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Migrate Data from MariaDB to TiDB

This document describes how to migrate data from a MariaDB server installation to a TiDB cluster.


Choose the right migration strategy:

Besides these two strategies, there might be other strategies available specifically to your situation. For example:

  • Use the functionality of your Object Relational Mapping (ORM) to re-deploy and migrate your data.
  • Modify your application to write from both MariaDB and TiDB while the migration is ongoing.

This document only covers the first two strategies.

Prepare the following based on the strategy you choose:

Check compatibility

TiDB is compatible with MySQL, and MySQL and MariaDB have a lot of functionality in common. However, there might be MariaDB-specific features that might not be compatible with TiDB that you should be aware of before migrating.

Besides checking the items in this section, it is recommended that you also check the Compatibility & Differences in the MariaDB documentation.


The Security Compatibility with MySQL document lists authentication methods that TiDB supports. TiDB does not support a few authentication methods in MariaDB. This means that you might have to create a new password hash for the account or take other specific measures.

To check what authentication methods are used, you can run the following statement:

SELECT plugin, COUNT(*) FROM mysql.user GROUP BY plugin;
+-----------------------+----------+ | plugin | COUNT(*) | +-----------------------+----------+ | mysql_native_password | 11 | +-----------------------+----------+ 1 row in set (0.002 sec)

System-versioned tables

TiDB does not support system-versioned tables. However, TiDB does support AS OF TIMESTAMP which might replace some of the use cases of system-versioned tables.

You can check for affected tables with the following statement:

+--------------+------------+ | TABLE_SCHEMA | TABLE_NAME | +--------------+------------+ | test | t | +--------------+------------+ 1 row in set (0.005 sec)

To remove system versioning, execute the ALTER TABLE statement:

MariaDB [test]> ALTER TABLE t DROP SYSTEM VERSIONING; Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.071 sec) Records: 0 Duplicates: 0 Warnings: 0


Both MariaDB and TiDB support CREATE SEQUENCE. However, it is currently not supported by DM. It is recommended that you do not create, modify, or remove sequences during the migration and test this specifically after migration.

To check if you are using sequences, execute the following statement:

+--------------+------------+ | TABLE_SCHEMA | TABLE_NAME | +--------------+------------+ | test | s1 | +--------------+------------+ 1 row in set (0.016 sec)

Storage engines

MariaDB offers storage engines for local data such as InnoDB, MyISAM and Aria. While the data format is not directly supported by TiDB, migrating these works fine. However, some engines place data outside of the server, such as the CONNECT storage engine and Spider. While you can migrate such tables to TiDB, TiDB does not provide the functionality to store data outside of the TiDB cluster.

To check what storage engines you are using, execute the following statement:

SELECT ENGINE, COUNT(*) FROM information_schema.tables GROUP BY ENGINE;
+--------------------+----------+ | ENGINE | COUNT(*) | +--------------------+----------+ | NULL | 101 | | Aria | 38 | | CSV | 2 | | InnoDB | 6 | | MEMORY | 67 | | MyISAM | 1 | | PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA | 81 | +--------------------+----------+ 7 rows in set (0.009 sec)


MariaDB supports the RETURNING keyword for DELETE, INSERT, and REPLACE statements. TiDB does not support them. You might want to look into your application and query logging to see if it affects your migration.

Data types

MariaDB supports some data types that TiDB does not support, such as UUID, INET4, and INET6.

To check for these datatypes, execute the following statement:

+--------------+------------+-------------+-----------+ | TABLE_SCHEMA | TABLE_NAME | COLUMN_NAME | DATA_TYPE | +--------------+------------+-------------+-----------+ | test | u1 | u | uuid | | test | u1 | i4 | inet4 | | test | u1 | i6 | inet6 | +--------------+------------+-------------+-----------+ 3 rows in set (0.026 sec)

Character set and collation

TiDB does not support the latin1_swedish_ci collation that is often used in MariaDB.

To see what collations TiDB supports, execute this statement on TiDB:

+--------------------+---------+-----+---------+----------+---------+ | Collation | Charset | Id | Default | Compiled | Sortlen | +--------------------+---------+-----+---------+----------+---------+ | ascii_bin | ascii | 65 | Yes | Yes | 1 | | binary | binary | 63 | Yes | Yes | 1 | | gbk_bin | gbk | 87 | | Yes | 1 | | gbk_chinese_ci | gbk | 28 | Yes | Yes | 1 | | latin1_bin | latin1 | 47 | Yes | Yes | 1 | | utf8_bin | utf8 | 83 | Yes | Yes | 1 | | utf8_general_ci | utf8 | 33 | | Yes | 1 | | utf8_unicode_ci | utf8 | 192 | | Yes | 1 | | utf8mb4_0900_ai_ci | utf8mb4 | 255 | | Yes | 1 | | utf8mb4_0900_bin | utf8mb4 | 309 | | Yes | 1 | | utf8mb4_bin | utf8mb4 | 46 | Yes | Yes | 1 | | utf8mb4_general_ci | utf8mb4 | 45 | | Yes | 1 | | utf8mb4_unicode_ci | utf8mb4 | 224 | | Yes | 1 | +--------------------+---------+-----+---------+----------+---------+ 13 rows in set (0.0012 sec)

