MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 7.5 and NDB Cluster 7.6

14.9.2 InnoDB Page Compression

InnoDB supports page-level compression for tables that reside in file-per-table tablespaces. This feature is referred to as Transparent Page Compression. Page compression is enabled by specifying the COMPRESSION attribute with CREATE TABLE or ALTER TABLE. Supported compression algorithms include Zlib and LZ4.

Supported Platforms

Page compression requires sparse file and hole punching support. Page compression is supported on Windows with NTFS, and on the following subset of MySQL-supported Linux platforms where the kernel level provides hole punching support:


All of the available file systems for a given Linux distribution may not support hole punching.

How Page Compression Works

When a page is written, it is compressed using the specified compression algorithm. The compressed data is written to disk, where the hole punching mechanism releases empty blocks from the end of the page. If compression fails, data is written out as-is.

Hole Punch Size on Linux

On Linux systems, the file system block size is the unit size used for hole punching. Therefore, page compression only works if page data can be compressed to a size that is less than or equal to the InnoDB page size minus the file system block size. For example, if innodb_page_size=16K and the file system block size is 4K, page data must compress to less than or equal to 12K to make hole punching possible.

Hole Punch Size on Windows

On Windows systems, the underlying infrastructure for sparse files is based on NTFS compression. Hole punching size is the NTFS compression unit, which is 16 times the NTFS cluster size. Cluster sizes and their compression units are shown in the following table:

Table 14.9 Windows NTFS Cluster Size and Compression Units

Cluster Size Compression Unit
512 Bytes 8 KB
1 KB 16 KB
2 KB 32 KB
4 KB 64 KB

Page compression on Windows systems only works if page data can be compressed to a size that is less than or equal to the InnoDB page size minus the compression unit size.

The default NTFS cluster size is 4KB, for which the compression unit size is 64KB. This means that page compression has no benefit for an out-of-the box Windows NTFS configuration, as the maximum innodb_page_size is also 64KB.

For page compression to work on Windows, the file system must be created with a cluster size smaller than 4K, and the innodb_page_size must be at least twice the size of the compression unit. For example, for page compression to work on Windows, you could build the file system with a cluster size of 512 Bytes (which has a compression unit of 8KB) and initialize InnoDB with an innodb_page_size value of 16K or greater.

Enabling Page Compression

To enable page compression, specify the COMPRESSION attribute in the CREATE TABLE statement. For example:


You can also enable page compression in an ALTER TABLE statement. However, ALTER TABLE ... COMPRESSION only updates the tablespace compression attribute. Writes to the tablespace that occur after setting the new compression algorithm use the new setting, but to apply the new compression algorithm to existing pages, you must rebuild the table using OPTIMIZE TABLE.


Disabling Page Compression

To disable page compression, set COMPRESSION=None using ALTER TABLE. Writes to the tablespace that occur after setting COMPRESSION=None no longer use page compression. To uncompress existing pages, you must rebuild the table using OPTIMIZE TABLE after setting COMPRESSION=None.


Page Compression Metadata

Page compression metadata is found in the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.INNODB_SYS_TABLESPACES table, in the following columns:


On Unix-like systems, ls -l tablespace_name.ibd shows the apparent file size (equivalent to FILE_SIZE) in bytes. To view the actual amount of space allocated on disk (equivalent to ALLOCATED_SIZE), use du --block-size=1 tablespace_name.ibd. The --block-size=1 option prints the allocated space in bytes instead of blocks, so that it can be compared to ls -l output.

Use SHOW CREATE TABLE to view the current page compression setting (Zlib, Lz4, or None). A table may contain a mix of pages with different compression settings.

In the following example, page compression metadata for the employees table is retrieved from the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.INNODB_SYS_TABLESPACES table.

# Create the employees table with Zlib page compression

CREATE TABLE employees (
    emp_no      INT             NOT NULL,
    birth_date  DATE            NOT NULL,
    first_name  VARCHAR(14)     NOT NULL,
    last_name   VARCHAR(16)     NOT NULL,
    gender      ENUM ('M','F')  NOT NULL,  
    hire_date   DATE            NOT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY (emp_no)

# Insert data (not shown)
# Query page compression metadata in INFORMATION_SCHEMA.INNODB_SYS_TABLESPACES
*************************** 1. row ***************************
NAME: employees/employees
FILE_SIZE: 23068672

Page compression metadata for the employees table shows that the apparent file size is 23068672 bytes while the actual file size (with page compression) is 19415040 bytes. The file system block size is 4096 bytes, which is the block size used for hole punching.

Page Compression Limitations and Usage Notes