Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes Webinar: Q&A

Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes

Troubleshooting MySQL CrashesIn this blog, I will provide answers to the Q & A for the Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes webinar.

First, I want to thank everybody for attending our January 25, 2018, webinar. The recording and slides for the webinar are available here. Below is the list of your questions that I was unable to answer fully during the webinar.

Q: I have the 600 seconds “Long semaphore wait” assertion failure / crashing issue following DDL queries, sometimes on the master, sometimes just the slaves. Any hints for troubleshooting these? How can I understand what semaphore holding threads are doing?

A: These are hardest errors to troubleshoot. Especially because in some cases (like long-running


 commands) long semaphore waits could be expected and appropriate behavior. If you see long semaphore waits when performing DDL operations, it makes sense to consider using pt-online-schema-change or gh-ost utilities. Also, check the list of supported online DDL operations in the MySQL User Reference Manual.

But if you want to know how to analyze such messages, let’s check the output from page #17 in the slide deck used in the webinar:

2018-01-19T20:38:43.381127Z 0 [Warning] InnoDB: A long semaphore wait:
--Thread 139970010412800 has waited at line 3454 for 321.00 seconds the semaphore:
S-lock on RW-latch at 0x7f4dde2ea310 created in file line 1453
a writer (thread id 139965530261248) has reserved it in mode exclusive
number of readers 0, waiters flag 1, lock_word: fffffffff0000000
Last time read locked in file line 3454
Last time write locked in file /mnt/workspace/percona-server-5.7-binaries-release/label_exp/
debian-wheezy-x64/percona-server-5.7.14-8/storage/innobase/btr/ line 177
2018-01-19T20:38:43.381143Z 0 [Warning] InnoDB: A long semaphore wait:
--Thread 139965135804160 has waited at line 4196 for 321.00 seconds the semaphore:
S-lock on RW-latch at 0x7f4f257d33c0 created in file line 353
a writer (thread id 139965345621760) has reserved it in mode exclusive
number of readers 0, waiters flag 1, lock_word: 0
Last time read locked in file line 4196
Last time write locked in file ...

The line

--Thread 139970010412800 has waited at line 3454 for 321.00 seconds the semaphore:

Shows that some transaction was waiting for a semaphore. The code responsible for this wait is located on line 3454 in file

. I received this crash when I ran Percona Server for MySQL version 5.7.14-8. Therefore, to check what this code is doing, I need to use Percona Server 5.7.14-8 source code:

[email protected]:~/mysql_packages/percona-server-5.7.14-8$ vim storage/innobase/ibuf/
3454 btr_pcur_open(ibuf->index, ibuf_entry, PAGE_CUR_LE, mode, &pcur, &mtr);

A few lines above in the same file contain function definition and comment:

3334 /** Buffer an operation in the insert/delete buffer, instead of doing it
3335 directly to the disk page, if this is possible.
3336 @param[in] mode BTR_MODIFY_PREV or BTR_MODIFY_TREE
3337 @param[in] op operation type
3338 @param[in] no_counter TRUE=use 5.0.3 format; FALSE=allow delete
3339 buffering
3340 @param[in] entry index entry to insert
3341 @param[in] entry_size rec_get_converted_size(index, entry)
3342 @param[in,out] index index where to insert; must not be unique
3343 or clustered
3344 @param[in] page_id page id where to insert
3345 @param[in] page_size page size
3346 @param[in,out] thr query thread
3347 @return DB_SUCCESS, DB_STRONG_FAIL or other error */
3348 static MY_ATTRIBUTE((warn_unused_result))
3349 dberr_t
3350 ibuf_insert_low(
3351 ulint mode,
3352 ibuf_op_t op,
3353 ibool no_counter,
3354 const dtuple_t* entry,
3355 ulint entry_size,
3356 dict_index_t* index,
3357 const page_id_t& page_id,
3358 const page_size_t& page_size,
3359 que_thr_t* thr)
3360 {

The first line of the comment gives us an idea that InnoDB tries to insert data into change buffer.

