14.6.3.1 The InnoDB Transaction Model and Locking

14.6.3.1.1 InnoDB Lock Modes
14.6.3.1.2 Consistent Nonlocking Reads
14.6.3.1.3 SELECT ... FOR UPDATE and SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE Locking Reads
14.6.3.1.4 InnoDB Record, Gap, and Next-Key Locks
14.6.3.1.5 Avoiding the Phantom Problem Using Next-Key Locking
14.6.3.1.6 Locks Set by Different SQL Statements in InnoDB
14.6.3.1.7 Implicit Transaction Commit and Rollback
14.6.3.1.8 Deadlock Detection and Rollback
14.6.3.1.9 How to Cope with Deadlocks

To implement a large-scale, busy, or highly reliable database application, to port substantial code from a different database system, or to tune MySQL performance, you must understand the notions of transactions and locking as they relate to the InnoDB storage engine.

In the InnoDB transaction model, the goal is to combine the best properties of a multi-versioning database with traditional two-phase locking. InnoDB does locking on the row level and runs queries as nonlocking consistent reads by default, in the style of Oracle. The lock information in InnoDB is stored so space-efficiently that lock escalation is not needed: Typically, several users are permitted to lock every row in InnoDB tables, or any random subset of the rows, without causing InnoDB memory exhaustion.

In InnoDB, all user activity occurs inside a transaction. If autocommit mode is enabled, each SQL statement forms a single transaction on its own. By default, MySQL starts the session for each new connection with autocommit enabled, so MySQL does a commit after each SQL statement if that statement did not return an error. If a statement returns an error, the commit or rollback behavior depends on the error. See Section 14.6.11.4, “InnoDB Error Handling”.

A session that has autocommit enabled can perform a multiple-statement transaction by starting it with an explicit START TRANSACTION or BEGIN statement and ending it with a COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement. See Section 13.3.1, “START TRANSACTION, COMMIT, and ROLLBACK Syntax”.

If autocommit mode is disabled within a session with SET autocommit = 0, the session always has a transaction open. A COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement ends the current transaction and a new one starts.

A COMMIT means that the changes made in the current transaction are made permanent and become visible to other sessions. A ROLLBACK statement, on the other hand, cancels all modifications made by the current transaction. Both COMMIT and ROLLBACK release all InnoDB locks that were set during the current transaction.

In terms of the SQL:1992 transaction isolation levels, the default InnoDB level is REPEATABLE READ. InnoDB offers all four transaction isolation levels described by the SQL standard: READ UNCOMMITTED, READ COMMITTED, REPEATABLE READ, and SERIALIZABLE.

A user can change the isolation level for a single session or for all subsequent connections with the SET TRANSACTION statement. To set the server's default isolation level for all connections, use the --transaction-isolation option on the command line or in an option file. For detailed information about isolation levels and level-setting syntax, see Section 13.3.6, “SET TRANSACTION Syntax”.

In row-level locking, InnoDB normally uses next-key locking. That means that besides index records, InnoDB can also lock the gap preceding an index record to block insertions by other sessions in the gap immediately before the index record. A next-key lock refers to a lock that locks an index record and the gap before it. A gap lock refers to a lock that locks only the gap before some index record.

For more information about row-level locking, and the circumstances under which gap locking is disabled, see Section 14.6.3.1.4, “InnoDB Record, Gap, and Next-Key Locks”.

14.6.3.1.1 InnoDB Lock Modes

InnoDB implements standard row-level locking where there are two types of locks, shared (S) locks and exclusive (X) locks. For information about record, gap, and next-key lock types, see Section 14.6.3.1.4, “InnoDB Record, Gap, and Next-Key Locks”.

  • A shared (S) lock permits a transaction to read a row.

  • An exclusive (X) lock permits a transaction to update or delete a row.

If transaction T1 holds a shared (S) lock on row r, then requests from some distinct transaction T2 for a lock on row r are handled as follows:

  • A request by T2 for an S lock can be granted immediately. As a result, both T1 and T2 hold an S lock on r.

  • A request by T2 for an X lock cannot be granted immediately.

If a transaction T1 holds an exclusive (X) lock on row r, a request from some distinct transaction T2 for a lock of either type on r cannot be granted immediately. Instead, transaction T2 has to wait for transaction T1 to release its lock on row r.

