Making technology work for you...

Get Your Free Subscription By Email:

Fine Tuning MySQL Server To Achieve Faster Website Loading

MySQLAll popular blogging platforms and Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla make extensive use of database back-end and having a fine-tuned database server is crucial to achieve optimal performance on these. As the saying goes "one size does not fit all" the default my.cnf which comes with MySQL server needs fixing as per your scripts requirements and hardware configuration, thankfully we do have free tools to get this done effectively and easily.

Today, I will be showing two scripts and a simple tip which will help us optimize our databases to achieve maximum performance - before proceeding do keep in mind that this is quite advanced as it requires editing database configuration files and working via shell access to linux root on your server.

First of all, I will tell you a simple procedure which you should perform regularly on your databases to achieve optimal performance, MySQL supports a OPTIMIZE TABLE command which is used to de-fragment mysql tables and is specially useful for tables which are frequently updated and/or deleted. Using OPTIMIZE TABLE command basically repairs/rebuilds a table bringing down it's size on disk if de-fragmented resulting in better performance, here is how you can do this using phpMyAdmin interface.

  1. Launch phpMyAdmin and select a database.
  2. phpMyadmin
  3. All tables from the selected database will get listed on left-side frame, scroll to the bottom of the frame and click Check All link now select Optimize Table option from the With Selected drop-down box and the command will get executed.
  4. MySQL Optimize Table Command
  5. Here are my results, notice how this simple command recovered 184.8 MB of wasted database disk-space.
  6. MySQL Optimize Table Command

Now, we will use two free database tuning scripts and to find the optimal configuration for our MySQL server installation, unlike the above procedure this needs to be done only once.

  1. Log into your server console as root and execute the following commands to download both scripts.
  2. wget


  3. Now, we need to make these scripts executable - use the following commands to do so.
  4. chmod +x

    chmod u+x

  5. We will now run the scripts one by one.
  6. ./

  7. This will result in a report like this :
  8. Executing

    Here is the script output :

    >> MySQLTuner 1.0.1 - Major Hayden
    >> Bug reports, feature requests, and downloads at
    >> Run with '--help' for additional options and output filtering

    -------- General Statistics --------------------------------------------------
    [--] Skipped version check for MySQLTuner script
    [OK] Operating on 64-bit architecture

    -------- Storage Engine Statistics -------------------------------------------
    [--] Status: -Archive -BDB -Federated +InnoDB -ISAM -NDBCluster
    Use of uninitialized value in pattern match (m//) at ./ line 467 (#1)
    (W uninitialized) An undefined value was used as if it were already
    defined. It was interpreted as a "" or a 0, but maybe it was a mistake.
    To suppress this warning assign a defined value to your variables.

    To help you figure out what was undefined, perl tells you what operation
    you used the undefined value in. Note, however, that perl optimizes your
    program and the operation displayed in the warning may not necessarily
    appear literally in your program. For example, "that $foo" is
    usually optimized into "that " . $foo, and the warning will refer to
    the concatenation (.) operator, even though there is no . in your

    Use of uninitialized value in hash element at ./ line 468 (#1)
    Use of uninitialized value in hash element at ./ line 472 (#1)
    Use of uninitialized value in hash element at ./ line 473 (#1)
    Use of uninitialized value in numeric gt (>) at ./ line 475 (#1)
    Use of uninitialized value in hash element at ./ line 469 (#1)
    Use of uninitialized value in hash element at ./ line 470 (#1)
    [--] Data in tables: 0B (Tables: 283)
    [--] Data in INNODB tables: 1G (Tables: 572)
    [--] Data in InnoDB tables: 160K (Tables: 6)
    [--] Data in HEAP tables: 0B (Tables: 1)
    [!!] Total fragmented tables: 35

