This section builds on the conceptual information about deadlocks in Section 188.8.131.52, “Deadlock Detection”. It explains how to organize database operations to minimize deadlocks and the subsequent error handling required in applications.
Deadlocks are a classic problem in transactional databases, but they are not dangerous unless they are so frequent that you cannot run certain transactions at all. Normally, you must write your applications so that they are always prepared to re-issue a transaction if it gets rolled back because of a deadlock.
InnoDB uses automatic row-level locking. You
can get deadlocks even in the case of transactions that just
insert or delete a single row. That is because these operations
are not really “atomic”; they automatically set
locks on the (possibly several) index records of the row
inserted or deleted.
You can cope with deadlocks and reduce the likelihood of their occurrence with the following techniques:
At any time, issue
SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUSto determine the cause of the most recent deadlock. That can help you to tune your application to avoid deadlocks.
If frequent deadlock warnings cause concern, collect more extensive debugging information by enabling the
innodb_print_all_deadlocksvariable. Information about each deadlock, not just the latest one, is recorded in the MySQL error log. Disable this option when you are finished debugging.
Always be prepared to re-issue a transaction if it fails due to deadlock. Deadlocks are not dangerous. Just try again.
Keep transactions small and short in duration to make them less prone to collision.
Commit transactions immediately after making a set of related changes to make them less prone to collision. In particular, do not leave an interactive mysql session open for a long time with an uncommitted transaction.
When modifying multiple tables within a transaction, or different sets of rows in the same table, do those operations in a consistent order each time. Then transactions form well-defined queues and do not deadlock. For example, organize database operations into functions within your application, or call stored routines, rather than coding multiple similar sequences of
DELETEstatements in different places.
Add well-chosen indexes to your tables so that your queries scan fewer index records and set fewer locks. Use
EXPLAIN SELECTto determine which indexes the MySQL server regards as the most appropriate for your queries.
Use less locking. If you can afford to permit a
SELECTto return data from an old snapshot, do not add a
LOCK IN SHARE MODEclause to it. Using the
READ COMMITTEDisolation level is good here, because each consistent read within the same transaction reads from its own fresh snapshot.
If nothing else helps, serialize your transactions with table-level locks. The correct way to use
LOCK TABLESwith transactional tables, such as
InnoDBtables, is to begin a transaction with
SET autocommit = 0(not
START TRANSACTION) followed by
LOCK TABLES, and to not call
UNLOCK TABLESuntil you commit the transaction explicitly. For example, if you need to write to table
t1and read from table
t2, you can do this:
SET autocommit=0; LOCK TABLES t1 WRITE, t2 READ, ...; ... do something with tables t1 and t2 here ... COMMIT; UNLOCK TABLES;
Table-level locks prevent concurrent updates to the table, avoiding deadlocks at the expense of less responsiveness for a busy system.
Another way to serialize transactions is to create an auxiliary “semaphore” table that contains just a single row. Have each transaction update that row before accessing other tables. In that way, all transactions happen in a serial fashion. Note that the
InnoDBinstant deadlock detection algorithm also works in this case, because the serializing lock is a row-level lock. With MySQL table-level locks, the timeout method must be used to resolve deadlocks.