Most MySQL programs can read startup options from option files (sometimes called configuration files). Option files provide a convenient way to specify commonly used options so that they need not be entered on the command line each time you run a program.
To determine whether a program reads option files, invoke it
--help option. (For
--help.) If the program reads
option files, the help message indicates which files it looks
for and which option groups it recognizes.
A MySQL program started with the
--no-defaults option reads no option files
Many option files are plain text files, created using any text
editor. The exception is the
file that contains login path options. This is an encrypted file
created by the mysql_config_editor utility.
See Section 4.6.6, “mysql_config_editor — MySQL Configuration Utility”. A “login
path” is an option group that permits only certain
socket. Client programs specify which login
path to read from
.mylogin.cnf using the
To specify an alternative login path file name, set the
MYSQL_TEST_LOGIN_FILE environment variable.
This variable is used by the
mysql-test-run.pl testing utility, but also
is recognized by mysql_config_editor and by
MySQL clients such as mysql,
mysqladmin, and so forth.
MySQL looks for option files in the order described in the following discussion and reads any that exist. If an option file you want to use does not exist, create it using the appropriate method, as just discussed.
For information about option files used with NDB Cluster programs, see Section 18.3, “Configuration of NDB Cluster”.
On Windows, MySQL programs read startup options from the files shown in the following table, in the specified order (files listed first are read first, files read later take precedence).
Table 4.1 Option Files Read on Windows Systems
||The file specified with
||Login path options (clients only)|
In the preceding table,
the location of your Windows directory. This is commonly
C:\WINDOWS. Use the following command to
determine its exact location from the value of the
WINDIR environment variable:
C:\> echo %WINDIR%
%APPDATA% represents the value of the
Windows application data directory. Use the following command
to determine its exact location from the value of the
APPDATA environment variable:
C:\> echo %APPDATA%
BASEDIR represents the MySQL base
installation directory. When MySQL 5.6 has been
installed using MySQL Installer, this is typically
PROGRAMDIR represents the programs
Program Files on
English-language versions of Windows), See
Section 2.3.3, “MySQL Installer for Windows”.
On Unix and Unix-like systems, MySQL programs read startup options from the files shown in the following table, in the specified order (files listed first are read first, files read later take precedence).
On Unix platforms, MySQL ignores configuration files that are world-writable. This is intentional as a security measure.
Table 4.2 Option Files Read on Unix and Unix-Like Systems
||Server-specific options (server only)|
||The file specified with
||User-specific login path options (clients only)|
In the preceding table,
~ represents the
current user's home directory (the value of
SYSCONFDIR represents the directory
specified with the
option to CMake when MySQL was built. By
default, this is the
located under the compiled-in installation directory.
MYSQL_HOME is an environment variable
containing the path to the directory in which the
my.cnf file resides. If
MYSQL_HOME is not set and you start the
server using the mysqld_safe program,
mysqld_safe attempts to set
MYSQL_HOME as follows:
DATADIRrepresent the path names of the MySQL base directory and data directory, respectively.
If there is a
DATADIRbut not in
BASEDIR, mysqld_safe sets
MYSQL_HOMEis not set and there is no
DATADIR, mysqld_safe sets
In MySQL 5.6, use of
DATADIR as the location for
my.cnf is deprecated.
DATADIR is commonly
/usr/local/mysql/data, although this can
vary per platform or installation method. The value is the
data directory location built in when MySQL was compiled, not
the location specified with the
--datadir option when
mysqld starts. Use of
--datadir at runtime has no
effect on where the server looks for option files that it
reads before processing any options.
If multiple instances of a given option are found, the last
instance takes precedence, with one exception: For
mysqld, the first
instance of the
is used as a security precaution, to prevent a user specified
in an option file from being overridden on the command line.
The following description of option file syntax applies to
files that you edit manually. This excludes
.mylogin.cnf, which is created using
mysql_config_editor and is encrypted.
Any long option that may be given on the command line when
running a MySQL program can be given in an option file as
well. To get the list of available options for a program, run
it with the
--help option. (For
The syntax for specifying options in an option file is similar
to command-line syntax (see
Section 22.214.171.124, “Using Options on the Command Line”). However, in an option
file, you omit the leading two dashes from the option name and
you specify only one option per line. For example,
on the command line should be specified as
on separate lines in an option file. To specify an option of
in an option file, write it as
Empty lines in option files are ignored. Nonempty lines can take any of the following forms:
Comment lines start with
#comment can start in the middle of a line as well.
groupis the name of the program or group for which you want to set options. After a group line, any option-setting lines apply to the named group until the end of the option file or another group line is given. Option group names are not case-sensitive.
This is equivalent to
--on the command line.
