Let me describe what we are facing now:

We have a MySQL Master-Slave, Row Based Replication setup and at the moment, the slave is stuck with a perpetual System Lock. The Master is an active server with many updates and deletes running, but the slave will just not replicate anything. There are no errors in the log and the slave is reading binary logs fine from the master, but it does nothing on the slave. The Seconds_Behind_Master value keeps increasing. This is what show processlist on slave shows:

mysql> show processlist ;
| Id | User        | Host      | db   | Command | Time  | State                            | Info             |
| 10 | system user |           | NULL | Connect |  4985 | Waiting for master to send event | NULL             |
| 11 | system user |           | NULL | Connect | 53715 | System lock                      | NULL             |
| 14 | root        | localhost | NULL | Sleep   |  2958 |                                  | NULL             |
| 16 | root        | localhost | NULL | Query   |     0 | init                             | show processlist |
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

And show slave status shows:

SQL_Remaining_Delay: NULL
Slave_SQL_Running_State: System lock

The only sign of life is that Relay_Log_Pos from the slave status is changing values but very slowly. Does it mean that it is running the queries from the binary log, but just that it is too slow?

Pasting some info from show engine innodb status :

---TRANSACTION 0, not started
MySQL thread id 14, OS thread handle 0x7f7824698700, query id 216193 localhost root init
show engine innodb status
---TRANSACTION 230426904, not started
mysql tables in use 1638, locked 1638
MySQL thread id 11, OS thread handle 0x7f7824920700, query id 216192 System lock
I/O thread 0 state: waiting for completed aio requests (insert buffer thread)
I/O thread 1 state: waiting for completed aio requests (log thread)
I/O thread 2 state: waiting for completed aio requests (read thread)
I/O thread 3 state: waiting for completed aio requests (read thread)
I/O thread 4 state: waiting for completed aio requests (read thread)

Also noticed that the mysqld process for this particular mysql instance has high CPU usage. What could be causing the Slave_SQL_Running_State: System lock and blocking the slave from running the queries? There are no disk issues with the machine and there is another MySQL instance running which is a slave to another MySQL instance (myisam) on the same master and that is running fine.

MySQL version : 5.6.20. OS : RHEL 6.5 We have some tables that are partitioned (if that matters).

Edit: Just noticed that Slave_SQL_Running_State is occasionally changing to 'Reading event from the relay log'. So it looks like the replication is just too slow.

  • Questions: 1) Did you run LOAD DATA INFILE or LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE on the Master ? 2) Is Relay_Log_Space increasing ? Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 22:56
  • 1) No. I did not run 'LOAD DATA' on the master. 2) Yes, Relay_Log_Space is increasing.
    – Sreeraj
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 7:11
  • Possible bug with 5.6. Also here.
    – Bacon Bits
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 7:30

2 Answers 2


first we need to understand , there is no specific solution for this .

So as per provided information in Question, what good is :

  1. You have mentioned that relay log position is keep on changing which means "SQL thread" is working

  2. You have mentioned that Slave_SQL_Running_State is also getting change which means I/O thread is also working.

    What bad is :"relay log space is increasing" which means data is coming but taking time to execute.

Lets dwell more here :

  1. Are you observing slowness in Master as well ? Any slow Query in master ? If answer is No , proceed towards 2

  2. Is configuration of both server same ? In this you must check mysql buffers pool configuration and isolation method. I have personally experience that Isolation level can also be culprit ( Repeatable read which is default in MySQL ) If same , proceed towards 3

  3. Have you checked what query is executing at time when you observed slowness. Just do , pager grep Query followed by show processlist;

This will give you an idea what is stucking. Lets go more inside , check relay log position and check in relay log what is the query and try to optimize it. But before that be ensure if it is really performing slow .

You can use performance schema database and in this database , just enable instrument for SQL,IO,Replication and take help of this link : https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.7/en/performance-schema-replication-tables.html

Apart from this , you can also use SYS schema to diagnose whats going wrong.

What Rolando told is one of the cause and he is correct . Load file can generally cause this issue.

Let me know if i make sense :)


I had answered a question back in January 2013 concerning the thread state "System Lock" : What does 'system lock' mean in mysql profiling a LOAD DATA INFILE statement?

Here is what could be happening, please follow along

In my old post, I brought up the following

The thread is going to request or is waiting for an internal or external system lock for the table. If this state is being caused by requests for external locks and you are not using multiple mysqld servers that are accessing the same MyISAM tables, you can disable external system locks with the --skip-external-locking option. However, external locking is disabled by default, so it is likely that this option will have no effect. For SHOW PROFILE, this state means the thread is requesting the lock (not waiting for it).

Since this is happening on the SQL thread, it means there is a query that needs to lock a table or a row in a table. Since the lock was not as yet acquired, the query would not be visible in the INFO field of the SQL thread in SHOW PROCESSLIST;. The next logical question would be, "How can you see the query or at least the lock ?"

When you ran SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS\G, you saw the lock. However, you did not see the table it was locking. Based on my old post, I would suspect a LOAD DATA INFILE having been run on the Master and then replicating to the Slave. Why would it need to lock the table on the Slave ?

It has a lot to do with the way MySQL replicates a LOAD DATA INFILE. Not only is the command replicated through the binary logs, but also the entire data file. I have old post where I described exactly how MySQL does it.

Since a LOAD DATA INFILE is coming down the pike, I can envision a request to lock a table , materializing a CSV file from the relay logs, and executing LOAD DATA INFILE. During the entire cycle, nothing under the sun show be trying to access the target table. Thus, the System Lock must happen.

In light of this, it makes all the sense in the world that there are no errors in the log, the slave is reading binary logs from the master, does nothing on the slave, and the Seconds_Behind_Master value just keeps increasing.

UPDATE 2014-10-24 12:55 EST

You mentioned partitioned tables. You need to check for the number of open file handles. Check the global status variables open_files and Innodb_num_open_files. If these are rising during the System Lock, then the table must be undergoing a lock. File handles across all partitions may need to be opened, locked, and possibly cached.

  • Thanks. As far as I know there was no 'LOAD DATA' that was run in the master at any point of time. How do I check that? I 'grepped' for it in the mysqlbinlog output of the binlog file, but couldn't find any. In the meantime, there is another thing that I found. There was a few seconds of difference in the 'time' of the master and slave (Sorry, I don't remember which was lagging behind), so I synced the time between them and now the 'System Lock' is gone and ' Slave_SQL_Running_State' consistently shows 'Reading event from the relay log'. Show processlist shows the same too. Is that possible?
    – Sreeraj
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 5:49
  • It has to gone back to 'System Lock' again. For the questions you had asked in your comment: 1) No. I did not run 'LOAD DATA' on the master. 2) Yes, Relay_Log_Space is increasing
    – Sreeraj
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 7:13
  • @Sreeraj - did you ever fix this? I'm having the same problem
    – John Hunt
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 13:16

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