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CHECKSUM TABLE tbl_name [, tbl_name] ... [ QUICK | EXTENDED ]

CHECKSUM TABLE reports a checksum for the contents of a table. During the checksum operation, the table is locked with a read lock for InnoDB and MyISAM. You can use this statement to verify that the contents are the same before and after a backup, rollback, or other operation that is intended to put the data back to a known state. This statement requires the SELECT privilege for the table.

This statement is not supported for views. If you run CHECKSUM TABLE against a view, the Checksum value is always NULL, and a warning is returned.

Performance Considerations

By default, the entire table is read row by row and the checksum is calculated. For large tables, this could take a long time, thus you would only perform this operation occasionally. This row-by-row calculation is what you get with the EXTENDED clause, with InnoDB and all other storage engines other than MyISAM, and with MyISAM tables not created with the CHECKSUM=1 clause.

For MyISAM tables created with the CHECKSUM=1 clause, CHECKSUM TABLE or CHECKSUM TABLE ... QUICK returns the live table checksum that can be returned very fast. If the table does not meet all these conditions, the QUICK method returns NULL. See Section 13.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax” for the syntax of the CHECKSUM clause.

For a nonexistent table, CHECKSUM TABLE returns NULL and generates a warning.

The checksum value depends on the table row format. If the row format changes, the checksum also changes. For example, the storage format for temporal types such as TIME, DATETIME, and TIMESTAMP changed in MySQL 5.6 prior to MySQL 5.6.5, so if a 5.5 table is upgraded to MySQL 5.6, the checksum value may change.


If the checksums for two tables are different, then it is almost certain that the tables are different in some way. However, because the hashing function used by CHECKSUM TABLE is not guaranteed to be collision-free, there is a slight chance that two tables which are not identical can produce the same checksum.

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User Comments
  Posted by Mark Vancura on August 16, 2013
This provides a key way to diff two tables, although I am still looking for how to capture the result and act on it in a compiled procedure.
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