14.8 InnoDB File-Format Management

14.8.1 Enabling File Formats
14.8.2 Verifying File Format Compatibility
14.8.3 Identifying the File Format in Use
14.8.4 Downgrading the File Format
14.8.5 Future InnoDB File Formats

As InnoDB evolves, new on-disk data structures are sometimes required to support new features. Features such as compressed tables (see Section 14.7, “InnoDB Compressed Tables”), and long variable-length columns stored off-page (see Section 14.9, “InnoDB Row Storage and Row Formats”) require data file formats that are not compatible with prior versions of InnoDB. These features both require use of the new Barracuda file format.


All other new features are compatible with the original Antelope file format and do not require the Barracuda file format.

This section discusses enabling file formats for new InnoDB tables, verifying compatibility of different file formats between MySQL releases, identifying the file format in use, downgrading the file format, and file format names that may be used in the future.

Named File Formats.  InnoDB uses named file formats to help manage compatibility in upgrade and downgrade situations, or heterogeneous systems running different levels of MySQL. Currently, Antelope and Barracuda file formats are supported. Barracuda is the newest file format. It supports important InnoDB features such as compressed tables and the DYNAMIC row format for more efficient BLOB storage. The original InnoDB file format, which previously did not have a name, is now known as Antelope. Future versions of InnoDB may introduce a series of file formats, identified with the names of animals, in ascending alphabetic order.