    -------- Performance Metrics -------------------------------------------------
    [--] Up for: 4d 14h 53m 56s (152M q [381.144 qps], 520K conn, TX: 374B, RX: 74B)
    [--] Reads / Writes: 87% / 13%
    [--] Total buffers: 162.0M global + 9.2M per thread (500 max threads)
    [OK] Maximum possible memory usage: 4.6G (39% of installed RAM)
    [OK] Slow queries: 0% (4/152M)
    [OK] Highest usage of available connections: 5% (27/500)
    [OK] Key buffer size / total INNODB indexes: 64.0M/38.7M
    [OK] Key buffer hit rate: 100.0% (490M cached / 123K reads)
    [OK] Query cache efficiency: 92.5% (137M cached / 148M selects)
    [!!] Query cache prunes per day: 1328258
    [OK] Sorts requiring temporary tables: 0% (209 temp sorts / 782K sorts)
    [OK] Temporary tables created on disk: 17% (107K on disk / 608K total)
    [OK] Thread cache hit rate: 99% (27 created / 520K connections)
    [!!] Table cache hit rate: 15% (675 open / 4K opened)
    [OK] Open file limit used: 1% (1K/65K)
    [OK] Table locks acquired immediately: 99% (15M immediate / 15M locks)
    [OK] InnoDB data size / buffer pool: 160.0K/8.0M

    -------- Recommendations -----------------------------------------------------
    General recommendations:
    Run OPTIMIZE TABLE to defragment tables for better performance
    Increase table_cache gradually to avoid file descriptor limits
    Enable concurrent_insert by setting it to 'ON'
    Variables to adjust:
    query_cache_size (> 64M)
    table_cache (> 32512)

  9. Save the above output and execute the second script.
  10. ./

  11. This will result in a report like this :
  12. Executing

    Here is the script output :

    - By: Matthew Montgomery -

    MySQL Version 4.1.22-standard-log x86_64

    Uptime = 4 days 15 hrs 2 min 6 sec
    Avg. qps = 381
    Total Questions = 152308401
    Threads Connected = 2

    Server has been running for over 48hrs.
    It should be safe to follow these recommendations

    To find out more information on how each of these
    runtime variables effects performance visit:
    for info about MySQL's Enterprise Monitoring and Advisory Service

    The slow query log is enabled.
    Current long_query_time = 2 sec.
    You have 4 out of 152308415 that take longer than 2 sec. to complete
    Your long_query_time seems to be fine

    The binary update log is NOT enabled.
    You will not be able to do point in time recovery

    Current thread_cache_size = 256
    Current threads_cached = 25
    Current threads_per_sec = 0
    Historic threads_per_sec = 0
    Your thread_cache_size is fine

    Current max_connections = 500
    Current threads_connected = 2
    Historic max_used_connections = 27
    The number of used connections is 5% of the configured maximum.
    You are using less than 10% of your configured max_connections.
    Lowering max_connections could help to avoid an over-allocation of memory
    See "MEMORY USAGE" section to make sure you are not over-allocating

