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Requirements and limitations


  • You will need to have one server serving Row Based Replication (RBR) format binary logs. Right now FULL row image is supported. MINIMAL to be supported in the near future. gh-ost prefers to work with replicas. You may still have your master configured with Statement Based Replication (SBR).

  • If you are using a replica, the table must have an identical schema between the master and replica.

  • gh-ost requires an account with these privileges:

    • ALTER, CREATE, DELETE, DROP, INDEX, INSERT, LOCK TABLES, SELECT, TRIGGER, UPDATE on the database (schema) where your migrated table is, or of course on *.*
    • either:
      • SUPER, REPLICATION SLAVE on *.*, or:

The SUPER privilege is required for STOP SLAVE, START SLAVE operations. These are used on:

  • Switching your binlog_format to ROW, in the case where it is not ROW and you explicitly specified --switch-to-rbr

    • If your replication is already in RBR (binlog_format=ROW) you can specify --assume-rbr to avoid the STOP SLAVE/START SLAVE operations, hence no need for SUPER.
  • Running --test-on-replica: before the cut-over phase, gh-ost stops replication so that you can compare the two tables and satisfy that the migration is sound.


  • Foreign key constraints are not supported. They may be supported in the future, to some extent.

  • Triggers are not supported. They may be supported in the future.

  • MySQL 5.7 JSON columns are supported but not as part of PRIMARY KEY

  • The two before & after tables must share a PRIMARY KEY or other UNIQUE KEY. This key will be used by gh-ost to iterate through the table rows when copying. Read more

    • The migration key must not include columns with NULL values. This means either:
      1. The columns are NOT NULL, or
      2. The columns are nullable but don't contain any NULL values.
    • by default, gh-ost will not run if the only UNIQUE KEY includes nullable columns.
      • You may override this via --allow-nullable-unique-key but make sure there are no actual NULL values in those columns. Existing NULL values can't guarantee data integrity on the migrated table.
  • It is not allowed to migrate a table where another table exists with same name and different upper/lower case.

    • For example, you may not migrate MyTable if another table called MYtable exists in the same schema.
  • Amazon RDS works, but has its own limitations.

  • Google Cloud SQL works, --gcp flag required.

  • Aliyun RDS works, --aliyun-rds flag required.

  • Azure Database for MySQL works, --azure flag required, and have detailed document about it. (

  • Multisource is not supported when migrating via replica. It should work (but never tested) when connecting directly to master (--allow-on-master)

  • Master-master setup is only supported in active-passive setup. Active-active (where table is being written to on both masters concurrently) is unsupported. It may be supported in the future.

  • If you have an enum field as part of your migration key (typically the PRIMARY KEY), migration performance will be degraded and potentially bad. Read more

  • Migrating a FEDERATED table is unsupported and is irrelevant to the problem gh-ost tackles.

  • Encrypted binary logs are not supported.

  • ALTER TABLE ... RENAME TO some_other_name is not supported (and you shouldn't use gh-ost for such a trivial operation).