12.1.6. ALTER TABLE Syntax

ALTER [IGNORE] TABLE tbl_name
    alter_specification [, alter_specification] ...
    [partition_options]

ALTER [IGNORE] TABLE tbl_name
    partition_options

alter_specification:
    table_options
  | ADD [COLUMN] col_name column_definition
        [FIRST | AFTER col_name ]
  | ADD [COLUMN] (col_name column_definition,...)
  | ADD {INDEX|KEY} [index_name]
        [index_type] (index_col_name,...) [index_option] ...
  | ADD [CONSTRAINT [symbol]] PRIMARY KEY
        [index_type] (index_col_name,...) [index_option] ...
  | ADD [CONSTRAINT [symbol]]
        UNIQUE [INDEX|KEY] [index_name]
        [index_type] (index_col_name,...) [index_option] ...
  | ADD FULLTEXT [INDEX|KEY] [index_name]
        (index_col_name,...) [index_option] ...
  | ADD SPATIAL [INDEX|KEY] [index_name]
        (index_col_name,...) [index_option] ...
  | ADD [CONSTRAINT [symbol]]
        FOREIGN KEY [index_name] (index_col_name,...)
        reference_definition
  | ALTER [COLUMN] col_name {SET DEFAULT literal | DROP DEFAULT}
  | CHANGE [COLUMN] old_col_name new_col_name column_definition
        [FIRST|AFTER col_name]
  | MODIFY [COLUMN] col_name column_definition
        [FIRST | AFTER col_name]
  | DROP [COLUMN] col_name
  | DROP PRIMARY KEY
  | DROP {INDEX|KEY} index_name
  | DROP FOREIGN KEY fk_symbol
  | DISABLE KEYS
  | ENABLE KEYS
  | RENAME [TO] new_tbl_name
  | ORDER BY col_name [, col_name] ...
  | CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET charset_name [COLLATE collation_name]
  | [DEFAULT] CHARACTER SET [=] charset_name [COLLATE [=] collation_name]
  | DISCARD TABLESPACE
  | IMPORT TABLESPACE
  | ADD PARTITION (partition_definition)
  | DROP PARTITION partition_names
  | TRUNCATE PARTITION {partition_names | ALL }
  | COALESCE PARTITION number
  | REORGANIZE PARTITION partition_names INTO (partition_definitions)
  | ANALYZE PARTITION  {partition_names | ALL }
  | CHECK PARTITION  {partition_names | ALL }
  | OPTIMIZE PARTITION  {partition_names | ALL }
  | REBUILD PARTITION  {partition_names | ALL }
  | REPAIR PARTITION  {partition_names | ALL }
  | REMOVE PARTITIONING

index_col_name:
    col_name [(length)] [ASC | DESC]

index_type:
    USING {BTREE | HASH}

index_option:
    KEY_BLOCK_SIZE [=] value
  | index_type
  | WITH PARSER parser_name
  | COMMENT 'string'

table_options:
    table_option [[,] table_option] ...  (see CREATE TABLE options)

partition_options:
    (see CREATE TABLE options)

ALTER TABLE enables you to change the structure of an existing table. For example, you can add or delete columns, create or destroy indexes, change the type of existing columns, or rename columns or the table itself. You can also change the comment for the table and type of the table.

The syntax for many of the permissible alterations is similar to clauses of the CREATE TABLE statement. See Section 12.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”, for more information.

Some operations may result in warnings if attempted on a table for which the storage engine does not support the operation. These warnings can be displayed with SHOW WARNINGS. See Section 12.4.5.41, “SHOW WARNINGS Syntax”.

In most cases, ALTER TABLE makes a temporary copy of the original table. MySQL incorporates the alteration into the copy, then deletes the original table and renames the new one. While ALTER TABLE is executing, the original table is readable by other sessions. Updates and writes to the table are stalled until the new table is ready, and then are automatically redirected to the new table without any failed updates. The temporary table is created in the database directory of the new table. This can differ from the database directory of the original table for ALTER TABLE operations that rename the table to a different database.

For some operations, a “fastALTER TABLE is possible that does not require a temporary table:

  • Alterations that modify only table metadata and not table data can be made immediately by altering the table's .frm file and not touching table contents. The following changes are fast alterations that can be made this way:

    • Renaming a column.

