4.5.1. mysql — The MySQL Command-Line Tool

mysql is a simple SQL shell (with GNU readline capabilities). It supports interactive and noninteractive use. When used interactively, query results are presented in an ASCII-table format. When used noninteractively (for example, as a filter), the result is presented in tab-separated format. The output format can be changed using command options.

If you have problems due to insufficient memory for large result sets, use the --quick option. This forces mysql to retrieve results from the server a row at a time rather than retrieving the entire result set and buffering it in memory before displaying it. This is done by returning the result set using the mysql_use_result() C API function in the client/server library rather than mysql_store_result().

Using mysql is very easy. Invoke it from the prompt of your command interpreter as follows:

shell> mysql db_name

Or:

shell> mysql --user=user_name --password=your_password db_name

Then type an SQL statement, end it with “;”, \g, or \G and press Enter.

Typing Control-C causes mysql to attempt to kill the current statement. If this cannot be done, or Control-C is typed again before the statement is killed, mysql exits. Previously, Control-C caused mysql to exit in all cases.

You can execute SQL statements in a script file (batch file) like this:

shell> mysql db_name < script.sql > output.tab

On Unix, the mysql client writes a record of executed statements to a history file. See Section 4.5.1.3, “mysql History File”.

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