13.6.9.1. InnoDB Lock Modes

InnoDB implements standard row-level locking where there are two types of locks:

  • A shared (S) lock permits a transaction to read a row.

  • An exclusive (X) lock permits a transaction to update or delete a row.

If transaction T1 holds a shared (S) lock on row r, then requests from some distinct transaction T2 for a lock on row r are handled as follows:

  • A request by T2 for an S lock can be granted immediately. As a result, both T1 and T2 hold an S lock on r.

  • A request by T2 for an X lock cannot be granted immediately.

If a transaction T1 holds an exclusive (X) lock on row r, a request from some distinct transaction T2 for a lock of either type on r cannot be granted immediately. Instead, transaction T2 has to wait for transaction T1 to release its lock on row r.

Additionally, InnoDB supports multiple granularity locking which permits coexistence of record locks and locks on entire tables. To make locking at multiple granularity levels practical, additional types of locks called intention locks are used. Intention locks are table locks in InnoDB. The idea behind intention locks is for a transaction to indicate which type of lock (shared or exclusive) it will require later for a row in that table. There are two types of intention locks used in InnoDB (assume that transaction T has requested a lock of the indicated type on table t):

  • Intention shared (IS): Transaction T intends to set S locks on individual rows in table t.

  • Intention exclusive (IX): Transaction T intends to set X locks on those rows.

For example, SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE sets an IS lock and SELECT ... FOR UPDATE sets an IX lock.

The intention locking protocol is as follows:

  • Before a transaction can acquire an S lock on a row in table t, it must first acquire an IS or stronger lock on t.

  • Before a transaction can acquire an X lock on a row, it must first acquire an IX lock on t.

These rules can be conveniently summarized by means of the following lock type compatibility matrix.

 XIXSIS
XConflictConflictConflictConflict
IXConflictCompatibleConflictCompatible
SConflictConflictCompatibleCompatible
ISConflictCompatibleCompatibleCompatible

A lock is granted to a requesting transaction if it is compatible with existing locks, but not if it conflicts with existing locks. A transaction waits until the conflicting existing lock is released. If a lock request conflicts with an existing lock and cannot be granted because it would cause deadlock, an error occurs.

Thus, intention locks do not block anything except full table requests (for example, LOCK TABLES ... WRITE). The main purpose of IX and IS locks is to show that someone is locking a row, or going to lock a row in the table.

The following example illustrates how an error can occur when a lock request would cause a deadlock. The example involves two clients, A and B.

First, client A creates a table containing one row, and then begins a transaction. Within the transaction, A obtains an S lock on the row by selecting it in share mode:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t (i INT) ENGINE = InnoDB;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (1.07 sec)

mysql> INSERT INTO t (i) VALUES(1);
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.09 sec)

mysql> START TRANSACTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM t WHERE i = 1 LOCK IN SHARE MODE;
+------+
| i    |
+------+
|    1 |
+------+
1 row in set (0.10 sec)

Next, client B begins a transaction and attempts to delete the row from the table:

mysql> START TRANSACTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> DELETE FROM t WHERE i = 1;

The delete operation requires an X lock. The lock cannot be granted because it is incompatible with the S lock that client A holds, so the request goes on the queue of lock requests for the row and client B blocks.

Finally, client A also attempts to delete the row from the table:

mysql> DELETE FROM t WHERE i = 1;
ERROR 1213 (40001): Deadlock found when trying to get lock;
try restarting transaction

Deadlock occurs here because client A needs an X lock to delete the row. However, that lock request cannot be granted because client B already has a request for an X lock and is waiting for client A to release its S lock. Nor can the S lock held by A be upgraded to an X lock because of the prior request by B for an X lock. As a result, InnoDB generates an error for client A and releases its locks. At that point, the lock request for client B can be granted and B deletes the row from the table.

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