How to Diagnose and Fix MySQL Error 1019: “Can’t change dir to ‘%s’ (errno: %d)”

Encountering Error 1019 in MySQL can be a stumbling block when you’re trying to set the working directory for the database server. This error message is an indication that MySQL is having trouble changing to the specified directory. There are several reasons why this might happen, and understanding them can help you resolve the issue effectively. Let’s explore the possible causes and their solutions.

Scenario 1: Directory Does Not Exist

The error might occur if the directory you’re trying to set as the working directory doesn’t exist.

Check if the directory exists by using the ls command in Linux or dir command in Windows.

Create the missing directory using the mkdir command in Linux or md command in Windows. For example:

mkdir /path/to/your/directory

Scenario 2: Incorrect Permissions

MySQL might lack the necessary permissions to access the directory.

Check the directory permissions using ls -ld /path/to/your/directory on Linux or icacls on Windows.

Change the permissions to allow MySQL access. For Linux:

sudo chmod -R 755 /path/to/your/directory

For Windows:

icacls "C:\path\to\your\directory" /grant "MySQLUser":(F)

Replace “MySQLUser” with the actual username that MySQL runs under.

Scenario 3: SELinux or AppArmor Restrictions

On systems with SELinux or AppArmor, these security modules might be preventing MySQL from accessing the directory.

Check the SELinux or AppArmor logs for any denied access messages.

Adjust the SELinux or AppArmor policies to allow MySQL to access the directory. For SELinux, this might involve setting the proper context:

semanage fcontext -a -t mysqld_db_t "/path/to/your/directory(/.*)?"
restorecon -Rv /path/to/your/directory

Scenario 4: Incorrect Ownership

The directory might be owned by a different user than the one running the MySQL process.

Check ownership with ls -ld /path/to/your/directory.

Change the ownership to the MySQL user. For example:

sudo chown -R mysql:mysql /path/to/your/directory

Scenario 5: Configuration File Errors

The MySQL configuration file (my.cnf or my.ini) might contain incorrect paths for the data directory or other directories.

Inspect the configuration file for any incorrect directory settings.

Correct the paths in the configuration file and restart the MySQL service.

Scenario 6: Filesystem Issues

Filesystem corruption or disk errors can also cause this issue.

Check the filesystem health using tools like fsck for Linux or chkdsk for Windows.

Repair the filesystem or disk errors as recommended by the tool’s output.


MySQL Error 1019 can be a result of various issues ranging from non-existent directories, permission problems, security module restrictions, incorrect ownership, configuration errors, to filesystem issues. By following the diagnosis steps and applying the corresponding fixes, you should be able to resolve the error and get MySQL running smoothly again.

Always ensure you have proper backups before making changes to your system or MySQL configuration. If the problem persists, consider seeking additional help from the MySQL community or professional support services. For more detailed information on MySQL errors, you can refer to resources like the MySQL Error Reference.

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