To check what collations the columns of your current tables are using, you can use this statement:

+--------------------+--------------------+----------+ | TABLE_SCHEMA | COLLATION_NAME | COUNT(*) | +--------------------+--------------------+----------+ | sys | NULL | 562 | | test | NULL | 14 | | mysql | NULL | 84 | | performance_schema | NULL | 892 | | information_schema | NULL | 421 | | mysql | latin1_swedish_ci | 34 | | performance_schema | utf8mb3_bin | 38 | | mysql | utf8mb3_bin | 61 | | sys | utf8mb3_bin | 40 | | information_schema | utf8mb3_general_ci | 375 | | performance_schema | utf8mb3_general_ci | 244 | | sys | utf8mb3_general_ci | 386 | | mysql | utf8mb3_general_ci | 67 | | mysql | utf8mb4_bin | 8 | +--------------------+--------------------+----------+ 14 rows in set (0.045 sec)

See also Character Set and Collation.

Dump data with Dumpling and restore data with TiDB Lightning

This method assumes that you take your application offline, migrate the data, and then re-configure your application to use the migrated data.

Perform the following steps to migrate data from MariaDB to TiDB:

  1. Stop your application. Take your application offline. This ensures there are no modifications made to the data in MariaDB during or after the migration.

  2. Dump data in MariaDB with the tiup dumpling command.

    tiup dumpling --port 3306 --host --user root --password secret -F 256MB -o /data/backup
  3. Restore the data by using the tiup tidb-lightning command. For more information about how to configure TiDB Lightning and how to run it, see Get Started with TiDB Lightning.

  4. Migrate user accounts and permissions. For more information about how to migrate your users and permissions, see Export users and grants.

  5. Reconfigure your application. You need to change the application configuration so that it can connect to the TiDB server.

  6. Clean up. Once you have verified that the migration is successful you can make a final backup of the data in MariaDB and stop the server. This also means you can remove tools such as TiUP, Dumpling, and TiDB Lightning.

Replicate data with DM

This method assumes you would set up replication, stop your application and wait for the replication to catch up, and then re-configure your application to use TiDB.

To use DM, you need to deploy a set of DM services either with a TiUP cluster or with TiDB Operator. After that, use dmctl to configure the DM services.

Step 1. Prepare

Make sure that binlogs are enabled on MariaDB and that the binlog_format is set to ROW. It is also recommended to set binlog_annotate_row_events=OFF and log_bin_compress=OFF.

You also need an account with the SUPER permission or with the BINLOG MONITOR and REPLICATION MASTER ADMIN permissions. This account also needs read permission for the schemas you are going to migrate.

If you are not using an account with the SUPER permission, then you might have to add the following to the DM configuration, because TiDB does not yet know how to check for MariaDB specific permissions.

ignore-checking-items: ["replication_privilege"]

Before you use DM to migrate data from upstream to downstream, a precheck helps detect errors in the upstream database configurations and ensures that the migration goes smoothly. For more information, see Migration Task Precheck

Step 2. Replicate data

Follow the Quick Start Guide for TiDB Data Migration to replicate your data from MariaDB to TiDB.

Note that it is not required to first copy the initial data as you would do with MariaDB to MariaDB replication, DM will do this for you.

Step 3. Migrate user accounts and permissions

See Export users and grants for how to migrate your users and permissions.

Step 4. Test your data

Once your data is replicated, you can run read-only queries on it to validate it. For more information, see Test your application.

Step 5. Switch over

To switch over to TiDB, you need to do the following:

  1. Stop your application.
  2. Monitor the replication delay, which should go to 0 seconds.
  3. Change the configuration of your application so that it connects to TiDB and start it again.

To check for replication delay, run query-status <taskname> via dmctl and check for "synced: true" in the subTaskStatus.

Step 6. Clean up

Once you have verified that the migration is successful, you can make a final backup of the data in MariaDB and stop the server. It also means you can stop and remove the DM cluster.

Export users and grants

You can use pt-show-grants. It is part of the Percona Toolkit to export users and grants from MariaDB and load these into TiDB.

Test your application

While it is possible to use generic tools such as sysbench for testing, it is highly recommended to test some specific features of your application. For example, run a copy of your application against a TiDB cluster with a temporary copy of your data.

Such a test makes sure your application compatibility and performance with TiDB is verified. You need to monitor the log files of your application and TiDB to see if there are any warnings that might need to be addressed. Make sure that the database driver that your application is using (for example MySQL Connector/J for Java based applications) is tested. You might want to use an application such as JMeter to put some load on your application if needed.

Validate data

You can use sync-diff-inspector to validate if the data in MariaDB and TiDB are identical.

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