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MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual
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Excerpts from this Manual mysql Logging

On Unix, the mysql client logs statements executed interactively to a history file. By default, this file is named .mysql_history in your home directory. To specify a different file, set the value of the MYSQL_HISTFILE environment variable.

How Logging Occurs

Statement logging occurs as follows:

  • Statements are logged only when executed interactively. Statements are noninteractive, for example, when read from a file or a pipe. It is also possible to suppress statement logging by using the --batch or --execute option.

  • Statements are ignored and not logged if they match any pattern in the ignore list. This list is described later.

  • mysql logs each nonignored, nonempty statement line individually.

  • If a nonignored statement spans multiple lines (not including the terminating delimiter), mysql concatenates the lines to form the complete statement, maps newlines to spaces, and logs the result, plus a delimiter.

Consequently, an input statement that spans multiple lines can be logged twice. Consider this input:

mysql> SELECT
    -> 'Today is'
    -> ,
    -> CURDATE()
    -> ;

In this case, mysql logs the SELECT, 'Today is', ,, CURDATE(), and ; lines as it reads them. It also logs the complete statement, after mapping SELECT\n'Today is'\n,\nCURDATE() to SELECT 'Today is' , CURDATE(), plus a delimiter. Thus, these lines appear in logged output:

'Today is'
SELECT 'Today is' , CURDATE();

As of MySQL 5.6.8, mysql ignores for logging purposes statements that match any pattern in the ignore list. By default, the pattern list is "*IDENTIFIED*:*PASSWORD*", to ignore statements that refer to passwords. Pattern matching is not case sensitive. Within patterns, two characters are special:

  • ? matches any single character.

  • * matches any sequence of zero or more characters.

To specify additional patterns, use the --histignore option or set the MYSQL_HISTIGNORE environment variable. (If both are specified, the option value takes precedence.) The value should be a colon-separated list of one or more patterns, which are appended to the default pattern list.

Patterns specified on the command line might need to be quoted or escaped to prevent your command interpreter from treating them specially. For example, to suppress logging for UPDATE and DELETE statements in addition to statements that refer to passwords, invoke mysql like this:

shell> mysql --histignore="*UPDATE*:*DELETE*"
Controlling the History File

The .mysql_history file should be protected with a restrictive access mode because sensitive information might be written to it, such as the text of SQL statements that contain passwords. See Section, “End-User Guidelines for Password Security”.

If you do not want to maintain a history file, first remove .mysql_history if it exists. Then use either of the following techniques to prevent it from being created again:

  • Set the MYSQL_HISTFILE environment variable to /dev/null. To cause this setting to take effect each time you log in, put it in one of your shell's startup files.

  • Create .mysql_history as a symbolic link to /dev/null; this need be done only once:

    shell> ln -s /dev/null $HOME/.mysql_history

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