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MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual
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14.6.5 Doublewrite Buffer

The doublewrite buffer is a storage area where InnoDB writes pages flushed from the buffer pool before writing the pages to their proper positions in the InnoDB data files. If there is an operating system, storage subsystem, or mysqld process crash in the middle of a page write, InnoDB can find a good copy of the page from the doublewrite buffer during crash recovery.

Although data is written twice, the doublewrite buffer does not require twice as much I/O overhead or twice as many I/O operations. Data is written to the doublewrite buffer in a large sequential chunk, with a single fsync() call to the operating system (except in the case that innodb_flush_method is set to O_DIRECT_NO_FSYNC).

The doublewrite buffer is enabled by default. To disable the doublewrite buffer, set innodb_doublewrite to 0.