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Copying InnoDB tables between servers

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The feature I announced some time ago https://www.percona.com/blog/2009/06/08/impossible-possible-moving-innodb-tables-between-servers/ is now available in our latest releases of XtraBackup 0.8.1 and XtraDB-6.

Now I am going to show how to use it (the video will be also available on percona.tv).
Let’s take tpcc schema and running standard MySQL ® 5.0.83, and assume we want to copy order_line table to different server. Note I am going to do it online, no needs to lock or shutdown server.

To export table you need XtraBackup, and you can just specify table or table by mask:

Now in

we have backup but only with



Second step is to prepare backup, but with special option “export”

When it’s done we have two files


in directory

. ibd is regular InnoDB ® file, and exp is file with special export information. Both files should be copied to remote server.

Now on remote server you have to run MySQL server ® with XtraDB6 storage engine, you can take one of our binary builds with 5.1.36.

On new server we run

to put XtraDB into extended import mode, and now we need to create empty table with the same table definition as on old servers:

Next step is to remove created .ibd file, it’s done by command:

And now you copy both



dir. When it’s done, final import command:

now some magic happens and you can see progress of import in error.log

When finished quick check

New table has been imported!

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Vadim Tkachenko

Vadim leads Percona's development group, which produces the Percona Server, Percona Server for MongoDB, Percona XtraDB Cluster and Percona XtraBackup. He is an expert in solid-state storage, and has helped many hardware and software providers succeed in the MySQL market.


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Percona Software

  • that’s awesome!


  • Great feature !

    Can we use it with an official InnoDB plugin anytime soon ?


  • Farid,

    You can export tables from InnoDB-plugin and from standard plugin already. It does not depend on InnoDB version.

    Only for Import you need XtraDB, it requires patching of InnoDB, so it is question to Oracle/InnoDB team if they want to include it. You may ask them on their official forums.


  • I just installed percona server for the 1st time on a Debian (via apt-get install percona-server-server)
    Once mysqld is running and I login via the mysql client tool,
    I get the following error when setting the “innodb_expand_import” variable.
    “Unknown system variable ‘innodb_expand_import'”

    Is the XtraDB plugin installed and loaded by default?
    How can I see my MySQL software is actually the one patched by percona?


  • I get the same error Unknown system variable ‘innodb_expand_import’. I wonder if the name has changed? Their docs still mention it though – frustrating!


  • Just thought I’d point out that the variable has been renamed in 5.5.10 as per:

    “Old system variable innodb_expand_import_page was renamed to innodb_import_table_from_xtrabackup. (Yasufumi Kinoshita)”


  • i try it on percona server 5.5.20-55,but failed,here is my process:

    [redacted — this question belongs on a forum, not in this blog’s comments. – BPS]

    InnoDB: Progress in %: 93 95 96 98 100 done.

    but when i check the table t1 i find nothing !! why??
    import-server> select * from t1;
    Empty set (0.00 sec)


    • Justlooks, please do not use this blog as a forum. Use forum.percona.com for that. I’m going to edit your comment to make it briefer because a huge comment full of error log text is not a good experience for other readers.


  • in reply to the previous comment: is there anything earlier in the error log about mismatching log sequence numbers? i found i had to shutdown mysqld and purge existing log files to make my tables contain data, as their log sequences were too far in the future.


  • @Dean Herbert

    you are right ,i shutdown mysql ,and restart it ,the missing data appear !!


  • Can this be used with normal *.idb files that are not generated by xtrabackup? We recently had a hardware failure that severely corrupted our ibdata1 file; so I had to discard it along with ib_logfile0 and ib_logfile1. The only stuff left to us are the *.frm and *.ibd file of each table.


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