I have a mysql server that is not under my control (I don't have ssh on that machine). I only have access to one database using mysql client.
How can I have access to config options that are declared in my.cnf?
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Depending on how your access was implemented, you may be able to look at my.cnf with the
mysql> pager less mysql> \! cat /etc/mysql/my.cnf .... mysql> nopager
If you want to know what variables are actually running on the server, look at SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES
mysql> SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES;
I am not sure whether you want to know configuration parameters or want to modify those parameters. Just if you want to know configuration parameters, then from MySQL client, execute following query,
Show global variables;
This will list all the configuration parameters which is nothing but my.cnf.