Aria Enabling Encryption

In order to enable data-at-rest encryption for tables using the Aria storage engine, you first need to configure the server to use an Encryption Key Management plugin. Once this is done, you can enable encryption by setting the relevant system variables.

Encrypting User-created Tables

With tables that the user creates, you can enable encryption by setting the aria_encrypt_tables system variable to ON, then restart the Server. Once this is set, Aria automatically enables encryption on all tables you create after with the ROW_FORMAT table option set to PAGE.

Currently, Aria does not support encryption on tables where the ROW_FORMAT table option is set to the FIXED or DYNAMIC values.

Unlike InnoDB, Aria does not support the ENCRYPTED table option (see MDEV-18049 about that). Encryption for Aria can only be enabled globally using the aria_encrypt_tables system variable.

Encrypting Existing Tables

In cases where you have existing Aria tables that you would like to encrypt, the process is a little more complicated. Unlike InnoDB, Aria does not utilize background encryption threads to automatically perform encryption changes (see MDEV-18971 about that). Therefore, to encrypt existing tables, you need to identify each table that needs to be encrypted, and then you need to manually rebuild each table.

First, set the aria_encrypt_tables system variable to encrypt new tables.

SET GLOBAL aria_encrypt_tables=ON;

Identify Aria tables that have the ROW_FORMAT table option set to PAGE.

FROM information_schema.TABLES 
  AND TABLE_SCHEMA != 'information_schema';

For each table in the result-set, issue an ALTER TABLE statement to rebuild the table.


This statement causes Aria to rebuild the table using the ROW_FORMAT table option. In the process, with the new default setting, it encrypts the table when it writes to disk.

Encrypting Internal On-disk Temporary Tables

During the execution of queries, MariaDB routinely creates internal temporary tables. These internal temporary tables initially use the MEMORY storage engine, which is entirely stored in memory. When the table size exceeds the allocation defined by the max_heap_table_size system variable, MariaDB writes the data to disk using another storage engine. If you have the aria_used_for_temp_tables set to ON, MariaDB uses Aria in writing the internal temporary tables to disk.

Encryption for internal temporary tables is handled separately from encryption for user-created tables. To enable encryption for these tables, set the encrypt_tmp_disk_tables system variable to ON. Once set, all internal temporary tables that are written to disk using Aria are automatically encrypted.

Manually Encrypting Tables

Currently, Aria does not support manually encrypting tables through the ENCRYPTED and ENCRYPTION_KEY_ID table options. For more information, see MDEV-18049.

In cases where you want to encrypt tables manually or set the specific encryption key, use InnoDB.


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