Now, let’s check the next line from the error log file:

S-lock on RW-latch at 0x7f4dde2ea310 created in file line 1453
[email protected]:~/mysql_packages/percona-server-5.7.14-8$ vim storage/innobase/buf/
1446 /* If PFS_SKIP_BUFFER_MUTEX_RWLOCK is defined, skip registration
1447 of buffer block rwlock with performance schema.
1449 If PFS_GROUP_BUFFER_SYNC is defined, skip the registration
1450 since buffer block rwlock will be registered later in
1451 pfs_register_buffer_block(). */
1453 rw_lock_create(PFS_NOT_INSTRUMENTED, &block->lock, SYNC_LEVEL_VARYING);

And again let’s check what this function is doing:

1402 /********************************************************************//**
1403 Initializes a buffer control block when the buf_pool is created. */
1404 static
1405 void
1406 buf_block_init(

Even without knowledge of how InnoDB works internally, by reading only these comments I can guess that a thread waits for some global InnoDB lock when it tries to insert data into change buffer. The solution for this issue could be either disabling change buffer, limiting write concurrency, upgrading or using a software solution that allows you to scale writes.

Q: For the page cleaner messages, when running app using replication we didn’t get them. After switching to PXC we started getting them. Something we should look at particular to PXC to help resolve this?

A: Page cleaner messages could be a symptom of starving IO activity. You need to compare Percona XtraDB Cluster (PXC) and standalone server installation and check how exactly the write load increased.

Q: Hi, I have one question, we have a query we were joining on 




 fields that is causing system locks and high CPU alerts and causing a lot of system locks, can you please suggest how can we able to make it work? Can you please send the answer in a text I missed some information?

A: If you are joining on




 fields you most likely don’t use indexes. This means that InnoDB has to perform a full table scan. It increases IO and CPU activity by itself, but also increases the number of locks that InnoDB has to set to resolve the query. Even if you have partial indexes on the 




 columns, mysqld has to compare full values for the equation, so it cannot use index only to resolve


 clause. It is a best practice to avoid such kinds of


s. You can use surrogate integer keys, for example.

Q: Hi, please notice that “MySQL server has gone away” is the worst one, in my opinion, and there was no mention about that ….can you share some tips on this? Thank you.
Both MySQL from Oracle and Percona error log does not help on that, by the way …


MySQL Server has gone away

” error maybe the result of a crash. In this case, you need to handle it like any other crash symptom. But in most cases, this is a symptom of network failure. Unfortunately, MySQL doesn’t have much information why connection failures happen. Probably because, from mysqld’s point of view, a problematic network only means that the client unexpectedly disconnected after a timeout, and the client still waiting for a response receives “

MySQL Server has gone away

”. I discussed these kinds of errors in my  “Troubleshooting hardware resource usage” webinar. A good practice for situations when you see this kind of error often is don’t leave idle connections open for a long time.

Q: I see that a lot of work is doing hard investigation about some possibilities of what is going wrong….is there a plan at development roadmap on improve error log output messages? If you can comment on that …

A: Percona Engineering does a lot for better diagnostics. For example, Percona Server for MySQL has an extended slow log file format, and Percona Server for MySQL 5.7.20 introduced a new


  variable that allows log information about all InnoDB lock wait timeout errors (manual). More importantly, it logs not only blocked transaction, but also locking transaction. This feature was requested at lp:1657737 for one of our Percona Support customers and is now implemented

Oracle MySQL Engineering team also does a lot for better error logging. The start of these improvements happened in version 5.7.2, when variable log_error_verbosity was introduced. Version 8.0.4 added much better tuning control. You can read about it in the Release Notes.

Q: Hello, you do you using strace to find what exactly table have problems in case there is not clear information in mysql error log?

A: I am not a big fan of


 when debugging mysqld crashes, but Percona Support certainly uses this tool. I myself prefer to work with


 when debugging client issues, such as trying to identify why Percona XtraBackup behaves incorrectly.

Thanks everybody for attending the webinar. You can find the slides and recording of the webinar at the Troubleshooting MySQL Crashes web page.

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