    • Changing the default value of a column.

    • Changing the definition of an ENUM or SET column by adding new enumeration or set members to the end of the list of valid member values. (Adding members in the middle of the list causes renumbering of existing members, which requires a table copy.)

  • For ALTER TABLE tbl_name RENAME TO new_tbl_name without any other options, MySQL simply renames any files that correspond to the table tbl_name. (You can also use the RENAME TABLE statement to rename tables. See Section 12.1.26, “RENAME TABLE Syntax”.) Any privileges granted specifically for the renamed table are not migrated to the new name. They must be changed manually.

  • ALTER TABLE ... ADD PARTITION creates no temporary table. ADD or DROP operations for RANGE or LIST partitions are immediate operations or nearly so. ADD or COALESCE operations for HASH or KEY partitions copy data between changed partitions; unless LINEAR HASH or LINEAR KEY was used, this is much the same as creating a new table (although the operation is done partition by partition). REORGANIZE operations copy only changed partitions and do not touch unchanged ones.

In other cases, MySQL creates a temporary table, even if the data wouldn't strictly need to be copied. For MyISAM tables, you can speed up the index re-creation operation (which is the slowest part of the alteration process) by setting the myisam_sort_buffer_size system variable to a high value.

You can force an ALTER TABLE operation that would otherwise require a table copy to use the temporary table method (as supported in MySQL 5.0) by setting old-alter-table to ON.

For information on troubleshooting ALTER TABLE, see Section C.5.7.1, “Problems with ALTER TABLE.

  • To use ALTER TABLE, you need ALTER, INSERT, and CREATE privileges for the table.

  • IGNORE is a MySQL extension to standard SQL. It controls how ALTER TABLE works if there are duplicates on unique keys in the new table or if warnings occur when strict mode is enabled. If IGNORE is not specified, the copy is aborted and rolled back if duplicate-key errors occur. If IGNORE is specified, only the first row is used of rows with duplicates on a unique key, The other conflicting rows are deleted. Incorrect values are truncated to the closest matching acceptable value.

  • table_option signifies a table option of the kind that can be used in the CREATE TABLE statement, such as ENGINE, AUTO_INCREMENT, or AVG_ROW_LENGTH. (Section 12.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”, lists all table options.) However, ALTER TABLE ignores the DATA DIRECTORY and INDEX DIRECTORY table options.

    For example, to convert a table to be an InnoDB table, use this statement:

    ALTER TABLE t1 ENGINE = InnoDB;
    

    The outcome of attempting to change a table's storage engine is affected by whether the desired storage engine is available and the setting of the NO_ENGINE_SUBSTITUTION SQL mode, as described in Section 5.1.7, “Server SQL Modes”.

    To prevent inadvertent loss of data, ALTER TABLE cannot be used to change the storage engine of a table to MERGE or BLACKHOLE.

    To change the value of the AUTO_INCREMENT counter to be used for new rows, do this:

    ALTER TABLE t2 AUTO_INCREMENT = value;
    

    You cannot reset the counter to a value less than or equal to any that have already been used. For MyISAM, if the value is less than or equal to the maximum value currently in the AUTO_INCREMENT column, the value is reset to the current maximum plus one. For InnoDB, if the value is less than the current maximum value in the column, no error occurs and the current sequence value is not changed.

  • You can issue multiple ADD, ALTER, DROP, and CHANGE clauses in a single ALTER TABLE statement, separated by commas. This is a MySQL extension to standard SQL, which permits only one of each clause per ALTER TABLE statement. For example, to drop multiple columns in a single statement, do this:

    ALTER TABLE t2 DROP COLUMN c, DROP COLUMN d;
    
  • CHANGE col_name, DROP col_name, and DROP INDEX are MySQL extensions to standard SQL.

  • MODIFY is an Oracle extension to ALTER TABLE.

  • The word COLUMN is optional and can be omitted.

  • column_definition clauses use the same syntax for ADD and CHANGE as for CREATE TABLE. See Section 12.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”.

