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Frequently Asked Questions

This section contains frequently asked questions regarding TokuDB and related software.

Transactional Operations

What transactional operations does TokuDB support?


TokuDB and the File System

How can I determine which files belong to the various tables and indexes in my schemas?

The tokudb_file_map plugin lists all Fractal Tree Indexes and their corresponding data files. The internal_file_name is the actual file name (in the data folder).

mysql> SELECT * FROM information_schema.tokudb_file_map;

| dictionary_name          | internal_file_name                    | table_schema  | table_name  | table_dictionary_name  |
| ./test/tmc-key-idx_col2  | ./_test_tmc_key_idx_col2_a_14.tokudb  | test          | tmc         | key_idx_col2           |
| ./test/tmc-main          | ./_test_tmc_main_9_14.tokudb          | test          | tmc         | main                   |
| ./test/tmc-status        | ./_test_tmc_status_8_14.tokudb        | test          | tmc         | status                 |

Full Disks

What happens when the disk system fills up?

The disk system may fill up during bulk load operations, such as LOAD DATA IN FILE or CREATE INDEX, or during incremental operations like INSERT.

In the bulk case, running out of disk space will cause the statement to fail with ERROR 1030 (HY000): Got error 1 from storage engine. The temporary space used by the bulk loader will be released. If this happens, you can use a separate physical disk for the temporary files (for more information, see tokudb_tmp_dir). If server runs out of free space TokuDB will assert the server to prevent data corruption to existing data files.

Otherwise, disk space can run low during non-bulk operations. When available space is below a user-configurable reserve (5% by default) inserts are prevented and transactions that perform inserts are aborted. If the disk becomes completely full then TokuDB will freeze until some disk space is made available.

Details about the disk system:

  • There is a free-space reserve requirement, which is a user-configurable parameter given as a percentage of the total space in the file system. The default reserve is five percent. This value is available in the global variable tokudb_fs_reserve_percent. We recommend that this reserve be at least half the size of your physical memory.

    TokuDB polls the file system every five seconds to determine how much free space is available. If the free space dips below the reserve, then further table inserts are prohibited. Any transaction that attempts to insert rows will be aborted. Inserts are re-enabled when twice the reserve is available in the file system (so freeing a small amount of disk storage will not be sufficient to resume inserts). Warning messages are sent to the system error log when free space dips below twice the reserve and again when free space dips below the reserve.

    Even with inserts prohibited it is still possible for the file system to become completely full. For example this can happen because another storage engine or another application consumes disk space.

  • If the file system becomes completely full, then TokuDB will freeze. It will not crash, but it will not respond to most SQL commands until some disk space is made available. When TokuDB is frozen in this state, it will still respond to the following command:


Make disk space available will allow the storage engine to continue running, but inserts will still be prohibited until twice the reserve is free.


Engine status displays a field indicating if disk free space is above twice the reserve, below twice the reserve, or below the reserve. It will also display a special warning if the disk is completely full.

  • In order to make space available on this system you can:
    • Add some disk space to the filesystem.
    • Delete some non-TokuDB files manually.
    • If the disk is not completely full, you may be able to reclaim space by aborting any transactions that are very old. Old transactions can consume large volumes of disk space in the recovery log.
    • If the disk is not completely full, you can drop indexes or drop tables from your TokuDB databases.
    • Deleting large numbers of rows from an existing table and then closing the table may free some space, but it may not. Deleting rows may simply leave unused space (available for new inserts) inside TokuDB data files rather than shrink the files (internal fragmentation).

The fine print:

  • The TokuDB storage engine can use up to three separate file systems simultaneously, one each for the data, the recovery log, and the error log. All three are monitored, and if any one of the three falls below the relevant threshold then a warning message will be issued and inserts may be prohibited.
  • Warning messages to the error log are not repeated unless available disk space has been above the relevant threshold for at least one minute. This prevents excess messages in the error log if the disk free space is fluctuating around the limit.
  • Even if there are no other storage engines or other applications running, it is still possible for TokuDB to consume more disk space when operations such as row delete and query are performed, or when checkpoints are taken. This can happen because TokuDB can write cached information when it is time-efficient rather than when inserts are issued by the application, because operations in addition to insert (such as delete) create log entries, and also because of internal fragmentation of TokuDB data files.
  • The tokudb_fs_reserve_percent variable can not be changed once the system has started. It can only be set in my.cnf or on the mysqld command line.


How do I back up a system with TokuDB tables?

Taking backups with Percona TokuBackup

TokuDB is capable of performing online backups with Percona TokuBackup. To perform a backup, execute backup to '/path/to/backup';. This will create backup of the server and return when complete. The backup can be used by another server using a copy of the binaries on the source server. You can view the progress of the backup by executing SHOW PROCESSLIST;. TokuBackup produces a copy of your running MySQL server that is consistent at the end time of the backup process. The thread copying files from source to destination can be throttled by setting the tokudb_backup_throttle server variable. For more information check Percona TokuBackup.

The following conditions apply:

  • Currently, TokuBackup only supports tables using the TokuDB storage engine and the MyISAM tables in the mysql database.


    You must disable InnoDB asynchronous IO if backing up InnoDB tables via TokuBackup utility. Otherwise you will have inconsistent, unrecoverable backups. The appropriate setting is innodb_use_native_aio to 0.

  • Transactional storage engines (TokuDB and InnoDB) will perform recovery on the backup copy of the database when it is first started.

  • Tables using non-transactional storage engines (MyISAM) are not locked during the copy and may report issues when starting up the backup. It is best to avoid operations that modify these tables at the end of a hot backup operation (adding/changing users, stored procedures, etc.).

