Resolving MySQL Error 1162: Understanding and Fixing ‘max_allowed_packet’ Issues

Encountering Error 1162 in MySQL, denoted by the SQLSTATE code 42000, indicates that a string result is longer than the max_allowed_packet bytes. This error can arise in various scenarios, such as during a large data load or when retrieving a large row. Here’s how to understand and address this issue effectively.

Understanding max_allowed_packet

The max_allowed_packet variable in MySQL defines the maximum size of a packet or a generated/intermediate string that MySQL can handle. If a packet greater than this size is sent to or from the MySQL server, you will encounter Error 1162.

Diagnosing the Issue

First, check the current value of max_allowed_packet using the following command:

SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'max_allowed_packet';

The result will show the size in bytes. If the operations you are performing require sending packets larger than this size, you will need to increase it.

Fixing the Error

Temporary Fix

For a temporary fix, you can set the max_allowed_packet variable to a larger size at runtime. This can be done by executing the following command in the MySQL shell:

SET GLOBAL max_allowed_packet = <new_size>;

Replace <new_size> with the desired packet size in bytes. For example:

SET GLOBAL max_allowed_packet = 104857600; -- Sets max_allowed_packet to 100MB

Keep in mind that this change will only persist until the next server restart.

Permanent Fix

To permanently set the max_allowed_packet size, you need to update your MySQL configuration file (my.cnf or my.ini depending on your operating system).

  1. Locate the configuration file, which is typically found in /etc/my.cnf on Linux or C:\ProgramData\MySQL\MySQL Server x.x\my.ini on Windows.
  2. Open the file with a text editor and look for the [mysqld] section.
  3. Set the max_allowed_packet to a larger value as follows:
max_allowed_packet = 100M
  1. Save the file and restart your MySQL server for the changes to take effect:
sudo service mysql restart

Examples of Scenarios and Fixes

Example 1: Large Data Import

When importing large SQL dump files, you might exceed the max_allowed_packet size. To handle this, increase the max_allowed_packet size before performing the import:

mysql --max_allowed_packet=100M -u username -p database_name < dump.sql

Example 2: Large BLOB Data Retrieval

If you’re retrieving large BLOB data from the database, ensure your max_allowed_packet is sufficiently large to handle the data. Adjust the max_allowed_packet as shown earlier before executing your query.

Example 3: Replication Issues

Replication may fail with Error 1162 if the master’s max_allowed_packet is larger than the slave’s. Ensure both the master and slave servers have the same max_allowed_packet size set.


By understanding what max_allowed_packet is and how to adjust it, you can resolve Error 1162 in MySQL. Remember to size your max_allowed_packet appropriately for your workload and to apply the changes both temporarily and permanently as needed. With these steps, you should be able to diagnose and fix the ER_TOO_LONG_STRING issue in MySQL effectively.

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