Intention Locks

Additionally, InnoDB supports multiple granularity locking which permits coexistence of record locks and locks on entire tables. To make locking at multiple granularity levels practical, additional types of locks called intention locks are used. Intention locks are table locks in InnoDB. The idea behind intention locks is for a transaction to indicate which type of lock (shared or exclusive) it will require later for a row in that table. There are two types of intention locks used in InnoDB (assume that transaction T has requested a lock of the indicated type on table t):

  • Intention shared (IS): Transaction T intends to set S locks on individual rows in table t.

  • Intention exclusive (IX): Transaction T intends to set X locks on those rows.

For example, SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE sets an IS lock and SELECT ... FOR UPDATE sets an IX lock.

The intention locking protocol is as follows:

  • Before a transaction can acquire an S lock on a row in table t, it must first acquire an IS or stronger lock on t.

  • Before a transaction can acquire an X lock on a row, it must first acquire an IX lock on t.

These rules can be conveniently summarized by means of the following lock type compatibility matrix.

 XIXSIS
XConflictConflictConflictConflict
IXConflictCompatibleConflictCompatible
SConflictConflictCompatibleCompatible
ISConflictCompatibleCompatibleCompatible

A lock is granted to a requesting transaction if it is compatible with existing locks, but not if it conflicts with existing locks. A transaction waits until the conflicting existing lock is released. If a lock request conflicts with an existing lock and cannot be granted because it would cause deadlock, an error occurs.

Thus, intention locks do not block anything except full table requests (for example, LOCK TABLES ... WRITE). The main purpose of IX and IS locks is to show that someone is locking a row, or going to lock a row in the table.

Deadlock Example

The following example illustrates how an error can occur when a lock request would cause a deadlock. The example involves two clients, A and B.

First, client A creates a table containing one row, and then begins a transaction. Within the transaction, A obtains an S lock on the row by selecting it in share mode:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t (i INT) ENGINE = InnoDB;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (1.07 sec)

mysql> INSERT INTO t (i) VALUES(1);
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.09 sec)

mysql> START TRANSACTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SELECT * FROM t WHERE i = 1 LOCK IN SHARE MODE;
+------+
| i    |
+------+
|    1 |
+------+
1 row in set (0.10 sec)

Next, client B begins a transaction and attempts to delete the row from the table:

mysql> START TRANSACTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> DELETE FROM t WHERE i = 1;

The delete operation requires an X lock. The lock cannot be granted because it is incompatible with the S lock that client A holds, so the request goes on the queue of lock requests for the row and client B blocks.

Finally, client A also attempts to delete the row from the table:

mysql> DELETE FROM t WHERE i = 1;
ERROR 1213 (40001): Deadlock found when trying to get lock;
try restarting transaction

Deadlock occurs here because client A needs an X lock to delete the row. However, that lock request cannot be granted because client B already has a request for an X lock and is waiting for client A to release its S lock. Nor can the S lock held by A be upgraded to an X lock because of the prior request by B for an X lock. As a result, InnoDB generates an error for one of the clients and releases its locks. The client returns this error:

ERROR 1213 (40001): Deadlock found when trying to get lock;
try restarting transaction

At that point, the lock request for the other client can be granted and it deletes the row from the table.

Note

If the LATEST DETECTED DEADLOCK section of InnoDB Monitor output includes a message stating, TOO DEEP OR LONG SEARCH IN THE LOCK TABLE WAITS-FOR GRAPH, WE WILL ROLL BACK FOLLOWING TRANSACTION, this indicates that the number of transactions on the wait-for list has reached a limit of 200, which is defined by LOCK_MAX_DEPTH_IN_DEADLOCK_CHECK. A wait-for list that exceeds 200 transactions is treated as a deadlock and the transaction attempting to check the wait-for list is rolled back.

The same error may also occur if the locking thread must look at more than 1,000,000 locks owned by the transactions on the wait-for list. The limit of 1,000,000 locks is defined by LOCK_MAX_N_STEPS_IN_DEADLOCK_CHECK.

14.6.3.1.2 Consistent Nonlocking Reads

A consistent read means that InnoDB uses multi-versioning to present to a query a snapshot of the database at a point in time. The query sees the changes made by transactions that committed before that point of time, and no changes made by later or uncommitted transactions. The exception to this rule is that the query sees the changes made by earlier statements within the same transaction. This exception causes the following anomaly: If you update some rows in a table, a SELECT sees the latest version of the updated rows, but it might also see older versions of any rows. If other sessions simultaneously update the same table, the anomaly means that you might see the table in a state that never existed in the database.

