MySQL 5.6 has an optimization for
ORDER BY ...LIMIT n queries. When
n is sufficiently small, the optimizer will use a priority queue for sorting. The alternative is, roughly speaking, to sort the entire output and then pick only first
The optimization was ported into MariaDB 10.0 in version 10.0.0. The server would not give any indication of whether the optimization was used, though. (This is how the feature was designed by Oracle. In MySQL 5.6, the only way one can see this feature is to examine the optimizer_trace, which is not currently supported by MariaDB).
Optimization visibility in MariaDB
MariaDB starting with 10.0.13
Starting from MariaDB 10.0.13, there are two ways to check whether filesort has used a priority queue.
The first way is to check the Sort_priority_queue_sorts status variable. It shows the number of times that sorting was done through a priority queue. (The total number of times sorting was done is a sum Sort_range and Sort_scan).
Slow query log
# Time: 140714 18:30:39 # User@Host: root[root] @ localhost  # Thread_id: 3 Schema: test QC_hit: No # Query_time: 0.053857 Lock_time: 0.000188 Rows_sent: 11 Rows_examined: 100011 # Full_scan: Yes Full_join: No Tmp_table: No Tmp_table_on_disk: No # Filesort: Yes Filesort_on_disk: No Merge_passes: 0 Priority_queue: Yes SET timestamp=1405348239;SET timestamp=1405348239; select * from t1 where col1 between 10 and 20 order by col2 limit 100;
Note the "Priority_queue: Yes" on the last comment line. (
pt-query-digest is able to parse slow query logs with the Priority_queue field)
EXPLAIN, it will give no indication whether filesort uses priority queue or the generic quicksort and merge algorithm.
Using filesort will be shown in both cases, by both MariaDB and MySQL.