  • You can rename a column using a CHANGE old_col_name new_col_name column_definition clause. To do so, specify the old and new column names and the definition that the column currently has. For example, to rename an INTEGER column from a to b, you can do this:

    ALTER TABLE t1 CHANGE a b INTEGER;
    

    If you want to change a column's type but not the name, CHANGE syntax still requires an old and new column name, even if they are the same. For example:

    ALTER TABLE t1 CHANGE b b BIGINT NOT NULL;
    

    You can also use MODIFY to change a column's type without renaming it:

    ALTER TABLE t1 MODIFY b BIGINT NOT NULL;
    

    When you use CHANGE or MODIFY, column_definition must include the data type and all attributes that should apply to the new column, other than index attributes such as PRIMARY KEY or UNIQUE. Attributes present in the original definition but not specified for the new definition are not carried forward. Suppose that a column col1 is defined as INT UNSIGNED DEFAULT 1 COMMENT 'my column' and you modify the column as follows:

    ALTER TABLE t1 MODIFY col1 BIGINT;
    

    The resulting column will be defined as BIGINT, but will not include the attributes UNSIGNED DEFAULT 1 COMMENT 'my column'. To retain them, the statement should be:

    ALTER TABLE t1 MODIFY col1 BIGINT UNSIGNED DEFAULT 1 COMMENT 'my column';
    

  • When you change a data type using CHANGE or MODIFY, MySQL tries to convert existing column values to the new type as well as possible.

    Warning

    This conversion may result in alteration of data. For example, if you shorten a string column, values may be truncated. To prevent the operation from succeeding if conversions to the new data type would result in loss of data, enable strict SQL mode before using ALTER TABLE (see Section 5.1.7, “Server SQL Modes”).

  • To add a column at a specific position within a table row, use FIRST or AFTER col_name. The default is to add the column last. You can also use FIRST and AFTER in CHANGE or MODIFY operations to reorder columns within a table.

  • ALTER ... SET DEFAULT or ALTER ... DROP DEFAULT specify a new default value for a column or remove the old default value, respectively. If the old default is removed and the column can be NULL, the new default is NULL. If the column cannot be NULL, MySQL assigns a default value as described in Section 10.1.4, “Data Type Default Values”.

  • DROP INDEX removes an index. This is a MySQL extension to standard SQL. See Section 12.1.20, “DROP INDEX Syntax”. If you are unsure of the index name, use SHOW INDEX FROM tbl_name.

  • If columns are dropped from a table, the columns are also removed from any index of which they are a part. If all columns that make up an index are dropped, the index is dropped as well. If you use CHANGE or MODIFY to shorten a column for which an index exists on the column, and the resulting column length is less than the index length, MySQL shortens the index automatically.

  • If a table contains only one column, the column cannot be dropped. If what you intend is to remove the table, use DROP TABLE instead.

  • DROP PRIMARY KEY drops the primary key. If there is no primary key, an error occurs.

    If you add a UNIQUE INDEX or PRIMARY KEY to a table, it is stored before any nonunique index so that MySQL can detect duplicate keys as early as possible.

  • Some storage engines permit you to specify an index type when creating an index. The syntax for the index_type specifier is USING type_name. For details about USING, see Section 12.1.11, “CREATE INDEX Syntax”. The preferred position is after the column list. Use of the option before the column list will no longer be recognized in a future MySQL release.

    index_option values specify additional options for an index. USING is one such option. For details about permissible index_option values, see Section 12.1.11, “CREATE INDEX Syntax”.

  • After an ALTER TABLE statement, it may be necessary to run ANALYZE TABLE to update index cardinality information. See Section 12.4.5.23, “SHOW INDEX Syntax”.

  • ORDER BY enables you to create the new table with the rows in a specific order. Note that the table does not remain in this order after inserts and deletes. This option is useful primarily when you know that you are mostly to query the rows in a certain order most of the time. By using this option after major changes to the table, you might be able to get higher performance. In some cases, it might make sorting easier for MySQL if the table is in order by the column that you want to order it by later.

    ORDER BY syntax permits one or more column names to be specified for sorting, each of which optionally can be followed by ASC or DESC to indicate ascending or descending sort order, respectively. The default is ascending order. Only column names are permitted as sort criteria; arbitrary expressions are not permitted.

    ORDER BY does not make sense for InnoDB tables that contain a user-defined clustered index (PRIMARY KEY or NOT NULL UNIQUE index). InnoDB always orders table rows according to such an index if one is present.

