MySQL cheat sheet

Selecting a database:

mysql> USE database;

Listing databases:


Listing tables in a db:


Describing the format of a table:

mysql> DESCRIBE table;

Creating a database:

mysql> CREATE DATABASE db_name;

Creating a table:

mysql> CREATE TABLE table_name (field1_name TYPE(SIZE), field2_name TYPE(SIZE)); Ex: mysql> CREATE TABLE pet (name VARCHAR(20), sex CHAR(1), birth DATE);

Load tab-delimited data into a table:

mysql> LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE "infile.txt" INTO TABLE table_name; (Use \n for NULL)

Inserting one row at a time:

mysql> INSERT INTO table_name VALUES ('MyName', 'MyOwner', '2002-08-31'); (Use NULL for NULL)

Retrieving information (general):

mysql> SELECT from_columns FROM table WHERE conditions; All values: SELECT * FROM table; Some values: SELECT * FROM table WHERE rec_name = "value"; Multiple critera: SELECT * FROM TABLE WHERE rec1 = "value1" AND rec2 = "value2";

Reloading a new data set into existing table:

mysql> SET AUTOCOMMIT=1; # used for quick recreation of table mysql> DELETE FROM pet; mysql> LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE "infile.txt" INTO TABLE table;

Fixing all records with a certain value:

mysql> UPDATE table SET column_name = "new_value" WHERE record_name = "value";

Selecting specific columns:

mysql> SELECT column_name FROM table;

Retrieving unique output records:

mysql> SELECT DISTINCT column_name FROM table;


mysql> SELECT col1, col2 FROM table ORDER BY col2; Backwards: SELECT col1, col2 FROM table ORDER BY col2 DESC;

Date calculations:

mysql> SELECT CURRENT_DATE, (YEAR(CURRENT_DATE)-YEAR(date_col)) AS time_diff [FROM table]; MONTH(some_date) extracts the month value and DAYOFMONTH() extracts day.

Pattern Matching:

mysql> SELECT * FROM table WHERE rec LIKE "blah%"; (% is wildcard - arbitrary # of chars) Find 5-char values: SELECT * FROM table WHERE rec like "_____"; (_ is any single character)

Extended Regular Expression Matching:

mysql> SELECT * FROM table WHERE rec RLIKE "^b$"; (. for char, [...] for char class, * for 0 or more instances ^ for beginning, {n} for repeat n times, and $ for end) (RLIKE or REGEXP) To force case-sensitivity, use "REGEXP BINARY"

Counting Rows:

mysql> SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table;

Grouping with Counting:

mysql> SELECT owner, COUNT(*) FROM table GROUP BY owner; (GROUP BY groups together all records for each 'owner')

Selecting from multiple tables:

(Example) mysql> SELECT, comment FROM pet, event WHERE =; (You can join a table to itself to compare by using 'AS')

Currently selected database:


Maximum value:

mysql> SELECT MAX(col_name) AS label FROM table;

Auto-incrementing rows:

mysql> CREATE TABLE table (number INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, name CHAR(10) NOT NULL); mysql> INSERT INTO table (name) VALUES ("tom"),("dick"),("harry");

Adding a column to an already-created table:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tbl ADD COLUMN [column_create syntax] AFTER col_name;

Removing a column:

mysql> ALTER TABLE tbl DROP COLUMN col; (Full ALTER TABLE syntax available at

Batch mode (feeding in a script):

mysql -u user -p < batch_file

(Use -t for nice table layout and -vvv for command echoing.) Alternatively: mysql> source batch_file;

Backing up a database with mysqldump:

mysqldump --opt -u username -p database > database_backup.sql

(Use 'mysqldump --opt --all-databases > all_backup.sql' to backup everything.) (More info at MySQL's docs.)