  • The database is copied locally to the path specified in /path/to/backup. This folder must exist, be writable, be empty, and contain enough space for a full copy of the database.

  • TokuBackup always makes a backup of the MySQL datadir and optionally the tokudb_data_dir, tokudb_log_dir, and the binary log folder. The latter three are only backed up separately if they are not the same as or contained in the MySQL datadir. None of these three folders can be a parent of the MySQL datadir.

  • A folder is created in the given backup destination for each of the source folders.

  • No other directory structures are supported. All InnoDB, MyISAM, and other storage engine files must be within the MySQL datadir.

  • TokuBackup does not follow symbolic links.

Other options for taking backups

TokuDB tables are represented in the file system with dictionary files, log files, and metadata files. A consistent copy of all of these files must be made during a backup. Copying the files while they may be modified by a running MySQL may result in an inconsistent copy of the database.

LVM snapshots may be used to get a consistent snapshot of all of the TokuDB files. The LVM snapshot may then be backed up at leisure.

The SELECT INTO OUTFILE statement or mysqldump application may also be used to get a logical backup of the database.


The MySQL 5.5 reference manual describes several backup methods and strategies. In addition, we recommend reading the backup and recovery chapter in the following book:

High Performance MySQL, 3rd Edition, by Baron Schwartz, Peter Zaitsev, and Vadim Tkachenko, Copyright 2012, O’Reilly Media.

Cold Backup

When MySQL is shut down, a copy of the MySQL data directory, the TokuDB data directory, and the TokuDB log directory can be made. In the simplest configuration, the TokuDB files are stored in the MySQL data directory with all of other MySQL files. One merely has to back up this directory.

Hot Backup using mylvmbackup

The mylvmbackup utility, located on Launchpad, works with TokuDB. It does all of the magic required to get consistent copies of all of the MySQL tables, including MyISAM tables, InnoDB tables, etc., creates the LVM snapshots, and backs up the snapshots.

Logical Snapshots

A logical snapshot of the databases uses a SQL statements to retrieve table rows and restore them. When used within a transaction, a consistent snapshot of the database can be taken. This method can be used to export tables from one database server and import them into another server.

The SELECT INTO OUTFILE statement is used to take a logical snapshot of a database. The LOAD DATA INFILE statement is used to load the table data. Please see the MySQL 5.6 reference manual for details.


Please do not use the :program`mysqlhotcopy` to back up TokuDB tables. This script is incompatible with TokuDB.

Missing Log Files

What do I do if I delete my logs files or they are otherwise missing?

You’ll need to recover from a backup. It is essential that the log files be present in order to restart the database.

Isolation Levels

What is the default isolation level for TokuDB?

It is repeatable-read (MVCC).

How can I change the isolation level?

TokuDB supports repeatable-read, serializable, read-uncommitted and read-committed isolation levels (other levels are not supported). TokuDB employs pessimistic locking, and aborts a transaction when a lock conflict is detected.

To guarantee that lock conflicts do not occur, use repeatable-read, read-uncommitted or read- committed isolation level.

Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded

Why do my |MySQL| clients get lock timeout errors for my update queries? And what should my application do when it gets these errors?

Updates can get lock timeouts if some other transaction is holding a lock on the rows being updated for longer than the TokuDB lock timeout. You may want to increase the this timeout.

If an update deadlocks, then the transaction should abort and retry.

For more information on diagnosing locking issues, see Lock Visualization in TokuDB.

Query Cache

Does TokuDB support the query cache?

Yes, you can enable the query cache in the my.cnf file. Please make sure that the size of the cache is set to something larger than 0, as this, in effect, disables the cache.

Row Size

What is the maximum row size?

The maximum row size is 32 MiB.


Can the data directories reside on a disk that is NFS or CIFS mounted?

Yes, we do have customers in production with NFS & CIFS volumes today. However, both of these disk types can pose a challenge to performance and data integrity due to their complexity. If you’re seeking performance, the switching infrastructure and protocols of a traditional network were not conceptualized for low response times and can be very difficult to troubleshoot. If you’re concerned with data integrity, the possible data caching at the NFS level can cause inconsistencies between the logs and data files that may never be detected in the event of a crash. If you are thinking of using a NFS or CIFS mount, we would recommend that you use synchronous mount options, which are available from the NFS mount man page, but these settings may decrease performance. For further discussion please look here.

Using Other Storage Engines

Can the MyISAM and InnoDB Storage Engines be used?

MyISAM and InnoDB can be used directly in conjunction with TokuDB. Please note that you should not overcommit memory between InnoDB and TokuDB. The total memory assigned to both caches must be less than physical memory.

Can the Federated Storage Engines be used?

The Federated Storage Engine can also be used, however it is disabled by default in MySQL. It can be enabled by either running mysqld with --federated as a command line parameter, or by putting federated in the [mysqld] section of the my.cnf file.

For more information see the MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual: FEDERATED Storage Engine.

Using MySQL Patches with TokuDB

Can I use MySQL source code patches with TokuDB?

Yes, but you need to apply Percona patches as well as your patches to MySQL to build a binary that works with the Percona Fractal Tree library.

Truncate Table vs Delete from Table


Please use TRUNCATE TABLE whenever possible. A table truncation runs in constant time, whereas a DELETE FROM TABLE requires a row-by-row deletion and thus runs in time linear to the table size.

Foreign Keys

Does TokuDB enforce foreign key constraints?

No, TokuDB ignores foreign key declarations.

Dropping Indexes

Is dropping an index in TokuDB hot?

No, the table is locked for the amount of time it takes the file system to delete the file associated with the index.

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