    Note

    When used on a partitioned table, ALTER TABLE ... ORDER BY orders rows within each partition only.

  • If you use ALTER TABLE on a MyISAM table, all nonunique indexes are created in a separate batch (as for REPAIR TABLE). This should make ALTER TABLE much faster when you have many indexes.

    This feature can be activated explicitly for a MyISAM table. ALTER TABLE ... DISABLE KEYS tells MySQL to stop updating nonunique indexes. ALTER TABLE ... ENABLE KEYS then should be used to re-create missing indexes. MySQL does this with a special algorithm that is much faster than inserting keys one by one, so disabling keys before performing bulk insert operations should give a considerable speedup. Using ALTER TABLE ... DISABLE KEYS requires the INDEX privilege in addition to the privileges mentioned earlier.

    While the nonunique indexes are disabled, they are ignored for statements such as SELECT and EXPLAIN that otherwise would use them.

  • If ALTER TABLE for an InnoDB table results in changes to column values (for example, because a column is truncated), InnoDB's FOREIGN KEY constraint checks do not notice possible violations caused by changing the values.

  • The FOREIGN KEY and REFERENCES clauses are supported by the InnoDB storage engine, which implements ADD [CONSTRAINT [symbol]] FOREIGN KEY (...) REFERENCES ... (...). See Section 13.6.5.4, “FOREIGN KEY Constraints”. For other storage engines, the clauses are parsed but ignored. The CHECK clause is parsed but ignored by all storage engines. See Section 12.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”. The reason for accepting but ignoring syntax clauses is for compatibility, to make it easier to port code from other SQL servers, and to run applications that create tables with references. See Section 1.8.5, “MySQL Differences from Standard SQL”.

    Important

    The inline REFERENCES specifications where the references are defined as part of the column specification are silently ignored by InnoDB. InnoDB only accepts REFERENCES clauses defined as part of a separate FOREIGN KEY specification.

    Note

    Partitioned tables do not support foreign keys. See Section 18.5, “Restrictions and Limitations on Partitioning”, for more information.

  • InnoDB supports the use of ALTER TABLE to drop foreign keys:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name DROP FOREIGN KEY fk_symbol;
    

    For more information, see Section 13.6.5.4, “FOREIGN KEY Constraints”.

  • You cannot add a foreign key and drop a foreign key in separate clauses of a single ALTER TABLE statement. You must use separate statements.

  • For an InnoDB table that is created with its own tablespace in an .ibd file, that file can be discarded and imported. To discard the .ibd file, use this statement:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name DISCARD TABLESPACE;
    

    This deletes the current .ibd file, so be sure that you have a backup first. Attempting to access the table while the tablespace file is discarded results in an error.

    To import the backup .ibd file back into the table, copy it into the database directory, and then issue this statement:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name IMPORT TABLESPACE;
    

    The tablespace file must have been created on the server into which it is imported later.

    See Section 13.6.3, “Using Per-Table Tablespaces”.

  • Pending INSERT DELAYED statements are lost if a table is write locked and ALTER TABLE is used to modify the table structure.

  • If you want to change the table default character set and all character columns (CHAR, VARCHAR, TEXT) to a new character set, use a statement like this:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET charset_name;
    

    For a column that has a data type of VARCHAR or one of the TEXT types, CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET will change the data type as necessary to ensure that the new column is long enough to store as many characters as the original column. For example, a TEXT column has two length bytes, which store the byte-length of values in the column, up to a maximum of 65,535. For a latin1 TEXT column, each character requires a single byte, so the column can store up to 65,535 characters. If the column is converted to utf8, each character might require up to three bytes, for a maximum possible length of 3 × 65,535 = 196,605 bytes. That length will not fit in a TEXT column's length bytes, so MySQL will convert the data type to MEDIUMTEXT, which is the smallest string type for which the length bytes can record a value of 196,605. Similarly, a VARCHAR column might be converted to MEDIUMTEXT.

    To avoid data type changes of the type just described, do not use CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET. Instead, use MODIFY to change individual columns. For example:

    ALTER TABLE t MODIFY latin1_text_col TEXT CHARACTER SET utf8;
    ALTER TABLE t MODIFY latin1_varchar_col VARCHAR(M) CHARACTER SET utf8;
    

    If you specify CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET binary, the CHAR, VARCHAR, and TEXT columns are converted to their corresponding binary string types (BINARY, VARBINARY, BLOB). This means that the columns no longer will have a character set and a subsequent CONVERT TO operation will not apply to them.

