C.5.2.10 Packet Too Large

A communication packet is a single SQL statement sent to the MySQL server, a single row that is sent to the client, or a binary log event sent from a master replication server to a slave.

The largest possible packet that can be transmitted to or from a MySQL 5.5 server or client is 1GB.

When a MySQL client or the mysqld server receives a packet bigger than max_allowed_packet bytes, it issues an ER_NET_PACKET_TOO_LARGE error and closes the connection. With some clients, you may also get a Lost connection to MySQL server during query error if the communication packet is too large.

Both the client and the server have their own max_allowed_packet variable, so if you want to handle big packets, you must increase this variable both in the client and in the server.

If you are using the mysql client program, its default max_allowed_packet variable is 16MB. To set a larger value, start mysql like this:

shell> mysql --max_allowed_packet=32M

That sets the packet size to 32MB.

The server's default max_allowed_packet value is 1MB. You can increase this if the server needs to handle big queries (for example, if you are working with big BLOB columns). For example, to set the variable to 16MB, start the server like this:

shell> mysqld --max_allowed_packet=16M

You can also use an option file to set max_allowed_packet. For example, to set the size for the server to 16MB, add the following lines in an option file:

[mysqld]
max_allowed_packet=16M

It is safe to increase the value of this variable because the extra memory is allocated only when needed. For example, mysqld allocates more memory only when you issue a long query or when mysqld must return a large result row. The small default value of the variable is a precaution to catch incorrect packets between the client and server and also to ensure that you do not run out of memory by using large packets accidentally.

You can also get strange problems with large packets if you are using large BLOB values but have not given mysqld access to enough memory to handle the query. If you suspect this is the case, try adding ulimit -d 256000 to the beginning of the mysqld_safe script and restarting mysqld.