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InnoDB 1.1 for MySQL 5.5 User's Guide
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4.1. Enabling File Formats

The configuration parameter innodb_file_format controls whether such statements as CREATE TABLE and ALTER TABLE can be used to create tables that depend on support for the Barracuda file format.

Although Oracle recommends using the Barracuda format for new tables where practical, in MySQL 5.5 the default file format is still Antelope, for maximum compatibility with replication configurations containing different MySQL releases.

The file format is a dynamic, global parameter that can be specified in the MySQL option file (my.cnf or my.ini) or changed with the SET GLOBAL command.

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