4.6.3. myisamchk — MyISAM Table-Maintenance Utility

The myisamchk utility gets information about your database tables or checks, repairs, or optimizes them. myisamchk works with MyISAM tables (tables that have .MYD and .MYI files for storing data and indexes).

You can also use the CHECK TABLE and REPAIR TABLE statements to check and repair MyISAM tables. See Section, “CHECK TABLE Syntax”, and Section, “REPAIR TABLE Syntax”.

The use of myisamchk with partitioned tables is not supported.


It is best to make a backup of a table before performing a table repair operation; under some circumstances the operation might cause data loss. Possible causes include but are not limited to file system errors.

Invoke myisamchk like this:

shell> myisamchk [options] tbl_name ...

The options specify what you want myisamchk to do. They are described in the following sections. You can also get a list of options by invoking myisamchk --help.

With no options, myisamchk simply checks your table as the default operation. To get more information or to tell myisamchk to take corrective action, specify options as described in the following discussion.

tbl_name is the database table you want to check or repair. If you run myisamchk somewhere other than in the database directory, you must specify the path to the database directory, because myisamchk has no idea where the database is located. In fact, myisamchk does not actually care whether the files you are working on are located in a database directory. You can copy the files that correspond to a database table into some other location and perform recovery operations on them there.

You can name several tables on the myisamchk command line if you wish. You can also specify a table by naming its index file (the file with the .MYI suffix). This enables you to specify all tables in a directory by using the pattern *.MYI. For example, if you are in a database directory, you can check all the MyISAM tables in that directory like this:

shell> myisamchk *.MYI

If you are not in the database directory, you can check all the tables there by specifying the path to the directory:

shell> myisamchk /path/to/database_dir/*.MYI

You can even check all tables in all databases by specifying a wildcard with the path to the MySQL data directory:

shell> myisamchk /path/to/datadir/*/*.MYI

The recommended way to quickly check all MyISAM tables is:

shell> myisamchk --silent --fast /path/to/datadir/*/*.MYI

If you want to check all MyISAM tables and repair any that are corrupted, you can use the following command:

shell> myisamchk --silent --force --fast --update-state \
          --key_buffer_size=64M --sort_buffer_size=64M \
          --read_buffer_size=1M --write_buffer_size=1M \

This command assumes that you have more than 64MB free. For more information about memory allocation with myisamchk, see Section, “myisamchk Memory Usage”.

For additional information about using myisamchk, see Section 6.6, “MyISAM Table Maintenance and Crash Recovery”.


You must ensure that no other program is using the tables while you are running myisamchk. The most effective means of doing so is to shut down the MySQL server while running myisamchk, or to lock all tables that myisamchk is being used on.

Otherwise, when you run myisamchk, it may display the following error message:

warning: clients are using or haven't closed the table properly

This means that you are trying to check a table that has been updated by another program (such as the mysqld server) that hasn't yet closed the file or that has died without closing the file properly, which can sometimes lead to the corruption of one or more MyISAM tables.

If mysqld is running, you must force it to flush any table modifications that are still buffered in memory by using FLUSH TABLES. You should then ensure that no one is using the tables while you are running myisamchk

However, the easiest way to avoid this problem is to use CHECK TABLE instead of myisamchk to check tables. See Section, “CHECK TABLE Syntax”.

myisamchk supports the following options, which can be specified on the command line or in the [myisamchk] option file group. myisamchk also supports the options for processing option files described at Section, “Command-Line Options that Affect Option-File Handling”.

Table 4.9. myisamchk Options

FormatOption FileDescriptionIntroductionDeprecatedRemoved
--analyzeanalyzeAnalyze the distribution of key values   
--backupbackupMake a backup of the .MYD file as file_name-time.BAK   
--block-search=offsetblock-searchFind the record that a block at the given offset belongs to   
--checkcheckCheck the table for errors   
--check-only-changedcheck-only-changedCheck only tables that have changed since the last check   
--correct-checksumcorrect-checksumCorrect the checksum information for the table   
--data-file-length=lendata-file-lengthMaximum length of the data file (when re-creating data file when it is full)   
--debug[=debug_options]debugWrite a debugging log   
--descriptiondescriptionPrint some descriptive information about the table   
--extend-checkextend-checkDo a repair that tries to recover every possible row from the data file   
--extended-checkextended-checkCheck the table very thoroughly   
--fastfastCheck only tables that haven't been closed properly   
--forceforceDo a repair operation automatically if myisamchk finds any errors in the table   
--forceforce-recoverOverwrite old temporary files. For use with the -r or -o option   
ft_max_word_len=#ft_max_word_lenMaximum word length for FULLTEXT indexes   
ft_min_word_len=#ft_min_word_lenMinimum word length for FULLTEXT indexes   
ft_stopword_file=valueft_stopword_fileUse stopwords from this file instead of built-in list   
--HELP Display help message and exit   
--help Display help message and exit   
--informationinformationPrint informational statistics about the table that is checked   
key_buffer_size=#key_buffer_sizeThe size of the buffer used for index blocks for MyISAM tables   
--keys-used=valkeys-usedA bit-value that indicates which indexes to update   
--max-record-length=lenmax-record-lengthSkip rows larger than the given length if myisamchk cannot allocate memory to hold them   
--medium-checkmedium-checkDo a check that is faster than an --extend-check operation   
myisam_block_size=#myisam_block_sizeBlock size to be used for MyISAM index pages   
--parallel-recoverparallel-recoverUses the same technique as -r and -n, but creates all the keys in parallel, using different threads (beta)   
--quickquickAchieve a faster repair by not modifying the data file.   
read_buffer_size=#read_buffer_sizeEach thread that does a sequential scan allocates a buffer of this size for each table it scans   
--read-onlyread-onlyDon't mark the table as checked   
--recoverrecoverDo a repair that can fix almost any problem except unique keys that aren't unique   
--safe-recoversafe-recoverDo a repair using an old recovery method that reads through all rows in order and updates all index trees based on the rows found   
--set-auto-increment[=value]set-auto-incrementForce AUTO_INCREMENT numbering for new records to start at the given value   
--set-collation=nameset-collationSpecify the collation to use for sorting table indexes   
--silentsilentSilent mode   
sort_buffer_size=#sort_buffer_sizeThe buffer that is allocated when sorting the index when doing a REPAIR or when creating indexes with CREATE INDEX or ALTER TABLE   
--sort-indexsort-indexSort the index tree blocks in high-low order   
--sort-records=#sort-recordsSort records according to a particular index   
--sort-recoversort-recoverForce myisamchk to use sorting to resolve the keys even if the temporary files would be very large   
stats_method=valuestats_methodSpecifies how MyISAM index statistics collection code should treat NULLs   
--tmpdir=pathtmpdirPath of the directory to be used for storing temporary files   
--unpackunpackUnpack a table that was packed with myisampack   
--update-stateupdate-stateStore information in the .MYI file to indicate when the table was checked and whether the table crashed   
--verbose Verbose mode   
--version Display version information and exit   
write_buffer_size=#write_buffer_sizeWrite buffer size   
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