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How to Change gc_grace_seconds for a Table

Topic: subject

How to change (reduce) gc_grace_seconds parameter of the table

Audience: Scylla administrators


When you want to change the gc_grace_seconds parameter value for a particular table you should readjust your repairs frequency to have at least one successful full repair for the table in question every (new) gc_grace_seconds window as discussed here in order to avoid data resurrection.

In addition, you should follow the procedure below in order to avoid data resurrection after the changing the gc_grace_seconds and before the next repair.


  1. Run a full repair for the table in question.

  2. Change the gc_grace_seconds value for the table using the ALTER table command.

  3. Verify that the schema is in sync after the change by issuing nodetool describecluster command from all nodes. Verify that only a single schema version is reported. Read the Schema Mismatch Troubleshooting Guide if it’s not the case.

  4. Make sure that you run at least one full repair for the table in question during the gc_grace_seconds time window. For example, if the gc_grace_seconds is set to 10 days, you should run a full repair on your tables every 8-9 days to make sure your tables are repaired before the gc_grace_seconds threshold is reached.

Additional Notes

You can also avoid data resurrection (and hence the requirement of running the repair every gc_grace_seconds) if you make sure that tombstones are generated with operations that use Consistency Level: ALL

The operations that generate tombstones are:

  • DELETE operations

  • TTLs

  • INSERT/UPDATE operations that overwrite the whole composite type value(s) like map, list or UDT.