Aug 2, 2017

Recovering MySQL replication after error 1236

Error 1236 looks like this from SHOW SLAVE STATUS:

Last_IO_Error: Got fatal error 1236 from master when reading data from binary log: ‘Client requested master to start replication from position > file size’

In other words, the replica is requesting data at a certain point in the log (its current position), but the master’s log file doesn’t reach that point (so there are missing entries). Replication stops because because this is a logic error: if a replica is caught up to X, then the master must have been at at least X, but it’s not! One reason why this may happen is if MySQL hasn’t flushed all of the data in the binlog to disk.

When might MySQL do that? When sync_binlog = 0. Read more about that variable in the MySQL docs.


Here’s what you’ll notice when you get error 1236.

First, take a look at the following fields from SHOW SLAVE STATUS on the replica.

Master_Log_File: mysql-bin.001025
Read_Master_Log_Pos: 159997610 šŸ‘ˆ

Then take a look at the data directory (or binlog directory) on the master and look for the binlogs.

# On the master
-rw-r-----  1 mysql mysql   152760218 Aug  3 00:31 mysql-bin.001025
-rw-r-----  1 mysql mysql  1073787553 Aug  3 00:51 mysql-bin.001026

Notice how the replica wants to be at position 159997610 in the mysql-bin.001025 binlog file, but the file is only 152760218 bytes long on the master.

Also notice that there’s an additional binlog file in the sequence: mysql-bin.001026.


In order to get replication started again, you need to point the replica to read from the beginning of the new binlog file.

To do that, run CHANGE MASTER TO with the new binlog file name and a starting offset of 4.

# On the replica

Note that unchanged values stay the same.

Answers to potential questions

Why is it safe to use the next binlog file?

You probably ran into this error after the master crashed. MySQL creates a new binlog file every time it starts, so the new log file is the next valid starting point.

From the MySQL docs:

mysqld appends a numeric extension to the binary log base name to generate binary log file names. The number increases each time the server creates a new log file, thus creating an ordered series of files. The server creates a new file in the series each time it starts or flushes the logs. The server also creates a new binary log file automatically after the current log’s size reaches max_binlog_size. A binary log file may become larger than max_binlog_size if you are using large transactions because a transaction is written to the file in one piece, never split between files.

Will I lose any data?

(Assuming sync_binlog = 0.)

Maybe. If your replica was all caught up before the master crashed, then you probably didn’t lose much data (if at all). If your replica was not caught up and didn’t manage to pull the missing binlog records… yes, you probably lost data. But that’s one of the risks of using sync_binlog = 0.

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