If the transaction isolation level is REPEATABLE READ (the default level), all consistent reads within the same transaction read the snapshot established by the first such read in that transaction. You can get a fresher snapshot for your queries by committing the current transaction and after that issuing new queries.

With READ COMMITTED isolation level, each consistent read within a transaction sets and reads its own fresh snapshot.

Consistent read is the default mode in which InnoDB processes SELECT statements in READ COMMITTED and REPEATABLE READ isolation levels. A consistent read does not set any locks on the tables it accesses, and therefore other sessions are free to modify those tables at the same time a consistent read is being performed on the table.

Suppose that you are running in the default REPEATABLE READ isolation level. When you issue a consistent read (that is, an ordinary SELECT statement), InnoDB gives your transaction a timepoint according to which your query sees the database. If another transaction deletes a row and commits after your timepoint was assigned, you do not see the row as having been deleted. Inserts and updates are treated similarly.

Note

The snapshot of the database state applies to SELECT statements within a transaction, not necessarily to DML statements. If you insert or modify some rows and then commit that transaction, a DELETE or UPDATE statement issued from another concurrent REPEATABLE READ transaction could affect those just-committed rows, even though the session could not query them. If a transaction does update or delete rows committed by a different transaction, those changes do become visible to the current transaction. For example, you might encounter a situation like the following:

SELECT COUNT(c1) FROM t1 WHERE c1 = 'xyz'; -- Returns 0: no rows match.
DELETE FROM t1 WHERE c1 = 'xyz'; -- Deletes several rows recently committed by other transaction.

SELECT COUNT(c2) FROM t1 WHERE c2 = 'abc'; -- Returns 0: no rows match.
UPDATE t1 SET c2 = 'cba' WHERE c2 = 'abc'; -- Affects 10 rows: another txn just committed 10 rows with 'abc' values.
SELECT COUNT(c2) FROM t1 WHERE c2 = 'cba'; -- Returns 10: this txn can now see the rows it just updated.

You can advance your timepoint by committing your transaction and then doing another SELECT or START TRANSACTION WITH CONSISTENT SNAPSHOT.

This is called multi-versioned concurrency control.

In the following example, session A sees the row inserted by B only when B has committed the insert and A has committed as well, so that the timepoint is advanced past the commit of B.

             Session A              Session B

           SET autocommit=0;      SET autocommit=0;
time
|          SELECT * FROM t;
|          empty set
|                                 INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 2);
|
v          SELECT * FROM t;
           empty set
                                  COMMIT;

           SELECT * FROM t;
           empty set

           COMMIT;

           SELECT * FROM t;
           ---------------------
           |    1    |    2    |
           ---------------------
           1 row in set

If you want to see the freshest state of the database, use either the READ COMMITTED isolation level or a locking read:

SELECT * FROM t LOCK IN SHARE MODE;

With READ COMMITTED isolation level, each consistent read within a transaction sets and reads its own fresh snapshot. With LOCK IN SHARE MODE, a locking read occurs instead: A SELECT blocks until the transaction containing the freshest rows ends (see Section 14.6.3.1.3, “SELECT ... FOR UPDATE and SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE Locking Reads”).

Consistent read does not work over certain DDL statements:

  • Consistent read does not work over DROP TABLE, because MySQL cannot use a table that has been dropped and InnoDB destroys the table.

  • Consistent read does not work over ALTER TABLE, because that statement makes a temporary copy of the original table and deletes the original table when the temporary copy is built. When you reissue a consistent read within a transaction, rows in the new table are not visible because those rows did not exist when the transaction's snapshot was taken.

The type of read varies for selects in clauses like INSERT INTO ... SELECT, UPDATE ... (SELECT), and CREATE TABLE ... SELECT that do not specify FOR UPDATE or LOCK IN SHARE MODE:

14.6.3.1.3 SELECT ... FOR UPDATE and SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE Locking Reads

If you query data and then insert or update related data within the same transaction, the regular SELECT statement does not give enough protection. Other transactions can update or delete the same rows you just queried. InnoDB supports two types of locking reads that offer extra safety:

  • SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE sets a shared mode lock on any rows that are read. Other sessions can read the rows, but cannot modify them until your transaction commits. If any of these rows were changed by another transaction that has not yet committed, your query waits until that transaction ends and then uses the latest values.

  • SELECT ... FOR UPDATE locks the rows and any associated index entries, the same as if you issued an UPDATE statement for those rows. Other transactions are blocked from updating those rows, from doing SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE, or from reading the data in certain transaction isolation levels. Consistent reads ignore any locks set on the records that exist in the read view. (Old versions of a record cannot be locked; they are reconstructed by applying undo logs on an in-memory copy of the record.)

