Ken Okech Ken Okech - 1 year ago 217
MySQL Question

MySQLdb can't initialize character set utf-8 error

I am trying to insert some Arabic word into the

column of my
database Maria DB using the MySQLdb driver.

I was getting a
latin-1 encode error
. But after reading around, I found out that the MySQLdb driver was defaulted to
and I had to explicitly set
as my charset of choice at the
function. Sauce.

The entire database is set to utf-8.


def insert_into_db(arabic_word, definition):
conn = mariadb.connect('localhost', 'root', 'crooked_hillary', 'hans_wehr', charset='utf-8', use_unicode=True)
cur = conn.cursor()
cur.execute("INSERT INTO hanswehr2 (arabic_word , definition) VALUES (%s,%s)", (arabic_word, definition,))
except mariadb.Error, e:
print e

However now I get the following error:

/usr/bin/python2.7 /home/heisenberg/hans_wehr/
Total lines 87672
(2019, "Can't initialize character set utf-8 (path: /usr/share/mysql/charsets/)")

Process finished with exit code 1

I have specified the Python MySQL driver to use the utf-8 character however it seems to ignore this.

Any inputs would be highly appreciated.

Answer Source

The charset alias for UTF-8 in MySQL is utf8 (no hyphen).

See for available charsets.

Note, if you need to use non-BMP Unicode points, such as emojis, use utf8mb4 for the connection charset and the varchar type.