    If charset_name is DEFAULT, the database character set is used.

    Warning

    The CONVERT TO operation converts column values between the character sets. This is not what you want if you have a column in one character set (like latin1) but the stored values actually use some other, incompatible character set (like utf8). In this case, you have to do the following for each such column:

    ALTER TABLE t1 CHANGE c1 c1 BLOB;
    ALTER TABLE t1 CHANGE c1 c1 TEXT CHARACTER SET utf8;
    

    The reason this works is that there is no conversion when you convert to or from BLOB columns.

    To change only the default character set for a table, use this statement:

    ALTER TABLE tbl_name DEFAULT CHARACTER SET charset_name;
    

    The word DEFAULT is optional. The default character set is the character set that is used if you do not specify the character set for columns that you add to a table later (for example, with ALTER TABLE ... ADD column).

  • Partitioning-related clauses for ALTER TABLE can be used with partitioned tables for repartitioning, for adding, dropping, merging, and splitting partitions, and for performing partitioning maintenance.

    Simply using a partition_options clause with ALTER TABLE on a partitioned table repartitions the table according to the partitioning scheme defined by the partition_options. This clause always begins with PARTITION BY, and follows the same syntax and other rules as apply to the partition_options clause for CREATE TABLE (see Section 12.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”, for more detailed information), and can also be used to partition an existing table that is not already partitioned. For example, consider a (nonpartitioned) table defined as shown here:

    CREATE TABLE t1 (
        id INT,
        year_col INT
    );
    

    This table can be partitioned by HASH, using the id column as the partitioning key, into 8 partitions by means of this statement:

    ALTER TABLE t1
        PARTITION BY HASH(id)
        PARTITIONS 8;
    

    The table that results from using an ALTER TABLE ... PARTITION BY statement must follow the same rules as one created using CREATE TABLE ... PARTITION BY. This includes the rules governing the relationship between any unique keys (including any primary key) that the table might have, and the column or columns used in the partitioning expression, as discussed in Section 18.5.1, “Partitioning Keys, Primary Keys, and Unique Keys”. The CREATE TABLE ... PARTITION BY rules for specifying the number of partitions also apply to ALTER TABLE ... PARTITION BY.

    The partition_definition clause for ALTER TABLE ADD PARTITION supports the same options as the clause of the same name for the CREATE TABLE statement. (See Section 12.1.14, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”, for the syntax and description.) Suppose that you have the partitioned table created as shown here:

    CREATE TABLE t1 (
        id INT,
        year_col INT
    )
    PARTITION BY RANGE (year_col) (
        PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1991),
        PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1995),
        PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1999)
    );
    

    You can add a new partition p3 to this table for storing values less than 2002 as follows:

    ALTER TABLE t1 ADD PARTITION (PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2002));
    

    DROP PARTITION can be used to drop one or more RANGE or LIST partitions. This statement cannot be used with HASH or KEY partitions; instead, use COALESCE PARTITION (see below). Any data that was stored in the dropped partitions named in the partition_names list is discarded. For example, given the table t1 defined previously, you can drop the partitions named p0 and p1 as shown here:

    ALTER TABLE t1 DROP PARTITION p0, p1;
    

    ADD PARTITION and DROP PARTITION do not currently support IF [NOT] EXISTS. It is also not possible to rename a partition or a partitioned table. Instead, if you wish to rename a partition, you must drop and re-create the partition; if you wish to rename a partitioned table, you must instead drop all partitions, rename the table, and then add back the partitions that were dropped.