These clauses are primarily useful when dealing with tree-structured or graph-structured data, either in a single table or split across multiple tables.

All locks set by LOCK IN SHARE MODE and FOR UPDATE queries are released when the transaction is committed or rolled back.

Note

Locking of rows for update using SELECT FOR UPDATE only applies when autocommit is disabled (either by beginning transaction with START TRANSACTION or by setting autocommit to 0. If autocommit is enabled, the rows matching the specification are not locked.

Usage Examples

Suppose that you want to insert a new row into a table child, and make sure that the child row has a parent row in table parent. Your application code can ensure referential integrity throughout this sequence of operations.

First, use a consistent read to query the table PARENT and verify that the parent row exists. Can you safely insert the child row to table CHILD? No, because some other session could delete the parent row in the moment between your SELECT and your INSERT, without you being aware of it.

To avoid this potential issue, perform the SELECT using LOCK IN SHARE MODE:

SELECT * FROM parent WHERE NAME = 'Jones' LOCK IN SHARE MODE;

After the LOCK IN SHARE MODE query returns the parent 'Jones', you can safely add the child record to the CHILD table and commit the transaction. Any transaction that tries to read or write to the applicable row in the PARENT table waits until you are finished, that is, the data in all tables is in a consistent state.

For another example, consider an integer counter field in a table CHILD_CODES, used to assign a unique identifier to each child added to table CHILD. Do not use either consistent read or a shared mode read to read the present value of the counter, because two users of the database could see the same value for the counter, and a duplicate-key error occurs if two transactions attempt to add rows with the same identifier to the CHILD table.

Here, LOCK IN SHARE MODE is not a good solution because if two users read the counter at the same time, at least one of them ends up in deadlock when it attempts to update the counter.

To implement reading and incrementing the counter, first perform a locking read of the counter using FOR UPDATE, and then increment the counter. For example:

SELECT counter_field FROM child_codes FOR UPDATE;
UPDATE child_codes SET counter_field = counter_field + 1;

A SELECT ... FOR UPDATE reads the latest available data, setting exclusive locks on each row it reads. Thus, it sets the same locks a searched SQL UPDATE would set on the rows.

The preceding description is merely an example of how SELECT ... FOR UPDATE works. In MySQL, the specific task of generating a unique identifier actually can be accomplished using only a single access to the table:

UPDATE child_codes SET counter_field = LAST_INSERT_ID(counter_field + 1);
SELECT LAST_INSERT_ID();

The SELECT statement merely retrieves the identifier information (specific to the current connection). It does not access any table.

14.6.3.1.4 InnoDB Record, Gap, and Next-Key Locks

InnoDB has several types of record-level locks including record locks, gap locks, and next-key locks. For information about shared locks, exclusive locks, and intention locks, see Section 14.6.3.1.1, “InnoDB Lock Modes”.

  • Record lock: This is a lock on an index record.

  • Gap lock: This is a lock on a gap between index records, or a lock on the gap before the first or after the last index record.

  • Next-key lock: This is a combination of a record lock on the index record and a gap lock on the gap before the index record.

Record Locks

Record locks always lock index records, even if a table is defined with no indexes. For such cases, InnoDB creates a hidden clustered index and uses this index for record locking. See Section 14.6.3.3.1, “Clustered and Secondary Indexes”.

Next-key Locks

By default, InnoDB operates in REPEATABLE READ transaction isolation level and with the innodb_locks_unsafe_for_binlog system variable disabled. In this case, InnoDB uses next-key locks for searches and index scans, which prevents phantom rows (see Section 14.6.3.1.5, “Avoiding the Phantom Problem Using Next-Key Locking”).

Next-key locking combines index-row locking with gap locking. InnoDB performs row-level locking in such a way that when it searches or scans a table index, it sets shared or exclusive locks on the index records it encounters. Thus, the row-level locks are actually index-record locks. In addition, a next-key lock on an index record also affects the gap before that index record. That is, a next-key lock is an index-record lock plus a gap lock on the gap preceding the index record. If one session has a shared or exclusive lock on record R in an index, another session cannot insert a new index record in the gap immediately before R in the index order.

Suppose that an index contains the values 10, 11, 13, and 20. The possible next-key locks for this index cover the following intervals, where ( or ) denote exclusion of the interval endpoint and [ or ] denote inclusion of the endpoint:

(negative infinity, 10]
(10, 11]
(11, 13]
(13, 20]
(20, positive infinity)

For the last interval, the next-key lock locks the gap above the largest value in the index and the supremum pseudo-record having a value higher than any value actually in the index. The supremum is not a real index record, so, in effect, this next-key lock locks only the gap following the largest index value.

