You can determine a list of storage engines by using the show engines command within MySQL.

mysql> show engines;  
+------------+---------+------------------------------------------------------------+
| Engine     | Support | Comment                                                    |
+------------+---------+------------------------------------------------------------+
| MyISAM     | DEFAULT | Default engine as of MySQL 3.23 with great performance     |
| HEAP       | YES     | Alias for MEMORY                                           |
| MEMORY     | YES     | Hash based, stored in memory, useful for temporary tables  |
| MERGE      | YES     | Collection of identical MyISAM tables                      |
| MRG_MYISAM | YES     | Alias for MERGE                                            |
| ISAM       | NO      | Obsolete storage engine, now replaced by MyISAM            |
| MRG_ISAM   | NO      | Obsolete storage engine, now replaced by MERGE             |
| InnoDB     | YES     | Supports transactions, row-level locking, and foreign keys |
| INNOBASE   | YES     | Alias for INNODB                                           |
| BDB        | NO      | Supports transactions and page-level locking               |
| BERKELEYDB | NO      | Alias for BDB                                              |
| NDBCLUSTER | NO      | Clustered, fault-tolerant, memory-based tables             |
| NDB        | NO      | Alias for NDBCLUSTER                                       |
| EXAMPLE    | NO      | Example storage engine                                     |
| ARCHIVE    | NO      | Archive storage engine                                     |
| CSV        | NO      | CSV storage engine                                         |
+------------+---------+------------------------------------------------------------+

The output shows the full list of available database engines and whether support is available in the current MySQL server.

Using an Engine

There are a number of ways you can specify the storage engine to use. The simplest method, if you have a preference for a engine type that fits most of your database needs to set the default engine type within the MySQL configuration file (using the option storage_engine or when starting the database server by supplying the –default-storage-engine or –default-table-type options on the command line).

More flexibility is offered by allowing you specify the storage engine to be used MySQL, the most obvious is to specify the engine type when creating the table:

CREATE TABLE mytable (id int, title char(20)) ENGINE = INNODB;  

You can also alter the storage engine used for an existing table:

ALTER TABLE mytable ENGINE = InnoDB;