pt-log-player - Replay MySQL query logs.


This tool is deprecated and will be removed in Percona Toolkit 2.2.


pt-log-player [OPTION...] [DSN]

pt-log-player splits and plays slow log files.

Split slow.log on Thread_id into 16 session files, save in ./sessions:

pt-log-player --split Thread_id --session-files 16 --base-dir ./sessions slow.log

Play all those sessions on host1, save results in ./results:

pt-log-player --play ./sessions --base-dir ./results h=host1

Use pt-query-digest to summarize the results:

pt-query-digest ./results/*


The following section is included to inform users about the potential risks, whether known or unknown, of using this tool. The two main categories of risks are those created by the nature of the tool (e.g. read-only tools vs. read-write tools) and those created by bugs.

This tool is meant to load a server as much as possible, for stress-testing purposes. It is not designed to be used on production servers.

At the time of this release there is a bug which causes pt-log-player to exceed max open files during --split.

As of version 2.1.8, this tool no longer works with auto values on zero because it sets a SQL mode with NO_AUTO_VALUE_ON_ZERO. Therefore, playing INSERT or UPDATE statements that use zero instead of NULL will not work.

The authoritative source for updated information is always the online issue tracking system. Issues that affect this tool will be marked as such. You can see a list of such issues at the following URL:

See also “BUGS” for more information on filing bugs and getting help.


pt-log-player does two things: it splits MySQL query logs into session files and it plays (executes) queries in session files on a MySQL server. Only session files can be played; slow logs cannot be played directly without being split.

A session is a group of queries from the slow log that all share a common attribute, usually Thread_id. The common attribute is specified with --split. Multiple sessions are saved into a single session file. See --session-files, --max-sessions, --base-file-name and --base-dir. These session files are played with --play.

pt-log-player will --play session files in parallel using N number of --threads. (They’re not technically threads, but we call them that anyway.) Each thread will play all the sessions in its given session files. The sessions are played as fast as possible (there are no delays) because the goal is to stress-test and load-test the server. So be careful using this script on a production server!

Each --play thread writes its results to a separate file. These result files are in slow log format so they can be aggregated and summarized with pt-query-digest. See “OUTPUT”.


Both --split and --play have two outputs: status messages printed to STDOUT to let you know what the script is doing, and session or result files written to separate files saved in --base-dir. You can suppress all output to STDOUT for each with --quiet, or increase output with --verbose.

The session files written by --split are simple text files containing queries grouped into sessions. For example:


use foo

SELECT col FROM foo_tbl

The format of these session files is important: each query must be a single line separated by a single blank line. And the “– START SESSION” comment tells pt-log-player where individual sessions begin and end so that --play can correctly fake Thread_id in its result files.

The result files written by --play are in slow log format with a minimal header: the only attributes printed are Thread_id, Query_time and Schema.


Specify at least one of --play, --split or --split-random.

--play and --split are mutually exclusive.

This tool accepts additional command-line arguments. Refer to the “SYNOPSIS” and usage information for details.


group: Play

Prompt for a password when connecting to MySQL.


type: string; default: ./

Base directory for --split session files and --play result file.


type: string; default: session

Base file name for --split session files and --play result file.

Each --split session file will be saved as <base-file-name>-N.txt, where N is a four digit, zero-padded session ID. For example: session-0003.txt.

Each --play result file will be saved as <base-file-name>-results-PID.txt, where PID is the process ID of the executing thread.

All files are saved in --base-dir.


short form: -A; type: string; group: Play

Default character set. If the value is utf8, sets Perl’s binmode on STDOUT to utf8, passes the mysql_enable_utf8 option to DBD::mysql, and runs SET NAMES UTF8 after connecting to MySQL. Any other value sets binmode on STDOUT without the utf8 layer, and runs SET NAMES after connecting to MySQL.


type: Array

Read this comma-separated list of config files; if specified, this must be the first option on the command line.


short form: -F; type: string

Only read mysql options from the given file.


Print which processes play which session files then exit.


type: string; group: Split

Discard --split events for which this Perl code doesn’t return true.

This option only works with --split.

This option allows you to inject Perl code into the tool to affect how the tool runs. Usually your code should examine $event to decided whether or not to allow the event. $event is a hashref of attributes and values of the event being filtered. Or, your code could add new attribute-value pairs to $event for use by other options that accept event attributes as their value. You can find an explanation of the structure of $event at

There are two ways to supply your code: on the command line or in a file. If you supply your code on the command line, it is injected into the following subroutine where $filter is your code:

sub {
   PTDEBUG && _d('callback: filter');
   my( $event ) = shift;
   ( $filter ) && return $event;

Therefore you must ensure two things: first, that you correctly escape any special characters that need to be escaped on the command line for your shell, and two, that your code is syntactically valid when injected into the subroutine above.

Here’s an example filter supplied on the command line that discards events that are not SELECT statements:

--filter '$event->{arg} =~ m/^select/i'

The second way to supply your code is in a file. If your code is too complex to be expressed on the command line that results in valid syntax in the subroutine above, then you need to put the code in a file and give the file name as the value to --filter. The file should not contain a shebang (#!/usr/bin/perl) line. The entire contents of the file is injected into the following subroutine:

sub {
   PTDEBUG && _d('callback: filter');
   my( $event ) = shift;
   $filter && return $event;

That subroutine is almost identical to the one above except your code is not wrapped in parentheses. This allows you to write multi-line code like:

my $event_ok;
if (...) {
   $event_ok = 1;
else {
   $event_ok = 0;

Notice that the last line is not syntactically valid by itself, but it becomes syntactically valid when injected into the subroutine because it becomes:

$event_ok && return $event;

If your code doesn’t compile, the tool will die with an error. Even if your code compiles, it may crash to tool during runtime if, for example, it tries a pattern match an undefined value. No safeguards of any kind are provided so code carefully!


