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Section: MySQL Database System (1)
Updated: 01/16/2015
Index Return to Main Contents


mysqlshow - display database, table, and column information  


mysqlshow [options] [db_name [tbl_name [col_name]]]


The mysqlshow client can be used to quickly see which databases exist, their tables, or a table's columns or indexes.

mysqlshow provides a command-line interface to several SQL SHOW statements. See Section 13.7.5, lqSHOW Syntaxrq. The same information can be obtained by using those statements directly. For example, you can issue them from the mysql client program.

Invoke mysqlshow like this:

shell> mysqlshow [options] [db_name [tbl_name [col_name]]]

* If no database is given, a list of database names is shown.

* If no table is given, all matching tables in the database are shown.

* If no column is given, all matching columns and column types in the table are shown.

The output displays only the names of those databases, tables, or columns for which you have some privileges.

If the last argument contains shell or SQL wildcard characters (lq*rq, lq?rq, lq%rq, or lq_rq), only those names that are matched by the wildcard are shown. If a database name contains any underscores, those should be escaped with a backslash (some Unix shells require two) to get a list of the proper tables or columns. lq*rq and lq?rq characters are converted into SQL lq%rq and lq_rq wildcard characters. This might cause some confusion when you try to display the columns for a table with a lq_rq in the name, because in this case, mysqlshow shows you only the table names that match the pattern. This is easily fixed by adding an extra lq%rq last on the command line as a separate argument.

mysqlshow supports the following options, which can be specified on the command line or in the [mysqlshow] and [client] groups of an option file. For information about option files used by MySQL programs, see Section 4.2.6, lqUsing Option Filesrq.

* --help, -?

Display a help message and exit.

* --bind-address=ip_address

On a computer having multiple network interfaces, use this option to select which interface to use for connecting to the MySQL server.

This option is supported beginning with MySQL 5.6.1.

* --character-sets-dir=path

The directory where character sets are installed. See Section 10.5, lqCharacter Set Configurationrq.

* --compress, -C

Compress all information sent between the client and the server if both support compression.

* --count

Show the number of rows per table. This can be slow for non-MyISAM tables.

* --debug[=debug_options], -# [debug_options]

Write a debugging log. A typical debug_options string is d:t:o,file_name. The default is d:t:o.

* --debug-check

Print some debugging information when the program exits.

* --debug-info

Print debugging information and memory and CPU usage statistics when the program exits.

* --default-character-set=charset_name

Use charset_name as the default character set. See Section 10.5, lqCharacter Set Configurationrq.

* --default-auth=plugin

The client-side authentication plugin to use. See Section 6.3.7, lqPluggable Authenticationrq.

This option was added in MySQL 5.6.2.

* --defaults-extra-file=file_name

Read this option file after the global option file but (on Unix) before the user option file. If the file does not exist or is otherwise inaccessible, an error occurs. file_name is interpreted relative to the current directory if given as a relative path name rather than a full path name.

* --defaults-file=file_name

Use only the given option file. If the file does not exist or is otherwise inaccessible, an error occurs. file_name is interpreted relative to the current directory if given as a relative path name rather than a full path name.

* --defaults-group-suffix=str

Read not only the usual option groups, but also groups with the usual names and a suffix of str. For example, mysqlshow normally reads the [client] and [mysqlshow] groups. If the --defaults-group-suffix=_other option is given, mysqlshow also reads the [client_other] and [mysqlshow_other] groups.

* --host=host_name, -h host_name

Connect to the MySQL server on the given host.

* --keys, -k

Show table indexes.

* --login-path=name

Read options from the named login path in the .mylogin.cnf login file. A lqlogin pathrq is an option group that permits only a limited set of options: host, user, and password. Think of a login path as a set of values that indicate the server host and the credentials for authenticating with the server. To create the login path file, use the mysql_config_editor utility. See mysql_config_editor(1). This option was added in MySQL 5.6.6.

* --no-defaults

Do not read any option files. If program startup fails due to reading unknown options from an option file, --no-defaults can be used to prevent them from being read.

The exception is that the .mylogin.cnf file, if it exists, is read in all cases. This permits passwords to be specified in a safer way than on the command line even when --no-defaults is used. (.mylogin.cnf is created by the mysql_config_editor utility. See mysql_config_editor(1).)

* --password[=password], -p[password]

The password to use when connecting to the server. If you use the short option form (-p), you cannot have a space between the option and the password. If you omit the password value following the --password or -p option on the command line, mysqlshow prompts for one.

Specifying a password on the command line should be considered insecure. See Section, lqEnd-User Guidelines for Password Securityrq. You can use an option file to avoid giving the password on the command line.

* --pipe, -W

On Windows, connect to the server using a named pipe. This option applies only if the server supports named-pipe connections.

* --plugin-dir=path

The directory in which to look for plugins. It may be necessary to specify this option if the --default-auth option is used to specify an authentication plugin but mysqlshow does not find it. See Section 6.3.7, lqPluggable Authenticationrq.

This option was added in MySQL 5.6.2.

* --port=port_num, -P port_num

The TCP/IP port number to use for the connection.

* --print-defaults

Print the program name and all options that it gets from option files.


The connection protocol to use for connecting to the server. It is useful when the other connection parameters normally would cause a protocol to be used other than the one you want. For details on the permissible values, see Section 4.2.2, lqConnecting to the MySQL Serverrq.

* --secure-auth

Do not send passwords to the server in old (pre-4.1) format. This prevents connections except for servers that use the newer password format. This option is enabled by default; use --skip-secure-auth to disable it. This option was added in MySQL 5.6.17.

Passwords that use the pre-4.1 hashing method are less secure than passwords that use the native password hashing method and should be avoided. Pre-4.1 passwords are deprecated and support for them will be removed in a future MySQL release. For account upgrade instructions, see Section, lqMigrating Away from Pre-4.1 Password Hashing and the mysql_old_password Pluginrq.

* --shared-memory-base-name=name

On Windows, the shared-memory name to use, for connections made using shared memory to a local server. The default value is MYSQL. The shared-memory name is case sensitive.

The server must be started with the --shared-memory option to enable shared-memory connections.

* --show-table-type, -t

Show a column indicating the table type, as in SHOW FULL TABLES. The type is BASE TABLE or VIEW.

* --socket=path, -S path

For connections to localhost, the Unix socket file to use, or, on Windows, the name of the named pipe to use.

* --ssl*

Options that begin with --ssl specify whether to connect to the server using SSL and indicate where to find SSL keys and certificates. See Section, lqSSL Command Optionsrq.

* --status, -i

Display extra information about each table.

* --user=user_name, -u user_name

The MySQL user name to use when connecting to the server.

* --verbose, -v

Verbose mode. Print more information about what the program does. This option can be used multiple times to increase the amount of information.

* --version, -V

Display version information and exit.



Copyright © 1997, 2015, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

This documentation is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it only under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

This documentation is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with the program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA or see



For more information, please refer to the MySQL Reference Manual, which may already be installed locally and which is also available online at  


Oracle Corporation (




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