MySQL Commands

You’ve already seen the SHOW command, which lists tables, databases, and many other items. The commands you’ll use most often are listed in following table.

Command Parameters Meaning
ALTER DATABASE, TABLE Alter DATABASE or TABLE
BACKUP TABLE Back up TABLE
\C   Cancel Input
CREATE DATABASE, TABLE Create DATABASE or TABLE
DELETE (expression with TABLE & ROW) Create ROW from TABLE
DESCRIBE TABLE Describe the TABLE’S columns
DROP DATABASE,TABLE Delete DATABASE or TABLE
EXIT (CTRL-C)   Exit
GRANT (user details) Change user privileges
HELP (\h, \?) item Display help on item
INSERT (expression with data) Insert data
LOCK TABLE(s) Lock TABLE(s)
QUIT (\q)   Same as EXIT
RENAME TABLE Rename TABLE
SHOW (too many items to list) List item’s details
SOURCE filename Execute commands from filename
STATUS (\s)   Display current status
TRUNCATE TABLE Empty TABLE
UNLOCK table(s) Unlock TABLE(s)
UPDATE (expression with data) Update an existing record
USE database Use database

We’ll cover most of these as we proceed, but first, you need to remember a couple of points about MySQL commands:

• SQL commands and keywords are case-insensitive. CREATE, create, and CrEaTe all mean the same thing. However, for the sake of clarity, the recommended style is to use uppercase.
• Table names are case-sensitive on Linux and Mac OS X, but case-insensitive on Windows. So for portability purposes, you should always choose a case and stick to it. The recommended style is to use lowercase for tables.