The question was asked previously, "how do I calculate MySQL max_connections" and this was the answer:

max_connections = (Available RAM - Global Buffers) / Thread Buffers

Since I don't have enough reputation to add a comment to the existing question I had to ask a brand new question.

I can get the buffer values by executing : SHOW VARIABLES LIKE '%buffer%'; but what is the available RAM part of this equation exactly?

Is this value in bytes, kilobytes, megabytes? Something else? Also, do I use the available RAM shown in the resource monitor while my site is being used, or do I need to use the total amount of RAM installed on the machine?


I'd say 'Available RAM' means max memory mysql can claim. And 'Global buffers' would mean buffers like innodb_buffer_pool, key_buffer_size, query_cache_size, etc.

  • So in what format do I plug the available ram into the formula? Bytes, kilobytes, megabytes? Something else? – Vincent Oct 9 '14 at 16:16
  • As long as you are consistent with the unit, you should arrive at same result. I'd go for MB. – Manny Calavera Oct 9 '14 at 18:40

At this time you can use mysqlcalculator.com to assist with determining your RAM footprint in about 2 minutes if you have your SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES; list available.


The default of 151 is a reasonable starting point. After running for some time, you may, but probably won't, see any problems. If you do have problems, any of several things could need tweaking -- including indexes on tables. max_connections rarely needs tweaking.

Bottom line: Don't fret over that one settings.

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