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Database systems


MySQL supports two UTF-8 variants:

  • utf8mb4: This is the full UTF-8 character set supported since MySQL 5.5
  • utf8: Also known as utf8mb3. This only supports the Basic Multilingual Plane of Unicode 3.0 and doesn't support 4-byte characters.
.. seealso::

In MySQL a character set is used on a per-column basis. A default characater set for new columns is set on a table level. And the default for tables is set on a database level.

.. todo:: Explain about setting defaults with ALTER DATABASE/TABLE/etc
.. todo:: Explain about conversions with MODIFY COLUMN / CONVERT TO..
.. todo:: Explain about connections (set unicode in connection string etc)


Unicode support is set on database level. There is a cluster level default.

To create a database with UTF-8 support: createdb -E utf8

To convert a non-unicode database to UTF-8 the recommended method is a dump/restore.

.. seealso::


.. todo:: Add more databases: DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.