13.1.17.1 CREATE TABLE ... SELECT Syntax

You can create one table from another by adding a SELECT statement at the end of the CREATE TABLE statement:

CREATE TABLE new_tbl [AS] SELECT * FROM orig_tbl;

MySQL creates new columns for all elements in the SELECT. For example:

mysql> CREATE TABLE test (a INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
    ->        PRIMARY KEY (a), KEY(b))
    ->        ENGINE=MyISAM SELECT b,c FROM test2;

This creates a MyISAM table with three columns, a, b, and c. The ENGINE option is part of the CREATE TABLE statement, and should not be used following the SELECT; this would result in a syntax error. The same is true for other CREATE TABLE options such as CHARSET.

Notice that the columns from the SELECT statement are appended to the right side of the table, not overlapped onto it. Take the following example:

mysql> SELECT * FROM foo;
+---+
| n |
+---+
| 1 |
+---+

mysql> CREATE TABLE bar (m INT) SELECT n FROM foo;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.02 sec)
Records: 1  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql> SELECT * FROM bar;
+------+---+
| m    | n |
+------+---+
| NULL | 1 |
+------+---+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

For each row in table foo, a row is inserted in bar with the values from foo and default values for the new columns.

In a table resulting from CREATE TABLE ... SELECT, columns named only in the CREATE TABLE part come first. Columns named in both parts or only in the SELECT part come after that. The data type of SELECT columns can be overridden by also specifying the column in the CREATE TABLE part.

If any errors occur while copying the data to the table, it is automatically dropped and not created.

You can precede the SELECT by IGNORE or REPLACE to indicate how to handle rows that duplicate unique key values. With IGNORE, new rows that duplicate an existing row on a unique key value are discarded. With REPLACE, new rows replace rows that have the same unique key value. If neither IGNORE nor REPLACE is specified, duplicate unique key values result in an error.

Because the ordering of the rows in the underlying SELECT statements cannot always be determined, CREATE TABLE ... IGNORE SELECT and CREATE TABLE ... REPLACE SELECT statements in MySQL 5.5.18 and later are flagged as unsafe for statement-based replication. With this change, such statements produce a warning in the log when using statement-based mode and are logged using the row-based format when using MIXED mode. See also Section 17.1.2.1, “Advantages and Disadvantages of Statement-Based and Row-Based Replication”.

CREATE TABLE ... SELECT does not automatically create any indexes for you. This is done intentionally to make the statement as flexible as possible. If you want to have indexes in the created table, you should specify these before the SELECT statement:

mysql> CREATE TABLE bar (UNIQUE (n)) SELECT n FROM foo;

Some conversion of data types might occur. For example, the AUTO_INCREMENT attribute is not preserved, and VARCHAR columns can become CHAR columns. Retrained attributes are NULL (or NOT NULL) and, for those columns that have them, CHARACTER SET, COLLATION, COMMENT, and the DEFAULT clause.

When creating a table with CREATE TABLE ... SELECT, make sure to alias any function calls or expressions in the query. If you do not, the CREATE statement might fail or result in undesirable column names.

CREATE TABLE artists_and_works
  SELECT artist.name, COUNT(work.artist_id) AS number_of_works
  FROM artist LEFT JOIN work ON artist.id = work.artist_id
  GROUP BY artist.id;

You can also explicitly specify the data type for a generated column:

CREATE TABLE foo (a TINYINT NOT NULL) SELECT b+1 AS a FROM bar;

For CREATE TABLE ... SELECT, if IF NOT EXISTS is given and the destination table already exists, the result is version dependent. Before MySQL 5.5.6, MySQL handles the statement as follows:

The following example illustrates IF NOT EXISTS handling:

mysql> CREATE TABLE t1 (i1 INT DEFAULT 0, i2 INT, i3 INT, i4 INT);
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.05 sec)

mysql> CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS t1 (c1 CHAR(10)) SELECT 1, 2;
Query OK, 1 row affected, 1 warning (0.01 sec)
Records: 1  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql> SELECT * FROM t1;
+------+------+------+------+
| i1   | i2   | i3   | i4   |
+------+------+------+------+
|    0 | NULL |    1 |    2 |
+------+------+------+------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

As of MySQL 5.5.6, handling of CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS ... SELECT statements was changed for the case that the destination table already exists. This change also involves a change in MySQL 5.1 beginning with 5.1.51.

This change means that, for the preceding example, the CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS ... SELECT statement inserts nothing into the destination table as of MySQL 5.5.6.

This change in handling of IF NOT EXISTS results in an incompatibility for statement-based replication from a MySQL 5.1 master with the original behavior and a MySQL 5.5 slave with the new behavior. Suppose that CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS ... SELECT is executed on the master and the destination table exists. The result is that rows are inserted on the master but not on the slave. (Row-based replication does not have this problem.)

To address this issue, statement-based binary logging for CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS ... SELECT is changed in MySQL 5.1 as of 5.1.51:

This change provides forward compatibility for statement-based replication from MySQL 5.1 to 5.5 because when the destination table exists, the rows will be inserted on both the master and slave. To take advantage of this compatibility measure, the 5.1 server must be at least 5.1.51 and the 5.5 server must be at least 5.5.6.

To upgrade an existing 5.1-to-5.5 replication scenario, upgrade the master first to 5.1.51 or higher. Note that this differs from the usual replication upgrade advice of upgrading the slave first.

A workaround for applications that wish to achieve the original effect (rows inserted regardless of whether the destination table exists) is to use CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS and INSERT ... SELECT statements rather than CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS ... SELECT statements.

Along with the change just described, the following related change was made: Previously, if an existing view was named as the destination table for CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS ... SELECT, rows were inserted into the underlying base table and the statement was written to the binary log. As of MySQL 5.1.51 and 5.5.6, nothing is inserted or logged.

To ensure that the binary log can be used to re-create the original tables, MySQL does not permit concurrent inserts during CREATE TABLE ... SELECT.