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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  Bit-Value Literals

9.1.5 Bit-Value Literals

Bit-value literals are written using b'val' or 0bval notation. val is a binary value written using zeros and ones. Lettercase of any leading b does not matter. A leading 0b is case sensitive and cannot be written as 0B.

Legal bit-value literals:


Illegal bit-value literals:

b'2'    (2 is not a binary digit)
0B01    (0B must be written as 0b)

By default, a bit-value literal is a binary string:

mysql> SELECT b'1000001', CHARSET(b'1000001');
| b'1000001' | CHARSET(b'1000001') |
| A          | binary              |
mysql> SELECT 0b1100001, CHARSET(0b1100001);
| 0b1100001 | CHARSET(0b1100001) |
| a         | binary             |

A bit-value literal may have an optional character set introducer and COLLATE clause, to designate it as a string that uses a particular character set and collation:

[_charset_name] b'val' [COLLATE collation_name]


SELECT _latin1 b'1000001';
SELECT _utf8 0b1000001 COLLATE utf8_danish_ci;

The examples use b'val' notation, but 0bval notation permits introducers as well. For information about introducers, see Section 10.3.8, “Character Set Introducers”.

In numeric contexts, MySQL treats a bit literal like an integer. To ensure numeric treatment of a bit literal, use it in numeric context. Ways to do this include adding 0 or using CAST(... AS UNSIGNED). For example, a bit literal assigned to a user-defined variable is a binary string by default. To assign the value as a number, use it in numeric context:

mysql> SET @v1 = b'1100001';
mysql> SET @v2 = b'1100001'+0;
mysql> SET @v3 = CAST(b'1100001' AS UNSIGNED);
mysql> SELECT @v1, @v2, @v3;
| @v1  | @v2  | @v3  |
| a    |   97 |   97 |

An empty bit value (b'') evaluates to a zero-length binary string. Converted to a number, it produces 0:

mysql> SELECT CHARSET(b''), LENGTH(b'');
| CHARSET(b'') | LENGTH(b'') |
| binary       |           0 |
mysql> SELECT b''+0;
| b''+0 |
|     0 |

Bit-value notation is convenient for specifying values to be assigned to BIT columns:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t (b BIT(8));
mysql> INSERT INTO t SET b = b'11111111';
mysql> INSERT INTO t SET b = b'1010';
mysql> INSERT INTO t SET b = b'0101';

Bit values in result sets are returned as binary values, which may not display well. To convert a bit value to printable form, use it in numeric context or use a conversion function such as BIN() or HEX(). High-order 0 digits are not displayed in the converted value.

mysql> SELECT b+0, BIN(b), OCT(b), HEX(b) FROM t;
| b+0  | BIN(b)   | OCT(b) | HEX(b) |
|  255 | 11111111 | 377    | FF     |
|   10 | 1010     | 12     | A      |
|    5 | 101      | 5      | 5      |

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