This is equivalent to
--on the command line. In an option file, you can have spaces around the
=character, something that is not true on the command line. The value optionally can be enclosed within single quotation marks or double quotation marks, which is useful if the value contains a
Leading and trailing spaces are automatically deleted from option names and values.
You can use the escape sequences
\s in option values to represent the
backspace, tab, newline, carriage return, backslash, and space
characters. In option files, these escaping rules apply:
A backslash followed by a valid escape sequence character is converted to the character represented by the sequence. For example,
\sis converted to a space.
A backslash not followed by a valid escape sequence character remains unchanged. For example,
\Sis retained as is.
The preceding rules mean that a literal backslash can be given
\\, or as
\ if it is
not followed by a valid escape sequence character.
The rules for escape sequences in option files differ slightly
from the rules for escape sequences in string literals in SQL
statements. In the latter context, if
x” is not a valid
escape sequence character,
x” rather than
Section 9.1.1, “String Literals”.
The escaping rules for option file values are especially
pertinent for Windows path names, which use
\ as a path name separator. A separator in
a Windows path name must be written as
if it is followed by an escape sequence character. It can be
\ if it
is not. Alternatively,
/ may be used in
Windows path names and are treated as
Suppose that you want to specify a base directory of
C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server
5.6 in an option file. This can be
done several ways. Some examples:
basedir="C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.6" basedir="C:\\Program Files\\MySQL\\MySQL Server 5.6" basedir="C:/Program Files/MySQL/MySQL Server 5.6" basedir=C:\\Program\sFiles\\MySQL\\MySQL\sServer\s5.6
If an option group name is the same as a program name, options
in the group apply specifically to that program. For example,
groups apply to the mysqld server and the
mysql client program, respectively.
[client] option group is read by all
client programs provided in MySQL distributions (but
not by mysqld). To
understand how third-party client programs that use the C API
can use option files, see the C API documentation at
[client] group enables you to specify
options that apply to all clients. For example,
[client] is the appropriate group to use to
specify the password for connecting to the server. (But make
sure that the option file is accessible only by yourself, so
that other people cannot discover your password.) Be sure not
to put an option in the
unless it is recognized by all client
programs that you use. Programs that do not understand the
option quit after displaying an error message if you try to
List more general option groups first and more specific groups
later. For example, a
[client] group is
more general because it is read by all client programs,
[mysqldump] group is read only by
mysqldump. Options specified later override
options specified earlier, so putting the option groups in the
mysqldump-specific options to override
Here is a typical global option file:
[client] port=3306 socket=/tmp/mysql.sock [mysqld] port=3306 socket=/tmp/mysql.sock key_buffer_size=16M max_allowed_packet=8M [mysqldump] quick
Here is a typical user option file:
[client] # The following password is sent to all standard MySQL clients password="my password" [mysql] no-auto-rehash connect_timeout=2 [mysqlhotcopy] interactive-timeout
To create option groups to be read only by
mysqld servers from specific MySQL release
series, use groups with names of
[mysqld-5.6], and so forth.
The following group indicates that the
sql_mode setting should be
used only by MySQL servers with 5.6.x version
It is possible to use
in option files to include other option files and
!includedir to search specific directories
for option files. For example, to include the
/home/mydir/myopt.cnf file, use the
To search the
/home/mydir directory and
read option files found there, use this directive:
MySQL makes no guarantee about the order in which option files in the directory are read.
Any files to be found and included using the
!includedir directive on Unix operating
systems must have file names ending in
.cnf. On Windows, this directive checks
for files with the
Write the contents of an included option file like any other
option file. That is, it should contain groups of options,
each preceded by a
that indicates the program to which the options apply.
While an included file is being processed, only those options
in groups that the current program is looking for are used.
Other groups are ignored. Suppose that a
my.cnf file contains this line:
And suppose that
looks like this:
[mysqladmin] force [mysqld] key_buffer_size=16M
my.cnf is processed by
mysqld, only the
[mysqld] group in
/home/mydir/myopt.cnf is used. If the
file is processed by mysqladmin, only the
[mysqladmin] group is used. If the file is
processed by any other program, no options in
/home/mydir/myopt.cnf are used.
!includedir directive is processed
similarly except that all option files in the named directory
If an option file contains
!includedir directives, files named by
those directives are processed whenever the option file is
processed, no matter where they appear in the file.
For inclusion directives to work, the file path should not be
specified within quotes and should have no escape sequences.
For example, the following statements provided in
my.ini read the option file
!include C:/ProgramData/MySQL/MySQL Server/myopts.ini !include C:\ProgramData\MySQL\MySQL Server\myopts.ini !include C:\\ProgramData\\MySQL\\MySQL Server\\myopts.ini
On Windows, if
last line in the file, make sure that a newline is appended at
the end or the line is ignored.