    Beginning with MySQL 5.5.0, it is possible to delete rows from selected partitions using the TRUNCATE PARTITION option. This option takes a comma-separated list of one or more partition names. For example, consider the table t1 as defined here:

    CREATE TABLE t1 (
        id INT,
        year_col INT
    )
    PARTITION BY RANGE (year_col) (
        PARTITION p0 VALUES LESS THAN (1991),
        PARTITION p1 VALUES LESS THAN (1995),
        PARTITION p2 VALUES LESS THAN (1999),
        PARTITION p3 VALUES LESS THAN (2003),
        PARTITION p4 VALUES LESS THAN (2007)
    );
    

    To delete all rows from partition p0, you can use the following statement:

    ALTER TABLE t1 TRUNCATE PARTITION p0;
    

    The statement just shown has the same effect as the following DELETE statement:

    DELETE FROM t1 WHERE year_col < 1991;
    

    When truncating multiple partitions, the partitions do not have to be contiguous: This can greatly simplify delete operations on partitioned tables that would otherwise require very complex WHERE conditions if done with DELETE statements. For example, this statement deletes all rows from partitions p1 and p3:

    ALTER TABLE t1 TRUNCATE PARTITION p1, p3;
    

    An equivalent DELETE statement is shown here:

    DELETE FROM t1 WHERE 
        (year_col >= 1991 AND year_col < 1995)
        OR
        (year_col >= 2003 AND year_col < 2007);
    

    You can also use the ALL keyword in place of the list of partition names; in this case, the statement acts on all partitions in the table.

    TRUNCATE PARTITION merely deletes rows; it does not alter the definition of the table itself, or of any of its partitions.

    Note

    TRUNCATE PARTITION does not work with subpartitions.

    You can verify that the rows were dropped by checking the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.PARTITIONS table, using a query such as this one:

    SELECT PARTITION_NAME, TABLE_ROWS 
        FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.PARTITIONS 
        WHERE TABLE_NAME = 't1';
    

    TRUNCATE PARTITION is supported only for partitioned tables that use the MyISAM, InnoDB, or MEMORY storage engine. It also works on BLACKHOLE tables (but has no effect). It is not supported for ARCHIVE tables.

    COALESCE PARTITION can be used with a table that is partitioned by HASH or KEY to reduce the number of partitions by number. Suppose that you have created table t2 using the following definition:

    CREATE TABLE t2 (
        name VARCHAR (30),
        started DATE
    )
    PARTITION BY HASH( YEAR(started) )
    PARTITIONS 6;
    

    You can reduce the number of partitions used by t2 from 6 to 4 using the following statement:

    ALTER TABLE t2 COALESCE PARTITION 2;
    

    The data contained in the last number partitions will be merged into the remaining partitions. In this case, partitions 4 and 5 will be merged into the first 4 partitions (the partitions numbered 0, 1, 2, and 3).

    To change some but not all the partitions used by a partitioned table, you can use REORGANIZE PARTITION. This statement can be used in several ways:

    • To merge a set of partitions into a single partition. This can be done by naming several partitions in the partition_names list and supplying a single definition for partition_definition.

    • To split an existing partition into several partitions. You can accomplish this by naming a single partition for partition_names and providing multiple partition_definitions.

    • To change the ranges for a subset of partitions defined using VALUES LESS THAN or the value lists for a subset of partitions defined using VALUES IN.

    Note

    For partitions that have not been explicitly named, MySQL automatically provides the default names p0, p1, p2, and so on. The same is true with regard to subpartitions.

    For more detailed information about and examples of ALTER TABLE ... REORGANIZE PARTITION statements, see Section 18.3.1, “Management of RANGE and LIST Partitions”.

  • Several additional options provide partition maintenance and repair functionality analogous to that implemented for nonpartitioned tables by statements such as CHECK TABLE and REPAIR TABLE (which are also supported for partitioned tables; see Section 12.4.2, “Table Maintenance Statements” for more information). These include ANALYZE PARTITION, CHECK PARTITION, OPTIMIZE PARTITION, REBUILD PARTITION, and REPAIR PARTITION. Each of these options takes a partition_names clause consisting of one or more names of partitions, separated by commas. The partitions must already exist in the table to be altered. You can also use the ALL keyword in place of partition_names, in which case the statement acts on all partitions in the table. For more information and examples, see Section 18.3.3, “Maintenance of Partitions”.

    The ANALYZE PARTITION, CHECK PARTITION, OPTIMIZE PARTITION, and REPAIR PARTITION options are not permitted for tables which are not partitioned.

  • REMOVE PARTITIONING enables you to remove a table's partitioning without otherwise affecting the table or its data. This option can be combined with other ALTER TABLE options such as those used to add, drop, or rename drop columns or indexes.

  • Using the ENGINE option with ALTER TABLE changes the storage engine used by the table without affecting the partitioning.