    Cannot parse InnoDB stats prior to 5.0.x
    *************************** 1. row ***************************
    100304 23:46:30 INNODB MONITOR OUTPUT
    Per second averages calculated from the last 54 seconds
    OS WAIT ARRAY INFO: reservation count 8, signal count 8
    Mutex spin waits 9, rounds 42, OS waits 2
    RW-shared spins 8, OS waits 4; RW-excl spins 2, OS waits 2
    Trx id counter 0 9989
    Purge done for trx's n:o History list length 9
    Total number of lock structs in row lock hash table 0
    ---TRANSACTION 0 0, not started, process no 13130, OS thread id 1153833280
    MySQL thread id 521211, query id 152308716 localhost root
    FILE I/O
    I/O thread 0 state: waiting for i/o request (insert buffer thread)
    I/O thread 1 state: waiting for i/o request (log thread)
    I/O thread 2 state: waiting for i/o request (read thread)
    I/O thread 3 state: waiting for i/o request (write thread)
    Pending normal aio reads: 0, aio writes: 0,
    ibuf aio reads: 0, log i/o's: 0, sync i/o's: 0
    Pending flushes (fsync) log: 0; buffer pool: 0
    41 OS file reads, 8 OS file writes, 8 OS fsyncs
    0.00 reads/s, 0 avg bytes/read, 0.00 writes/s, 0.00 fsyncs/s
    Ibuf for space 0: size 1, free list len 0, seg size 2, is empty
    Ibuf for space 0: size 1, free list len 0, seg size 2,
    0 inserts, 0 merged recs, 0 merges
    Hash table size 17393, used cells 0, node heap has 0 buffer(s)
    0.00 hash searches/s, 0.00 non-hash searches/s
    Log sequence number 0 226501
    Log flushed up to 0 226501
    Last checkpoint at 0 226501
    0 pending log writes, 0 pending chkp writes
    11 log i/o's done, 0.00 log i/o's/second
    Total memory allocated 21816488; in additional pool allocated 874496
    Buffer pool size 512
    Free buffers 470
    Database pages 42
    Modified db pages 0
    Pending reads 0
    Pending writes: LRU 0, flush list 0, single page 0
    Pages read 42, created 0, written 1
    0.00 reads/s, 0.00 creates/s, 0.00 writes/s
    No buffer pool page gets since the last printout
    0 queries inside InnoDB, 0 queries in queue
    Main thread process no. 13130, id 1152428352, state: waiting for server activity
    Number of rows inserted 0, updated 0, deleted 0, read 4
    0.00 inserts/s, 0.00 updates/s, 0.00 deletes/s, 0.00 reads/s

    Current innodb_buffer_pool_size = 8 M
    Depending on how much space your innodb indexes take up it may be safe
    to increase this value to up to 2 / 3 of total system memory

    Max Memory Ever Allocated : 385 M
    Configured Max Per-thread Buffers : 4.48 G
    Configured Max Global Buffers : 138 M
    Configured Max Memory Limit : 4.61 G
    Physical Memory : 11.72 G
    Max memory limit seem to be within acceptable norms

    Current INNODB index space = 38 M
    Current key_buffer_size = 64 M
    Key cache miss rate is 1 : 3954
    Key buffer free ratio = 54 %
    Your key_buffer_size seems to be fine

    Query cache is enabled
    Current query_cache_size = 64 M
    Current query_cache_used = 36 M
    Current query_cache_limit = 4 M
    Current Query cache Memory fill ratio = 57.78 %
    Current query_cache_min_res_unit = 4 K
    MySQL won't cache query results that are larger than query_cache_limit in size

    Current sort_buffer_size = 2 M
    Current read_rnd_buffer_size = 1020 K
    Sort buffer seems to be fine

    Current join_buffer_size = 4.00 M
    You have had 46 queries where a join could not use an index properly
    join_buffer_size >= 4 M
    This is not advised
    You should enable "log-queries-not-using-indexes"
    Then look for non indexed joins in the slow query log.

    Current open_files_limit = 65535 files
    The open_files_limit should typically be set to at least 2x-3x
    that of table_cache if you have heavy INNODB usage.
    Your open_files_limit value seems to be fine

    Current table_cache value = 32512 tables
    You have a total of 862 tables
    You have 675 open tables.
    The table_cache value seems to be fine

    Current max_heap_table_size = 23 M
    Current tmp_table_size = 32 M
    Of 501164 temp tables, 17% were created on disk
    Effective in-memory tmp_table_size is limited to max_heap_table_size.
    Created disk tmp tables ratio seems fine

    Current read_buffer_size = 1 M
    Current table scan ratio = 2462 : 1
    read_buffer_size seems to be fine

    Current Lock Wait ratio = 1 : 10845
    Your table locking seems to be fine

  13. Save this report and act on the recommendations from both scripts to edit your MySQL configuration file my.cnf to achieve best performance, you can also post these reports on webhosting/MySQL support forums to receive expert recommendations on further optimizing your database.

Add new comment

This is just one of the many helpful tips we have posted, You can find more stories here,
Do subscribe to updates using your favorite RSS feed reader or using the secure FeedBurner email update form on top of this post.