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5.1.8 Server-Side Help

MySQL Server supports a HELP statement that returns information from the MySQL Reference manual (see Section 13.8.3, “HELP Syntax”). Several tables in the mysql system database contain the information needed to support this statement (see Section 5.3, “The mysql System Database”). The proper operation of this statement requires that these help tables be initialized, which is done by processing the contents of the fill_help_tables.sql script.

If you install MySQL using a binary or source distribution on Unix, help table content initialization occurs when you initialize the data directory (see Section 2.18.1, “Initializing the Data Directory”). For an RPM distribution on Linux or binary distribution on Windows, content initialization occurs as part of the MySQL installation process.

If you upgrade MySQL using a binary distribution, help table content is not upgraded automatically, but you can upgrade it manually. Locate the fill_help_tables.sql file in the share or share/mysql directory. Change location into that directory and process the file with the mysql client as follows:

shell> mysql -u root mysql < fill_help_tables.sql

You can also obtain the latest fill_help_tables.sql at any time to upgrade your help tables. Download the proper file for your version of MySQL from After downloading and uncompressing the file, process it with mysql as described previously.

If you are working with Bazaar and a MySQL development source tree, you must use a downloaded copy of the fill_help_tables.sql file because the source tree contains only a stub version.