Important

Only a single instance of any one of the following options can be used in a given ALTER TABLE statement: PARTITION BY, ADD PARTITION, DROP PARTITION, TRUNCATE PARTITION, REORGANIZE PARTITION, or COALESCE PARTITION, ANALYZE PARTITION, CHECK PARTITION, OPTIMIZE PARTITION, REBUILD PARTITION, REMOVE PARTITIONING.

For example, the following two statements are invalid:

ALTER TABLE t1 ANALYZE PARTITION p1, ANALYZE PARTITION p2;

ALTER TABLE t1 ANALYZE PARTITION p1, CHECK PARTITION p2;

In the first case, you can analyze partitions p1 and p2 of table t1 concurrently using a single statement with a single ANALYZE PARTITION option that lists both of the partitions to be analyzed, like this:

ALTER TABLE t1 ANALYZE PARTITION p1, p2;

In the second case, it is not possible to perform ANALYZE and CHECK operations on different partitions of the same table concurrently. Instead, you must issue two separate statements, like this:

ALTER TABLE t1 ANALYZE PARTITION p1;
ALTER TABLE t1 CHECK PARTITION p2;

With the mysql_info() C API function, you can find out how many rows were copied, and (when IGNORE is used) how many rows were deleted due to duplication of unique key values. See Section 22.9.3.35, “mysql_info().

ALTER TABLE Examples

Begin with a table t1 that is created as shown here:

CREATE TABLE t1 (a INTEGER,b CHAR(10));

To rename the table from t1 to t2:

ALTER TABLE t1 RENAME t2;

To change column a from INTEGER to TINYINT NOT NULL (leaving the name the same), and to change column b from CHAR(10) to CHAR(20) as well as renaming it from b to c:

ALTER TABLE t2 MODIFY a TINYINT NOT NULL, CHANGE b c CHAR(20);

To add a new TIMESTAMP column named d:

ALTER TABLE t2 ADD d TIMESTAMP;

To add an index on column d and a UNIQUE index on column a:

ALTER TABLE t2 ADD INDEX (d), ADD UNIQUE (a);

To remove column c:

ALTER TABLE t2 DROP COLUMN c;

To add a new AUTO_INCREMENT integer column named c:

ALTER TABLE t2 ADD c INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  ADD PRIMARY KEY (c);

We indexed c (as a PRIMARY KEY) because AUTO_INCREMENT columns must be indexed, and we declare c as NOT NULL because primary key columns cannot be NULL.

When you add an AUTO_INCREMENT column, column values are filled in with sequence numbers automatically. For MyISAM tables, you can set the first sequence number by executing SET INSERT_ID=value before ALTER TABLE or by using the AUTO_INCREMENT=value table option. See Section 5.1.4, “Server System Variables”.

With MyISAM tables, if you do not change the AUTO_INCREMENT column, the sequence number is not affected. If you drop an AUTO_INCREMENT column and then add another AUTO_INCREMENT column, the numbers are resequenced beginning with 1.

When replication is used, adding an AUTO_INCREMENT column to a table might not produce the same ordering of the rows on the slave and the master. This occurs because the order in which the rows are numbered depends on the specific storage engine used for the table and the order in which the rows were inserted. If it is important to have the same order on the master and slave, the rows must be ordered before assigning an AUTO_INCREMENT number. Assuming that you want to add an AUTO_INCREMENT column to the table t1, the following statements produce a new table t2 identical to t1 but with an AUTO_INCREMENT column:

CREATE TABLE t2 (id INT AUTO_INCREMENT PRIMARY KEY)
SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY col1, col2;

This assumes that the table t1 has columns col1 and col2.

This set of statements will also produce a new table t2 identical to t1, with the addition of an AUTO_INCREMENT column:

CREATE TABLE t2 LIKE t1;
ALTER TABLE t2 ADD id INT AUTO_INCREMENT PRIMARY KEY;
INSERT INTO t2 SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY col1, col2;
Important

To guarantee the same ordering on both master and slave, all columns of t1 must be referenced in the ORDER BY clause.

Regardless of the method used to create and populate the copy having the AUTO_INCREMENT column, the final step is to drop the original table and then rename the copy:

DROP t1;
ALTER TABLE t2 RENAME t1;
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