I logged onto my server to check the status of the database and noticed on the SHOW PROCESSLIST; that there are a large number of connections sleeping that are very old.

enter image description here What duration should the connection time limit be before the connection should be killed?

How do I set the time limit in MySQL 5.0.51a-3ubuntu5.4?


I am using PHP 5.2.x and symfony framework 1.2.


1 Answer 1


mysqld will timeout database connections based on two server options:

Both are 28,800 seconds (8 hours) by default.

You can set these options in /etc/my.cnf

If your connections are persistent (opened via mysql_pconnect) you could lower these numbers to something reasonable like 600 (10 minutes) or even 60 (1 minute). Or, if your app works just fine, you can leave the default. This is up to you.

You must set these as follows in my.cnf (takes effect after mysqld is restarted):


If you do not want to restart mysql, then run these two commands:

SET GLOBAL interactive_timeout = 180;
SET GLOBAL wait_timeout = 180;

This will not close the connections already open. This will cause new connections to close in 180 seconds.

  • so in /etc/my.cnf I would just put wait_timeout=180?
    – Patrick
    Mar 3, 2011 at 22:28
  • @Patrick Yes, but you need to set both interactive_timeout and wait_timeout to 180. I updated my answer for your response. Mar 3, 2011 at 22:29
  • This file can be elsewhere dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/option-files.html and these options may not be explicited (write them by yourself) Jun 15, 2015 at 15:33

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