Gap Locks

The next-key locking example in the previous section shows that a gap might span a single index value, multiple index values, or even be empty.

Gap locking is not needed for statements that lock rows using a unique index to search for a unique row. (This does not include the case that the search condition includes only some columns of a multiple-column unique index; in that case, gap locking does occur.) For example, if the id column has a unique index, the following statement uses only an index-record lock for the row having id value 100 and it does not matter whether other sessions insert rows in the preceding gap:

SELECT * FROM child WHERE id = 100;

If id is not indexed or has a nonunique index, the statement does lock the preceding gap.

A type of gap lock called an insert intention gap lock is set by INSERT operations prior to row insertion. This lock signals the intent to insert in such a way that multiple transactions inserting into the same index gap need not wait for each other if they are not inserting at the same position within the gap. Suppose that there are index records with values of 4 and 7. Separate transactions that attempt to insert values of 5 and 6 each lock the gap between 4 and 7 with insert intention locks prior to obtaining the exclusive lock on the inserted row, but do not block each other because the rows are nonconflicting.

It is also worth noting here that conflicting locks can be held on a gap by different transactions. For example, transaction A can hold a shared gap lock (gap S-lock) on a gap while transaction B holds an exclusive gap lock (gap X-lock) on the same gap. The reason conflicting gap locks are allowed is that if a record is purged from an index, the gap locks held on the record by different transactions must be merged.

Gap locks in InnoDB are purely inhibitive, which means they only stop other transactions from inserting to the gap. Thus, a gap X-lock has the same effect as a gap S-lock.

Disabling Gap Locking

Gap locking can be disabled explicitly. This occurs if you change the transaction isolation level to READ COMMITTED or enable the innodb_locks_unsafe_for_binlog system variable. Under these circumstances, gap locking is disabled for searches and index scans and is used only for foreign-key constraint checking and duplicate-key checking.

There are also other effects of using the READ COMMITTED isolation level or enabling innodb_locks_unsafe_for_binlog: Record locks for nonmatching rows are released after MySQL has evaluated the WHERE condition. For UPDATE statements, InnoDB does a semi-consistent read, such that it returns the latest committed version to MySQL so that MySQL can determine whether the row matches the WHERE condition of the UPDATE.

14.6.3.1.5 Avoiding the Phantom Problem Using Next-Key Locking

The so-called phantom problem occurs within a transaction when the same query produces different sets of rows at different times. For example, if a SELECT is executed twice, but returns a row the second time that was not returned the first time, the row is a phantom row.

Suppose that there is an index on the id column of the child table and that you want to read and lock all rows from the table having an identifier value larger than 100, with the intention of updating some column in the selected rows later:

SELECT * FROM child WHERE id > 100 FOR UPDATE;

The query scans the index starting from the first record where id is bigger than 100. Let the table contain rows having id values of 90 and 102. If the locks set on the index records in the scanned range do not lock out inserts made in the gaps (in this case, the gap between 90 and 102), another session can insert a new row into the table with an id of 101. If you were to execute the same SELECT within the same transaction, you would see a new row with an id of 101 (a phantom) in the result set returned by the query. If we regard a set of rows as a data item, the new phantom child would violate the isolation principle of transactions that a transaction should be able to run so that the data it has read does not change during the transaction.

To prevent phantoms, InnoDB uses an algorithm called next-key locking that combines index-row locking with gap locking. InnoDB performs row-level locking in such a way that when it searches or scans a table index, it sets shared or exclusive locks on the index records it encounters. Thus, the row-level locks are actually index-record locks. In addition, a next-key lock on an index record also affects the gap before that index record. That is, a next-key lock is an index-record lock plus a gap lock on the gap preceding the index record. If one session has a shared or exclusive lock on record R in an index, another session cannot insert a new index record in the gap immediately before R in the index order.

When InnoDB scans an index, it can also lock the gap after the last record in the index. Just that happens in the preceding example: To prevent any insert into the table where id would be bigger than 100, the locks set by InnoDB include a lock on the gap following id value 102.

You can use next-key locking to implement a uniqueness check in your application: If you read your data in share mode and do not see a duplicate for a row you are going to insert, then you can safely insert your row and know that the next-key lock set on the successor of your row during the read prevents anyone meanwhile inserting a duplicate for your row. Thus, the next-key locking enables you to lock the nonexistence of something in your table.

