On Unix, MySQL uses the value of the
environment variable as the path name of the directory in
which to store temporary files. If
is not set, MySQL uses the system default, which is usually
On Windows, MySQL checks in order the values of the
TMP environment variables. For the first
one found to be set, MySQL uses it and does not check those
remaining. If none of
TMP are set,
MySQL uses the Windows system default, which is usually
If the file system containing your temporary file directory is
too small, you can use the mysqld
--tmpdir option to specify a
directory in a file system where you have enough space. On
replication slaves, you can use
--slave-load-tmpdir to specify
a separate directory for holding temporary files when
DATA INFILE statements.
--tmpdir option can be set
to a list of several paths that are used in round-robin
fashion. Paths should be separated by colon characters
:) on Unix and semicolon characters
;) on Windows.
To spread the load effectively, these paths should be located on different physical disks, not different partitions of the same disk.
If the MySQL server is acting as a replication slave, you
should be sure to set
--slave-load-tmpdir not to
point to a directory that is on a memory-based file system or
to a directory that is cleared when the server host restarts.
A replication slave needs some of its temporary files to
survive a machine restart so that it can replicate temporary
INFILE operations. If files in the slave temporary
file directory are lost when the server restarts, replication
MySQL arranges that temporary files are removed if mysqld is terminated. On platforms that support it (such as Unix), this is done by unlinking the file after opening it. The disadvantage of this is that the name does not appear in directory listings and you do not see a big temporary file that fills up the file system in which the temporary file directory is located. (In such cases, lsof +L1 may be helpful in identifying large files associated with mysqld.)
When sorting (
ORDER BY or
BY), MySQL normally uses one or two temporary files.
The maximum disk space required is determined by the following
(length of what is sorted + sizeof(row pointer)) * number of matched rows * 2
The row pointer size is usually four bytes, but may grow in the future for really big tables.
SELECT queries, MySQL
also creates temporary SQL tables. These are not hidden and
have names of the form
In most cases,
creates a temporary copy of the original table in the same
directory as the original table.
As of MySQL 5.7.1, non-compressed
temporary tables are stored in a temporary tablespace file
ibtmp1, which is located in the
datadir) by default. The
option can be used at startup to specify a different file
name and location. Compressed
temporary tables are stored in their own independent
tablespace files (
.ibd files) in the
path specified by the
ALTER TABLE operation
InnoDB table uses the
InnoDB creates a temporary copy of the
table in the same directory as the original table. Temporary
table file names begin with an
prefix and only appear briefly during the
ALTER TABLE operation.
ALTER TABLE operation
InnoDB table using the
ALGORITHM=INPLACE technique (online DDL),
InnoDB creates an
intermediate copy of the table the same
directory as the original table. Intermediate table file
names begin with an
#sql-ib prefix and
only appear briefly during the
ALTER TABLE operations that
InnoDB table using the
ALGORITHM=INPLACE technique (online DDL)
also create temporary sort files in the MySQL temporary
$TMPDIR on Unix,
%TEMP% on Windows, or the directory
specified by the
configuration option). If the temporary directory is not
large enough to hold such files, you may need to reconfigure
tmpdir. Alternatively, you
can define a separate temporary directory for
TABLE operations using the
option. This option was introduced in MySQL 5.7.11 to help
avoid temporary directory overflows that could occur as a
result of large temporary sort files created during online
ALTER TABLE operations.
innodb_tmpdir can be
configured dynamically using a
innodb_tmpdir option is
not applicable to intermediate table files, which are always
created in the same directory as the original table.
In replication environments, only consider replicating an
innodb_tmpdir setting if
all servers have the same operating system environment.
Otherwise, replicating an
innodb_tmpdir setting could
result in a replication failure when running online
ALTER TABLE operations. If
server operating environments differ, it is recommended that
on each server individually.
For more information about online DDL, Section 15.13, “InnoDB and Online DDL”.