MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 7.5 and NDB Cluster 7.6 myisamchk Memory Usage

Memory allocation is important when you run myisamchk. myisamchk uses no more memory than its memory-related variables are set to. If you are going to use myisamchk on very large tables, you should first decide how much memory you want it to use. The default is to use only about 3MB to perform repairs. By using larger values, you can get myisamchk to operate faster. For example, if you have more than 512MB RAM available, you could use options such as these (in addition to any other options you might specify):

myisamchk --myisam_sort_buffer_size=256M \
           --key_buffer_size=512M \
           --read_buffer_size=64M \
           --write_buffer_size=64M ...

Using --myisam_sort_buffer_size=16M is probably enough for most cases.

Be aware that myisamchk uses temporary files in TMPDIR. If TMPDIR points to a memory file system, out of memory errors can easily occur. If this happens, run myisamchk with the --tmpdir=dir_name option to specify a directory located on a file system that has more space.

When performing repair operations, myisamchk also needs a lot of disk space:

If you have a problem with disk space during repair, you can try --safe-recover instead of --recover.