10.5 Character Set Configuration

You can change the default server character set and collation with the --character-set-server and --collation-server options when you start the server. The collation must be a legal collation for the default character set. (Use the SHOW COLLATION statement to determine which collations are available for each character set.) See Section 5.1.3, “Server Command Options”.

If you try to use a character set that is not compiled into your binary, you might run into the following problems:

You can force client programs to use specific character set as follows:

[client]
default-character-set=charset_name

This is normally unnecessary. However, when character_set_system differs from character_set_server or character_set_client, and you input characters manually (as database object identifiers, column values, or both), these may be displayed incorrectly in output from the client or the output itself may be formatted incorrectly. In such cases, starting the mysql client with --default-character-set=system_character_set—that is, setting the client character set to match the system character set—should fix the problem.

For MyISAM tables, you can check the character set name and number for a table with myisamchk -dvv tbl_name.