Gap locking can be disabled as discussed in Section 14.6.3.1.4, “InnoDB Record, Gap, and Next-Key Locks”. This may cause phantom problems because other sessions can insert new rows into the gaps when gap locking is disabled.

14.6.3.1.6 Locks Set by Different SQL Statements in InnoDB

A locking read, an UPDATE, or a DELETE generally set record locks on every index record that is scanned in the processing of the SQL statement. It does not matter whether there are WHERE conditions in the statement that would exclude the row. InnoDB does not remember the exact WHERE condition, but only knows which index ranges were scanned. The locks are normally next-key locks that also block inserts into the gap immediately before the record. However, gap locking can be disabled explicitly, which causes next-key locking not to be used. For more information, see Section 14.6.3.1.4, “InnoDB Record, Gap, and Next-Key Locks”. The transaction isolation level also can affect which locks are set; see Section 13.3.6, “SET TRANSACTION Syntax”.

If a secondary index is used in a search and index record locks to be set are exclusive, InnoDB also retrieves the corresponding clustered index records and sets locks on them.

Differences between shared and exclusive locks are described in Section 14.6.3.1.1, “InnoDB Lock Modes”.

If you have no indexes suitable for your statement and MySQL must scan the entire table to process the statement, every row of the table becomes locked, which in turn blocks all inserts by other users to the table. It is important to create good indexes so that your queries do not unnecessarily scan many rows.

For SELECT ... FOR UPDATE or SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE, locks are acquired for scanned rows, and expected to be released for rows that do not qualify for inclusion in the result set (for example, if they do not meet the criteria given in the WHERE clause). However, in some cases, rows might not be unlocked immediately because the relationship between a result row and its original source is lost during query execution. For example, in a UNION, scanned (and locked) rows from a table might be inserted into a temporary table before evaluation whether they qualify for the result set. In this circumstance, the relationship of the rows in the temporary table to the rows in the original table is lost and the latter rows are not unlocked until the end of query execution.

InnoDB sets specific types of locks as follows.

  • SELECT ... FROM is a consistent read, reading a snapshot of the database and setting no locks unless the transaction isolation level is set to SERIALIZABLE. For SERIALIZABLE level, the search sets shared next-key locks on the index records it encounters.

  • SELECT ... FROM ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE sets shared next-key locks on all index records the search encounters.

  • For index records the search encounters, SELECT ... FROM ... FOR UPDATE blocks other sessions from doing SELECT ... FROM ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE or from reading in certain transaction isolation levels. Consistent reads will ignore any locks set on the records that exist in the read view.

  • UPDATE ... WHERE ... sets an exclusive next-key lock on every record the search encounters.

  • DELETE FROM ... WHERE ... sets an exclusive next-key lock on every record the search encounters.

  • INSERT sets an exclusive lock on the inserted row. This lock is an index-record lock, not a next-key lock (that is, there is no gap lock) and does not prevent other sessions from inserting into the gap before the inserted row.

    Prior to inserting the row, a type of gap lock called an insertion intention gap lock is set. This lock signals the intent to insert in such a way that multiple transactions inserting into the same index gap need not wait for each other if they are not inserting at the same position within the gap. Suppose that there are index records with values of 4 and 7. Separate transactions that attempt to insert values of 5 and 6 each lock the gap between 4 and 7 with insert intention locks prior to obtaining the exclusive lock on the inserted row, but do not block each other because the rows are nonconflicting.

    If a duplicate-key error occurs, a shared lock on the duplicate index record is set. This use of a shared lock can result in deadlock should there be multiple sessions trying to insert the same row if another session already has an exclusive lock. This can occur if another session deletes the row. Suppose that an InnoDB table t1 has the following structure:

    CREATE TABLE t1 (i INT, PRIMARY KEY (i)) ENGINE = InnoDB;
    

    Now suppose that three sessions perform the following operations in order:

    Session 1:

    START TRANSACTION;
    INSERT INTO t1 VALUES(1);
    

    Session 2:

    START TRANSACTION;
    INSERT INTO t1 VALUES(1);
    

    Session 3:

    START TRANSACTION;
    INSERT INTO t1 VALUES(1);
    

    Session 1:

    ROLLBACK;
    

    The first operation by session 1 acquires an exclusive lock for the row. The operations by sessions 2 and 3 both result in a duplicate-key error and they both request a shared lock for the row. When session 1 rolls back, it releases its exclusive lock on the row and the queued shared lock requests for sessions 2 and 3 are granted. At this point, sessions 2 and 3 deadlock: Neither can acquire an exclusive lock for the row because of the shared lock held by the other.