Show help and exit.


short form: -h; type: string; group: Play

Connect to host.


type: int; default: 1; group: Play

How many times each thread should play all its session files.


type: int; default: 5000000; group: Split

Maximum number of sessions to --split.

By default, pt-log-player tries to split every session from the log file. For huge logs, however, this can result in millions of sessions. This option causes only the first N number of sessions to be saved. All sessions after this number are ignored, but sessions split before this number will continue to have their queries split even if those queries appear near the end of the log and after this number has been reached.


group: Play

Play only SELECT and USE queries; ignore all others.


short form: -p; type: string; group: Play

Password to use when connecting.


type: string

Create the given PID file. The file contains the process ID of the script. The PID file is removed when the script exits. Before starting, the script checks if the PID file already exists. If it does not, then the script creates and writes its own PID to it. If it does, then the script checks the following: if the file contains a PID and a process is running with that PID, then the script dies; or, if there is no process running with that PID, then the script overwrites the file with its own PID and starts; else, if the file contains no PID, then the script dies.


type: string; group: Play

Play (execute) session files created by --split.

The argument to play must be a comma-separated list of session files created by --split or a directory. If the argument is a directory, ALL files in that directory will be played.


short form: -P; type: int; group: Play

Port number to use for connection.


group: Play

Print queries instead of playing them; requires --play.

You must also specify --play with --print. Although the queries will not be executed, --play is required to specify which session files to read.


short form: -q

Do not print anything; disables --verbose.


default: yes

Print --play results to files in --base-dir.


type: int; default: 8; group: Split

Number of session files to create with --split.

The number of session files should either be equal to the number of --threads you intend to --play or be an even multiple of --threads. This number is important for maximum performance because it:

* allows each thread to have roughly the same amount of sessions to play
* avoids having to open/close many session files
* avoids disk IO overhead by doing large sequential reads

You may want to increase this number beyond --threads if each session file becomes too large. For example, splitting a 20G log into 8 sessions files may yield roughly eight 2G session files.

See also --max-sessions.


type: string; group: Play; default: wait_timeout=10000

Set these MySQL variables. Immediately after connecting to MySQL, this string will be appended to SET and executed.


short form: -S; type: string; group: Play

Socket file to use for connection.


type: string; group: Split

Split log by given attribute to create session files.

Valid attributes are any which appear in the log: Thread_id, Schema, etc.


group: Split

Split log without an attribute, write queries round-robin to session files.

This option, if specified, overrides --split and causes the log to be split query-by-query, writing each query to the next session file in round-robin style. If you don’t care about “sessions” and just want to split a lot into N many session files and the relation or order of the queries does not matter, then use this option.


type: int; default: 2; group: Play

Number of threads used to play sessions concurrently.

Specifies the number of parallel processes to run. The default is 2. On GNU/Linux machines, the default is the number of times ‘processor’ appears in /proc/cpuinfo. On Windows, the default is read from the environment. In any case, the default is at least 2, even when there’s only a single processor.

See also --session-files.


type: string; group: Split

The type of log to --split (default slowlog). The permitted types are


Split the output of running mysqlbinlog against a binary log file. Currently, splitting binary logs does not always work well depending on what the binary logs contain. Be sure to check the session files after splitting to ensure proper “OUTPUT”.

If the binary log contains row-based replication data, you need to run mysqlbinlog with options --base64-output=decode-rows --verbose, else invalid statements will be written to the session files.


Split a general log file.


Split a log file in any variation of MySQL slow-log format.

short form: -u; type: string; group: Play

User for login if not current user.


short form: -v; cumulative: yes; default: 0

Increase verbosity; can be specified multiple times.

This option is disabled by --quiet.


Show version and exit.


default: no; group: Play

Print warnings about SQL errors such as invalid queries to STDERR.


These DSN options are used to create a DSN. Each option is given like option=value. The options are case-sensitive, so P and p are not the same option. There cannot be whitespace before or after the = and if the value contains whitespace it must be quoted. DSN options are comma-separated. See the percona-toolkit manpage for full details.

  • A

dsn: charset; copy: yes

Default character set.

  • D

dsn: database; copy: yes

Default database.

  • F

dsn: mysql_read_default_file; copy: yes

Only read default options from the given file

  • h

dsn: host; copy: yes

Connect to host.

  • p

dsn: password; copy: yes

Password to use when connecting.

  • P

dsn: port; copy: yes

Port number to use for connection.

  • S

dsn: mysql_socket; copy: yes

Socket file to use for connection.

  • u

dsn: user; copy: yes

User for login if not current user.


The environment variable PTDEBUG enables verbose debugging output to STDERR. To enable debugging and capture all output to a file, run the tool like:

PTDEBUG=1 pt-log-player ... > FILE 2>&1

Be careful: debugging output is voluminous and can generate several megabytes of output.


You need Perl, DBI, DBD::mysql, and some core packages that ought to be installed in any reasonably new version of Perl.


For a list of known bugs, see

Please report bugs at Include the following information in your bug report:

  • Complete command-line used to run the tool
  • Tool --version
  • MySQL version of all servers involved
  • Output from the tool including STDERR
  • Input files (log/dump/config files, etc.)

If possible, include debugging output by running the tool with PTDEBUG; see “ENVIRONMENT”.


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Daniel Nichter


This tool is part of Percona Toolkit, a collection of advanced command-line tools developed by Percona for MySQL support and consulting. Percona Toolkit was forked from two projects in June, 2011: Maatkit and Aspersa. Those projects were created by Baron Schwartz and developed primarily by him and Daniel Nichter, both of whom are employed by Percona. Visit for more software developed by Percona.


pt-log-player 2.1.10