Keyring Plugin Installation

Keyring service consumers require a keyring plugin to be installed. MySQL provides these plugin choices:

  • keyring_file: Stores keyring data in a file local to the server host. Available in all MySQL distributions as of MySQL 5.7.11.

  • keyring_encrypted_file: Stores keyring data in an encrypted file local to the server host. Available in MySQL Enterprise Edition distributions as of MySQL 5.7.21.

  • keyring_okv: Uses KMIP-compatible back end keyring storage products such as Oracle Key Vault and Gemalto SafeNet KeySecure Appliance. Available in MySQL Enterprise Edition distributions as of MySQL 5.7.12.

  • keyring_aws: Communicates with the Amazon Web Services Key Management Service as a back end for key generation and uses a local file for key storage. Available in MySQL Enterprise Edition distributions as of MySQL 5.7.19.

This section describes how to install the keyring plugin of your choosing. For general information about installing plugins, see Section 5.5.1, “Installing and Uninstalling Plugins”.

If you intend to use keyring user-defined functions (UDFs) in conjunction with the keyring plugin, install the UDFs after installing the plugin, using the instructions in Section, “General-Purpose Keyring Key-Management Functions”.

To be usable by the server, the plugin library file must be located in the MySQL plugin directory (the directory named by the plugin_dir system variable). If necessary, configure the plugin directory location by setting the value of plugin_dir at server startup.

Installation for each keyring plugin is similar. The following instructions use keyring_file. Users of a different keyring plugin can substitute its name for keyring_file.

The keyring_file plugin library file base name is keyring_file. The file name suffix differs per platform (for example, .so for Unix and Unix-like systems, .dll for Windows).


Only one keyring plugin should be enabled at a time. Enabling multiple keyring plugins is unsupported and results may not be as anticipated.

The keyring plugin must be loaded early during the server startup sequence so that server components can access it as necessary during their own initialization. For example, the InnoDB storage engine uses the keyring for tablespace encryption, so the keyring plugin must be loaded and available prior to InnoDB initialization.

To load the plugin, use the --early-plugin-load option to name the plugin library file that contains it. For example, on platforms where the plugin library file suffix is .so, use these lines in the server my.cnf file, adjusting the .so suffix for your platform as necessary:


As of MySQL 5.7.12, the default --early-plugin-load value is empty. To load a keyring plugin, you must use an explicit --early-plugin-load option with a nonempty value.


In MySQL 5.7.11, the default --early-plugin-load value was the name of the keyring_file plugin library file, so that plugin was loaded by default. InnoDB tablespace encryption requires the keyring_file plugin to be loaded prior to InnoDB initialization, so this change of default --early-plugin-load value introduces an incompatibility for upgrades from 5.7.11 to 5.7.12 or higher. Administrators who have encrypted InnoDB tablespaces must take explicit action to ensure continued loading of the keyring_file plugin: Start the server with an --early-plugin-load option that names the plugin library file.

Before starting the server, check the notes for your chosen keyring plugin to see whether it permits or requires additional configuration:

After performing any plugin-specific configuration, verify plugin installation. With the MySQL server running, examine the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.PLUGINS table or use the SHOW PLUGINS statement (see Section 5.5.2, “Obtaining Server Plugin Information”). For example:

       WHERE PLUGIN_NAME LIKE 'keyring%';
| keyring_file | ACTIVE        |

If the plugin fails to initialize, check the server error log for diagnostic messages.

Plugins can be loaded by methods other than --early-plugin-load, such as the --plugin-load or --plugin-load-add option or the INSTALL PLUGIN statement. However, keyring plugins loaded using those methods may be available too late in the server startup sequence for certain server components, such as InnoDB:

  • Plugin loading using --plugin-load or --plugin-load-add occurs after InnoDB initialization.

  • Plugins installed using INSTALL PLUGIN are registered in the mysql.plugin system table and loaded automatically for subsequent server restarts. However, because mysql.plugin is an InnoDB table, any plugins named in it can be loaded during startup only after InnoDB initialization.

If no keyring plugin is available when a server component tries to access the keyring service, the service cannot be used by that component. As a result, the component may fail to initialize or may initialize with limited functionality. For example, if InnoDB finds that there are encrypted tablespaces when it initializes, it attempts to access the keyring. If the keyring is unavailable, InnoDB can access only unencrypted tablespaces. To ensure that InnoDB can access encrypted tablespaces as well, use --early-plugin-load to load the keyring plugin.