How to Set Global SQL Mode on MySQL Clusters

MySQL is an open source, object-relational database built with speed and reliability in mind. Its large and active developer community has created many third-party applications, tools, and libraries that expand MySQL’s functionality.

MySQL can operate in different SQL modes. Global SQL modes affect the SQL syntax MySQL supports and the data validation checks it performs. You can add and remove modes as needed, or remove all modes from your cluster if desired.

Set Global SQL Mode Using the CLI

How to set global SQL mode using the DigitalOcean CLI

To set global SQL mode via the command-line, follow these steps:

  1. Install doctl, the DigitalOcean command-line tool.

  2. Create a personal access token, and save it for use with doctl.

  3. Use the token to grant doctl access to your DigitalOcean account.

                  doctl auth init
  4. Finally, set global SQL mode with doctl databases sql-mode set. The basic usage looks like this, but you'll want to read the usage docs for more details:

                  doctl databases sql-mode set <database-cluster-id> <sql-mode-1> ... <sql-mode-n> [flags]

    The following example sets the SQL mode ALLOW_INVALID_DATES for an existing database cluster with the ID ca9f591d-f38h-5555-a0ef-1c02d1d1e35. The cluster already has the modes NO_ZERO_DATE, NO_ZERO_IN_DATE, STRICT_ALL_TABLES set, but they must be included in the command to avoid being overwritten by the additional mode

                       doctl databases sql-mode set ca9f591d-f38h-5555-a0ef-1c02d1d1e35 NO_ZERO_DATE NO_ZERO_IN_DATE STRICT_ALL_TABLES ALLOW_INVALID_DATES

Set Global SQL Mode Using the API

How to set global SQL mode using the DigitalOcean API

To set global SQL mode using the DigitalOcean API, follow these steps:

  1. Create a personal access token, and save it for use with the API.

  2. Send a PUT request to{database_cluster_uuid}/sql_mode


    To set global SQL mode with cURL, call:

                    curl -X PUT \
      -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
      -H "Authorization: Bearer $DIGITALOCEAN_TOKEN" \


    Go developers can use Godo, the official DigitalOcean V2 API client for Go. To set global SQL mode with Godo, use the following code:

                    import (
    func main() {
        token := os.Getenv("DIGITALOCEAN_TOKEN")
        client := godo.NewFromToken(token)
        ctx := context.TODO()
        _, err := client.Databases.SetSQLMode(ctx, "9cc10173-e9ea-4176-9dbc-a4cee4c4ff30", sqlMode)


                    import os
    from pydo import Client
    client = Client(token=os.environ.get("DIGITALOCEAN_TOKEN"))
    req = {
    update_resp = client.databases.update_sql_mode(database_cluster_uuid="a7a8bas", body=req)

Set Global SQL Mode using the Control Panel

To set the global SQL mode for a MySQL cluster, find the cluster on the Databases page and then click the cluster’s name. From the database’s Overview page, click the Settings tab to view the settings for the cluster.

Screenshot of MySQL Cluster settings page

In the Global SQL mode section, you can see the current SQL modes in use. To add or remove modes, click Edit.

Select an available SQL mode from the drop-down menu or start typing the name of a mode to select from the results that match. When finished, click the Save button to apply the changes or the Cancel button to cancel editing. You can click the Reset to the default MySQL 8 SQL modes links to revert to the default settings.

Screenshot of MySQL SQL Mode edit

To remove modes, mouse over the mode you want to remove and then click the “x” icon to remove it from your cluster.

Screenshot of MySQL SQL Mode removal

The default SQL modes for MySQL on Managed Databases are as follows:

  • ANSI (shorthand)

In certain cases, you may also want to adjust the sql_require_primary_key, which determines whether primary keys are a requirement. When set to True (default), primary keys are required. When set to False, primary keys are optional. However, we do not currently support adjusting this mode in the control panel. Instead, you can set this mode by making a configuration request via our API.

For clusters with more than one node, we strongly recommend keeping sql_require_primary_key as True. Setting it to False may severely impact replication and cause issues.

See the official MySQL 8 documentation for a full list of supported SQL modes.