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Versions: MySQL 5.x, 4.x and 3.23

Data Variable-length binary data
Parameters n is the maximum number of bytes, optional
Range 1 ⇐ n ⇐ 65535 (maximum row size shared among all columns)
Default n is mandatory
Trailing Zeros Not removed when the value is stored and retrieved. Trailing zeros are significant in comparisons
Error Handling Exceeding data truncated and a warning is generated if strict SQL mode is not enabled, otherwise an error is raised

If strict SQL mode is not enabled, a VARBINARY column with a length greater than 65535 is converted to BLOB, otherwise an error is generated
Storage Size Actual entry length
Standards MySQL Extension

MySQL VARBINARY - Equivalents in Other Databases

Database Data Type and Conversion
Oracle RAW(n), 0 ⇐ n ⇐ 2000, BLOB, 4G
SQL Server VARBINARY(n | max), 1 ⇐ n ⇐ 8000, 2G if max is specified
PostgreSQL BYTEA, 2G
Sybase ASE VARBINARY(n), 1 ⇐ n ⇐ pagesize (2K, 4K, 8K or 16K)
Informix BYTE, 2G, BLOB, 2T

Related Data Types in MySQL

Data Types
Fixed-length binary data BINARY(n)
Variable-length binary data TINYBLOB BLOB MEDIUMBLOB
Binary large objects LONGBLOB

All Data Types

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