14.8.1 Enabling File Formats

The innodb_file_format configuration parameter defines the file format to use for new InnoDB tables. This parameter is only applicable for tables that have their own tablespace, and therefore requires that innodb_file_per_table be enabled.

The innodb_file_format parameter currently supports Antelope and Barracuda file formats. To create new tables that take advantage of features supported by the Barracuda file format, such as table compression or the new DYNAMIC row format, set innodb_file_format to BARRACUDA.

To preclude the use of new features supported by the Barracuda file format that would make your database inaccessible to the built-in InnoDB in MySQL 5.1 and prior releases, omit innodb_file_format or set it to Antelope.

You can set the value of innodb_file_format on the command line when you start mysqld, or in the option file my.cnf (Unix operating systems) or my.ini (Windows). You can also change it dynamically with the SET GLOBAL statement.

mysql> SET GLOBAL innodb_file_format=BARRACUDA;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
    

Although Oracle recommends using the Barracuda format for new tables where practical, in MySQL 5.5 the default file format is still Antelope, for maximum compatibility with replication configurations containing different MySQL releases.