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MySql: What is Tablespace and why is it used?

Posted by: admin December 11, 2017 Leave a comment


While investigating an issue I came across this error,

30503 [ERROR] InnoDB: Attempted to open a previously opened tablespace. Previous tablespace mysql/innodb_index_stats uses space ID: 2 at filepath: ./mysql/innodb_index_stats.ibd. Cannot open tablespace Mydb/be_command_log which uses space ID: 2 at filepath: ./Mydb/be_command_log.ibd

After reading a bit about this issue I came to know that this is the known issue of mysql, https://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=68267

But my problem is, I don’t know much about how tablespace really works? and how is it useful?

As far as definition is concerned I read it from this link, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablespace but it does not give all the information.

Can someone share some detailed information about What are tablespaces and How do they work?

Note:- I am currently using v5.6.15



A data file that can hold data for one or more InnoDB tables and associated indexes.

There are many types of tablespaces based on the configuration w.r.t the information clubbing per table. These are,

a. System tablespace
b. File per tablespace
c. General tablespace

System tablespace contains,

  1. InnoDB data dictionary.
  2. DoubleWrite Buffer.
  3. Change buffer
  4. Undo Logs.

Apart from this it also contains,

  1. Tables &
  2. Index data

Associated file is .idbdata1

The innodb_file_per_table option, which is enabled by default in MySQL 5.6 and higher, allows tables to be created in file-per-table tablespaces, with a separate data file for each table. Enabling the innodb_file_per_table option makes available other MySQL features such as table compression and transportable tablespaces.

Associated file is .idbd

InnoDB introduced general tablespaces in MySQL 5.7.6. General tablespaces are shared tablespaces created using CREATE TABLESPACE syntax. They can be created outside of the MySQL data directory, are capable of holding multiple tables, and support tables of all row formats.


By default, InnoDB contains only one tablespace called the system tablespace whose identifier is 0. More tablespaces can be created indirectly using the innodb_file_per_table configuration parameter. A tablespace consists of a chain of files. The size of the files does not have to be divisible by the database block size, because we may just leave the last incomplete block unused. When a new file is appended to the tablespace, the maximum size of the file is also specified. At the moment, we think that it is best to extend the file to its maximum size already at the creation of the file, because then we can avoid dynamically extending the file when more space is needed for the tablespace. Data files are dynamically extended, but redo log files are pre-allocated. Also, as already mentioned earlier, only the system tablespace can have more than one data file. It is also clearly mentioned that even though the tablespace can have multiple files, they are thought of as one single large file concatenated together. So the order of files within the tablespace is important.

From https://blogs.oracle.com/mysqlinnodb/entry/data_organization_in_innodb


MySQL Innodb TableSpace is a location where the data resides in the disk called data directory (By default “system tablespace”). Example:


From MySQL version 5.6.6, an user can create and specify the tablespace they want to store the data which enables throughput of data manipulation and recovery process. InnoDB’s file-per-table feature offers each tables to have separate .ibd data & index files which represents an individual general tablespace. So that each table in a database can point various locations of data directories.

Ex :



For more about the file-per-table tablespace, refer this mysql documentation.


sql clients shall only use sql objects and not be concerned with where the database server physically stores that information.

that’s why the concept of tablespace is needed. sql objects like table data goes into a tablespace from the point of view of the sql client.

The db server admins are now free to physically place the tablespace where they want it to go physically, the sql client programs still work.