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MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual
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14.10.1 Enabling File Formats

The innodb_file_format configuration option defines the file format used when InnoDB tables are created in file_per_table tablespaces.

Antelope is the default innodb_file_format.

To preclude the use of features supported by the Barracuda file that make your database inaccessible to the built-in InnoDB in MySQL 5.1 and prior releases, set innodb_file_format to Antelope. Alternatively, you can disable innodb_file_per_table to have new tables created in the system tablespace. The system tablespace is stored in the original Antelope file format.

You can set the value of innodb_file_format on the command line when you start mysqld, or in the option file (my.cnf on Unix, my.ini on Windows). You can also change it dynamically with a SET GLOBAL statement.

mysql> SET GLOBAL innodb_file_format=Barracuda;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Be aware that ALTER TABLE operations that recreate InnoDB tables use the current innodb_file_format setting.

Although Oracle recommends using the Barracuda format for new tables where practical, in MySQL 5.6 the default file format is Antelope, for maximum compatibility with replication configurations containing earlier MySQL releases.

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