    A similar situation occurs if the table already contains a row with key value 1 and three sessions perform the following operations in order:

    Session 1:

    START TRANSACTION;
    DELETE FROM t1 WHERE i = 1;
    

    Session 2:

    START TRANSACTION;
    INSERT INTO t1 VALUES(1);
    

    Session 3:

    START TRANSACTION;
    INSERT INTO t1 VALUES(1);
    

    Session 1:

    COMMIT;
    

    The first operation by session 1 acquires an exclusive lock for the row. The operations by sessions 2 and 3 both result in a duplicate-key error and they both request a shared lock for the row. When session 1 commits, it releases its exclusive lock on the row and the queued shared lock requests for sessions 2 and 3 are granted. At this point, sessions 2 and 3 deadlock: Neither can acquire an exclusive lock for the row because of the shared lock held by the other.

  • INSERT ... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE differs from a simple INSERT in that an exclusive next-key lock rather than a shared lock is placed on the row to be updated when a duplicate-key error occurs.

  • REPLACE is done like an INSERT if there is no collision on a unique key. Otherwise, an exclusive next-key lock is placed on the row to be replaced.

  • INSERT INTO T SELECT ... FROM S WHERE ... sets an exclusive index record lock (without a gap lock) on each row inserted into T. If the transaction isolation level is READ COMMITTED, or innodb_locks_unsafe_for_binlog is enabled and the transaction isolation level is not SERIALIZABLE, InnoDB does the search on S as a consistent read (no locks). Otherwise, InnoDB sets shared next-key locks on rows from S. InnoDB has to set locks in the latter case: In roll-forward recovery from a backup, every SQL statement must be executed in exactly the same way it was done originally.

    CREATE TABLE ... SELECT ... performs the SELECT with shared next-key locks or as a consistent read, as for INSERT ... SELECT.

    When a SELECT is used in the constructs REPLACE INTO t SELECT ... FROM s WHERE ... or UPDATE t ... WHERE col IN (SELECT ... FROM s ...), InnoDB sets shared next-key locks on rows from table s.

  • While initializing a previously specified AUTO_INCREMENT column on a table, InnoDB sets an exclusive lock on the end of the index associated with the AUTO_INCREMENT column. In accessing the auto-increment counter, InnoDB uses a specific AUTO-INC table lock mode where the lock lasts only to the end of the current SQL statement, not to the end of the entire transaction. Other sessions cannot insert into the table while the AUTO-INC table lock is held; see Section 14.6.3.1, “The InnoDB Transaction Model and Locking”.

    InnoDB fetches the value of a previously initialized AUTO_INCREMENT column without setting any locks.

  • If a FOREIGN KEY constraint is defined on a table, any insert, update, or delete that requires the constraint condition to be checked sets shared record-level locks on the records that it looks at to check the constraint. InnoDB also sets these locks in the case where the constraint fails.

  • LOCK TABLES sets table locks, but it is the higher MySQL layer above the InnoDB layer that sets these locks. InnoDB is aware of table locks if innodb_table_locks = 1 (the default) and autocommit = 0, and the MySQL layer above InnoDB knows about row-level locks.

    Otherwise, InnoDB's automatic deadlock detection cannot detect deadlocks where such table locks are involved. Also, because in this case the higher MySQL layer does not know about row-level locks, it is possible to get a table lock on a table where another session currently has row-level locks. However, this does not endanger transaction integrity, as discussed in Section 14.6.3.1.8, “Deadlock Detection and Rollback”. See also Section 14.6.5.7, “Limits on InnoDB Tables”.

14.6.3.1.7 Implicit Transaction Commit and Rollback

By default, MySQL starts the session for each new connection with autocommit mode enabled, so MySQL does a commit after each SQL statement if that statement did not return an error. If a statement returns an error, the commit or rollback behavior depends on the error. See Section 14.6.11.4, “InnoDB Error Handling”.

If a session that has autocommit disabled ends without explicitly committing the final transaction, MySQL rolls back that transaction.

Some statements implicitly end a transaction, as if you had done a COMMIT before executing the statement. For details, see Section 13.3.3, “Statements That Cause an Implicit Commit”.

