14.5.3 MyISAM Table Storage Formats

14.5.3.1 Static (Fixed-Length) Table Characteristics
14.5.3.2 Dynamic Table Characteristics
14.5.3.3 Compressed Table Characteristics

MyISAM supports three different storage formats. Two of them, fixed and dynamic format, are chosen automatically depending on the type of columns you are using. The third, compressed format, can be created only with the myisampack utility (see Section 4.6.5, “myisampack — Generate Compressed, Read-Only MyISAM Tables”).

When you use CREATE TABLE or ALTER TABLE for a table that has no BLOB or TEXT columns, you can force the table format to FIXED or DYNAMIC with the ROW_FORMAT table option.

See Section 13.1.17, “CREATE TABLE Syntax”, for information about ROW_FORMAT.

You can decompress (unpack) compressed MyISAM tables using myisamchk --unpack; see Section 4.6.3, “myisamchk — MyISAM Table-Maintenance Utility”, for more information.