The general query log is a general record of what mysqld is doing. The server writes information to this log when clients connect or disconnect, and it logs each SQL statement received from clients. The general query log can be very useful when you suspect an error in a client and want to know exactly what the client sent to mysqld.
mysqld writes statements to the query log in the order that it receives them, which might differ from the order in which they are executed. This logging order contrasts to the binary log, for which statements are written after they are executed but before any locks are released. (Also, the query log contains all statements, whereas the binary log does not contain statements that only select data.)
To enable the general query log, start mysqld with the –log[=file_name] or -l [file_name] option.
If no file_name value is given for –log or -l, the default name is host_name.log in the data directory.
Server restarts and log flushing do not cause a new general query log file to be generated (although flushing closes and reopens it). On Unix, you can rename the file and create a new one by using the following commands:
Before 5.0.17, you cannot rename a log file on Windows while the server has it open. You must stop the server and rename the file, and then restart the server to create a new log file. As of 5.0.17, this applies only to the error log. However, a stop and restart can be avoided by using FLUSH LOGS, which causes the server to rename the error log with an -old suffix and open a new error log.