14.6.3.1.8 Deadlock Detection and Rollback

InnoDB automatically detects transaction deadlocks and rolls back a transaction or transactions to break the deadlock. InnoDB tries to pick small transactions to roll back, where the size of a transaction is determined by the number of rows inserted, updated, or deleted.

InnoDB is aware of table locks if innodb_table_locks = 1 (the default) and autocommit = 0, and the MySQL layer above it knows about row-level locks. Otherwise, InnoDB cannot detect deadlocks where a table lock set by a MySQL LOCK TABLES statement or a lock set by a storage engine other than InnoDB is involved. Resolve these situations by setting the value of the innodb_lock_wait_timeout system variable.

When InnoDB performs a complete rollback of a transaction, all locks set by the transaction are released. However, if just a single SQL statement is rolled back as a result of an error, some of the locks set by the statement may be preserved. This happens because InnoDB stores row locks in a format such that it cannot know afterward which lock was set by which statement.

As of MySQL 5.1.24, if a SELECT calls a stored function in a transaction, and a statement within the function fails, that statement rolls back. Furthermore, if ROLLBACK is executed after that, the entire transaction rolls back. Before 5.1.24, the failed statement did not roll back when it failed (even though it might ultimately get rolled back by a ROLLBACK later that rolls back the entire transaction).

For techniques to organize database operations to avoid deadlocks, see Section 14.6.3.1.9, “How to Cope with Deadlocks”.

14.6.3.1.9 How to Cope with Deadlocks

This section builds on the conceptual information about deadlocks in Section 14.6.3.1.8, “Deadlock Detection and Rollback”. It explains how to organize database operations to minimize deadlocks and the subsequent error handling required in applications.

Deadlocks are a classic problem in transactional databases, but they are not dangerous unless they are so frequent that you cannot run certain transactions at all. Normally, you must write your applications so that they are always prepared to re-issue a transaction if it gets rolled back because of a deadlock.

InnoDB uses automatic row-level locking. You can get deadlocks even in the case of transactions that just insert or delete a single row. That is because these operations are not really atomic; they automatically set locks on the (possibly several) index records of the row inserted or deleted.

You can cope with deadlocks and reduce the likelihood of their occurrence with the following techniques:

  • Use SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS to determine the cause of the latest deadlock. That can help you to tune your application to avoid deadlocks.

  • Always be prepared to re-issue a transaction if it fails due to deadlock. Deadlocks are not dangerous. Just try again.

  • Keep transactions small and short in duration to make them less prone to collision.

  • Commit transactions immediately after making a set of related changes to make them less prone to collision. In particular, do not leave an interactive mysql session open for a long time with an uncommitted transaction.

  • If you are using locking reads (SELECT ... FOR UPDATE or SELECT ... LOCK IN SHARE MODE), try using a lower isolation level such as READ COMMITTED.

  • When modifying multiple tables within a transaction, or different sets of rows in the same table, do those operations in a consistent order each time. Then transactions form well-defined queues and do not deadlock. For example, organize database operations into functions within your application, or call stored routines, rather than coding multiple similar sequences of INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements in different places.

  • Add well-chosen indexes to your tables. Then your queries need to scan fewer index records and consequently set fewer locks. Use EXPLAIN SELECT to determine which indexes the MySQL server regards as the most appropriate for your queries.

  • Use less locking. If you can afford to permit a SELECT to return data from an old snapshot, do not add the clause FOR UPDATE or LOCK IN SHARE MODE to it. Using the READ COMMITTED isolation level is good here, because each consistent read within the same transaction reads from its own fresh snapshot.

  • If nothing else helps, serialize your transactions with table-level locks. The correct way to use LOCK TABLES with transactional tables, such as InnoDB tables, is to begin a transaction with SET autocommit = 0 (not START TRANSACTION) followed by LOCK TABLES, and to not call UNLOCK TABLES until you commit the transaction explicitly. For example, if you need to write to table t1 and read from table t2, you can do this:

    SET autocommit=0;
    LOCK TABLES t1 WRITE, t2 READ, ...;
    ... do something with tables t1 and t2 here ...
    COMMIT;
    UNLOCK TABLES;
    

    Table-level locks prevent concurrent updates to the table, avoiding deadlocks at the expense of less responsiveness for a busy system.

  • Another way to serialize transactions is to create an auxiliary semaphore table that contains just a single row. Have each transaction update that row before accessing other tables. In that way, all transactions happen in a serial fashion. Note that the InnoDB instant deadlock detection algorithm also works in this case, because the serializing lock is a row-level lock. With MySQL table-level locks, the timeout method must be used to resolve deadlocks.