key_buffer_size

key_buffer_size – seems to equate to size of in memory buffer to hold indexes? anyway, the books seem to favour this one to be set to as much as you can give it

can ‘tune’ what would be otherwise startup parameters specified as mysqld params, or else values as set in ‘my.cnf’ on the fly :

 

  mysql> show variables like "key_buffer_size";
  +-----------------+-----------+
  | Variable_name   | Value     |
  +-----------------+-----------+
  | key_buffer_size | 393216000 |
  +-----------------+-----------+
  1 row in set (0.01 sec)

  mysql>set global key_buffer_size=<val>

where val is the required byte value

you can set the amount of memory used by mysql to be easily 50% of over all system but be carefull if exceeding limit as heavy swap use may be incurred

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