You are viewing the documentation of an older version of the TiDB database (TiDB v3.0).

It is recommended that you use the latest LTS version of the TiDB database.

GC Configuration

The GC (Garbage Collection) configuration and operational status are recorded in the mysql.tidb system table. You can use SQL statements to query or modify them:

mysql> select VARIABLE_NAME, VARIABLE_VALUE from mysql.tidb;
| VARIABLE_NAME            | VARIABLE_VALUE                                                                                     |
| bootstrapped             | True                                                                                               |
| tidb_server_version      | 33                                                                                                 |
| system_tz                | UTC                                                                                                |
| tikv_gc_leader_uuid      | 5afd54a0ea40005                                                                                    |
| tikv_gc_leader_desc      | host:tidb-cluster-tidb-0, pid:215, start at 2019-07-15 11:09:14.029668932 +0000 UTC m=+0.463731223 |
| tikv_gc_leader_lease     | 20190715-12:12:14 +0000                                                                            |
| tikv_gc_enable           | true                                                                                               |
| tikv_gc_run_interval     | 10m0s                                                                                              |
| tikv_gc_life_time        | 10m0s                                                                                              |
| tikv_gc_last_run_time    | 20190715-12:09:14 +0000                                                                            |
| tikv_gc_safe_point       | 20190715-11:59:14 +0000                                                                            |
| tikv_gc_auto_concurrency | true                                                                                               |
| tikv_gc_mode             | distributed                                                                                        |
13 rows in set (0.00 sec)

For example, the following statement makes GC keep history data for the most recent 24 hours:

update mysql.tidb set VARIABLE_VALUE="24h" where VARIABLE_NAME="tikv_gc_life_time";

In addition to the following GC configuration parameters, the mysql.tidb system table also contains records that store the status of the storage components in a TiDB cluster, among which GC related ones are included, as listed below:

  • tikv_gc_leader_uuid, tikv_gc_leader_desc and tikv_gc_leader_lease: Records the information of the GC leader
  • tikv_gc_last_run_time: The duration of the previous GC
  • tikv_gc_safe_point: The safe point for the current GC


  • Enables or disables GC
  • Default: true


  • Specifies the GC interval, in the format of Go Duration, for example, "1h30m", and "15m"
  • Default: "10m0s"


  • The time limit during which data is retained for each GC, in the format of Go Duration. When a GC happens, the current time minus this value is the safe point.

  • Default: "10m0s"


    The value of tikv_gc_life_time must be greater than that of max-txn-time-use in the TiDB configuration file by at least 10 seconds, and must than or equal to 10 minutes.

    In scenarios of frequent updates, a large value (days or even months) for tikv_gc_life_time may cause potential issues, such as:

    • Larger storage use
    • A large amount of history data may affect performance to a certain degree, especially for range queries such as select count(*) from t


  • Specifies the GC mode. Possible values are:

    • "distributed" (default): Distributed GC mode. In the Do GC step, the GC leader on the TiDB side uploads the safe point to PD. Each TiKV node obtains the safe point respectively and performs GC on all leader Regions on the current node. This mode is is supported from TiDB 3.0.

    • "central": Central GC mode. In the Do GC step, the GC leader sends GC requests to all Regions. This mode is adopted by TiDB 2.1 or earlier versions.


  • Controls whether to let TiDB automatically specify the GC concurrency, or the maximum number of GC threads allowed concurrently.

    When tikv_gc_mode is set to "distributed", GC concurrency works in the Resolve Locks step. When tikv_gc_mode is set to "central", it is applied to both the Resolve Locks and Do GC steps.

    • true(default): Automatically use the number of TiKV nodes in the cluster as the GC concurrency
    • false: Use the value of tikv_gc_concurrency as the GC concurrency


  • Specifies the GC concurrency manually. This parameter works only when you set tikv_gc_auto_concurrency to false.
  • Default: 2

Notes on GC process changes

Since TiDB 3.0, some configuration options have changed with support for the distributed GC mode and concurrent Resolve Locks processing. The changes are shown in the following table:

Version/ConfigurationResolve LocksDo GC
tikv_gc_mode = centered
tikv_gc_auto_concurrency = false
tikv_gc_mode = centered
tikv_gc_auto_concurrency = true
tikv_gc_mode = distributed
tikv_gc_auto_concurrency = false
tikv_gc_mode = distributed
tikv_gc_auto_concurrency = true
  • Serial: requests are sent from TiDB Region by Region.
  • Concurrent: requests are sent to each Region concurrently based on the number of threads specified in the tikv_gc_concurrency.
  • Auto-concurrent: requests are sent to each Region concurrently with the number of TiKV nodes as concurrency value.
  • Distributed: no need for TiDB to send requests to TiKV to trigger GC because each TiKV handles GC on its own.

GC I/O limit

TiKV supports the GC I/O limit New in v3.0.6. You can configure gc.max-write-bytes-per-sec to limit writes of a GC worker per second, and thus to reduce the impact on normal requests.

0 indicates disabling this feature.

You can dynamically modify this configuration using tikv-ctl:

tikv-ctl --host=ip:port modify-tikv-config -m server -n gc.max_write_bytes_per_sec -v 10MB
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