encourage you to check here for links to blogs kept by those working with MySQL Partitioning, or to have your own blog added to those covered.

MySQL 5.1-alpha binaries are now available from However, for the latest partitioning bugfixes and feature additions, you can obtain the source from our BitKeeper repository. To enable partitioning, you need to compile the server using the --with-partition option. For more information about building MySQL, see Section 2.8, “MySQL Installation Using a Source Distribution”. If you have problems compiling a partitioning-enabled MySQL 5.1 build, check the MySQL Partitioning Forum and ask for assistance there if you don't find a solution to your problem already posted.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire