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Files implementing UDFs must be compiled and installed on the host where the server runs. This process is described below for the example UDF file sql/udf_example.c that is included in the MySQL source distribution.

If a UDF will be referred to in statements that will be replicated to slave servers, you must ensure that every slave also has the function available. Otherwise, replication will fail on the slaves when they attempt to invoke the function.

The immediately following instructions are for Unix. Instructions for Windows are given later in this section.

The udf_example.c file contains the following functions:

A dynamically loadable file should be compiled as a sharable object file, using a command something like this:

shell> gcc -shared -o udf_example.c

If you are using gcc with configure and libtool (which is how MySQL is configured), you should be able to create with a simpler command:

shell> make

After you compile a shared object containing UDFs, you must install it and tell MySQL about it. Compiling a shared object from udf_example.c using gcc directly produces a file named Compiling the shared object using make produces a file named something like in the .libs directory (the exact name may vary from platform to platform).

As of MySQL 5.0.67, copy the shared object to server's plugin directory and name it This directory is given by the value of the plugin_dir system variable.

Prior to MySQL 5.0.67, or if the value of plugin_dir is empty, the shared object should be placed in a directory such as /usr/lib that is searched by your system's dynamic (runtime) linker, or you can add the directory in which you place the shared object to the linker configuration file (for example, /etc/

On many systems, you can also set the LD_LIBRARY or LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to point at the directory where you have the files for your UDF. You should set the variable in mysql.server or mysqld_safe startup scripts and restart mysqld. You might do this if you want to place the object file in a directory accessible only to the server and not in a public directory. The dlopen manual page tells you which variable to use on your system.

The dynamic linker name is system-specific (for example, on FreeBSD, on Linux, or dyld on OS X). Consult your system documentation for information about the linker name and how to configure it.

On some systems, the ldconfig program that configures the dynamic linker does not recognize a shared object unless its name begins with lib. In this case you should rename a file such as to

On Windows, you can compile user-defined functions by using the following procedure:

  1. Obtain the development source for MySQL 5.0. See Section 2.5, “How to Get MySQL”.

  2. Obtain the CMake build utility, if necessary, from (Version 2.6 or later is required).

  3. In the source tree, look in the sql directory. There are files named udf_example.def udf_example.c there. Copy both files from this directory to your working directory.

  4. Create a CMake makefile (CMakeLists.txt) with these contents:

    # Path for MySQL include directory
    ADD_LIBRARY(udf_example MODULE udf_example.c udf_example.def)
    TARGET_LINK_LIBRARIES(udf_example wsock32)
  5. Create the VC project and solution files:

    cmake -G "<Generator>"

    Invoking cmake --help shows you a list of valid Generators.

  6. Create udf_example.dll:

    devenv udf_example.sln /build Release

After the shared object file has been installed, notify mysqld about the new functions with the following statements. If object files have a suffix different from .so on your system, substitute the correct suffix throughout (for example, .dll on Windows).

mysql> CREATE FUNCTION reverse_lookup
    ->        RETURNS STRING SONAME '';
    ->        RETURNS REAL SONAME '';

Once installed, a function remains installed until it is uninstalled.

To delete functions, use DROP FUNCTION:

mysql> DROP FUNCTION metaphon;
mysql> DROP FUNCTION myfunc_double;
mysql> DROP FUNCTION myfunc_int;
mysql> DROP FUNCTION sequence;
mysql> DROP FUNCTION lookup;
mysql> DROP FUNCTION reverse_lookup;
mysql> DROP FUNCTION avgcost;

The CREATE FUNCTION and DROP FUNCTION statements update the func system table in the mysql database. The function's name, type and shared library name are saved in the table. You must have the INSERT or DELETE privilege for the mysql database to create or drop functions, respectively.

You should not use CREATE FUNCTION to add a function that has previously been created. If you need to reinstall a function, you should remove it with DROP FUNCTION and then reinstall it with CREATE FUNCTION. You would need to do this, for example, if you recompile a new version of your function, so that mysqld gets the new version. Otherwise, the server continues to use the old version.

An active function is one that has been loaded with CREATE FUNCTION and not removed with DROP FUNCTION. All active functions are reloaded each time the server starts, unless you start mysqld with the --skip-grant-tables option. In this case, UDF initialization is skipped and UDFs are unavailable.