Rebuilding a MySQL 8.0 Replication Slave Using a Clone Plugin

Krzysztof Ksiazek


With MySQL 8.0 Oracle adopted a new approach to development. Instead of pushing features with major versions, almost every minor MySQL 8.0 version comes with new features or improvements. One of these new features is what we would like to focus on in this blog post. 

Historically MySQL did not come with good tools for provisioning. Sure, you had mysqldump, but it is just a logical backup tool, not really suitable for larger environments. MySQL enterprise users could benefit from MySQL Enterprise Backup while community users could use xtrabackup. Neither of those came with a clean MySQL Community deployments though. It was quite annoying as provisioning is a task you do quite often. You may need to build a new slave, rebuild a failed one – all of this will require some sort of a data transfer between separate nodes.

MySQL 8.0.17 introduced a new way of provisioning MySQL data – clone plugin. It was intended with MySQL Group Replication in mind to introduce a way of automatic provisioning and rebuilding of failed nodes, but its usefulness is not limited to that area. We can as well use it to rebuild a slave node or provision a new server. In this blog post we would like to show you how to set up MySQL Clone plugin and how to rebuild a replication slave.

First of all, the plugin has to be enabled as it is disabled by default. Once you do this, it will stay enabled through restarts. Ideally, you will do it on all of the nodes in the replication topology.

mysql> INSTALL PLUGIN clone SONAME '';

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Clone plugin requires MySQL user with proper privileges. On donor it has to have “BACKUP_ADMIN” privilege while on the joiner it has to have “CLONE_ADMIN” privilege. Assuming you want to use the clone plugin extensively, you can just create user with both privileges. Do it on the master so the user will be created also on all of the slaves. After all, you never know which node will be a master some time in the future therefore it’s more convenient to have everything prepared upfront.

mysql> CREATE USER clone_user@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'clonepass';

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

mysql> GRANT BACKUP_ADMIN, CLONE_ADMIN ON *.* to clone_user@'%';

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

MySQL Clone plugin has some prerequisites thus sanity checks should be performed. You should ensure that both donor and joiner will have the same values in the following configuration variables:

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'innodb_page_size';


| Variable_name    | Value |


| innodb_page_size | 16384 |


1 row in set (0.01 sec)

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'innodb_data_file_path';


| Variable_name         | Value   |


| innodb_data_file_path | ibdata1:100M:autoextend |


1 row in set (0.01 sec)

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'max_allowed_packet';


| Variable_name      | Value |


| max_allowed_packet | 536870912 |


1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE '%character%';


| Variable_name            | Value       |


| character_set_client     | utf8mb4       |

| character_set_connection | utf8mb4                        |

| character_set_database   | utf8mb4       |

| character_set_filesystem | binary                         |

| character_set_results    | utf8mb4       |

| character_set_server     | utf8mb4       |

| character_set_system     | utf8       |

| character_sets_dir       | /usr/share/mysql-8.0/charsets/ |


8 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE '%collation%';


| Variable_name                 | Value |


| collation_connection          | utf8mb4_0900_ai_ci |

| collation_database            | utf8mb4_0900_ai_ci |

| collation_server              | utf8mb4_0900_ai_ci |

| default_collation_for_utf8mb4 | utf8mb4_0900_ai_ci |


4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Then, on the master, we should double-check that undo tablespaces have unique names:






| innodb_undo_001 | ./undo_001 |

| innodb_undo_002 | ./undo_002 |


2 rows in set (0.12 sec)

Default verbosity level does not show too much data regarding cloning process therefore we would recommend to increase it to have better insight into what is happening:

mysql> SET GLOBAL log_error_verbosity=3;

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

To be able to start the process on our joiner, we have to configure a valid donor:

mysql> SET GLOBAL clone_valid_donor_list ='';

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'clone_valid_donor_list';


| Variable_name          | Value |


| clone_valid_donor_list | |


1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Once it is in place, we can use it to copy the data from:

mysql> CLONE INSTANCE FROM 'clone_user'@'':3306 IDENTIFIED BY 'clonepass';

Query OK, 0 rows affected (18.30 sec)

That’s it, the progress can be tracked in the MySQL error log on the joiner. Once everything is ready, all you have to do is to setup the replication:


Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.05 sec)

mysql> START SLAVE USER='rpl_user' PASSWORD='afXGK2Wk8l';

Query OK, 0 rows affected, 1 warning (0.01 sec)

Please keep in mind that Clone plugin comes with a set of limitations. For starters, it transfers only InnoDB tables so if you happen to use any other storage engines, you would have to either convert them to InnoDB or use another provisioning method. It also interferes with Data Definition Language – ALTERs will block and be blocked by cloning operations.

By default cloning is not encrypted so it could be used only in a secure environment. If needed, you can set up SSL encryption for the cloning process by ensuring that the donor has SSL configured and then define following variables on the joiner:




Then, you need to add “REQUIRE SSL;” at the end of the CLONE command and the process will be executed with SSL encryption. Please keep in mind this is the only method to clone databases with data-at-rest encryption enabled.

As we mentioned at the beginning, cloning was, most likely, designed with MySQL Group Replication/InnoDB Cluster in mind but, as long as the limitations are not affecting particular use case, it can be used as a native way of provisioning any MySQL instance. We will see how broad of adoption it will have – possibilities are numerous. What’s already great is we now have another hardware-agnostic method we can use to provision servers in addition to Xtrabackup. Competition is always good and we are looking forward to see what the future holds.


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