Select specific row from mysql table

Ideally I need a query that is equivalent to

select * from customer where row_number() = 3

but that’s illegal.

I can’t use an auto incremented field.

row_number() is the row that needs to be selected.

How do I go about this?

EDIT: Well, I use iSql*plus to practice, and using limit and auto_increment is illegal for some reason. I ended up creating a sequence and a trigger and just upped the id by 1 every time there was an entry.


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

You can use LIMIT 2,1 instead of WHERE row_number() = 3.

As the documentation explains, the first argument specifies the offset of the first row to return, and the second specifies the maximum number of rows to return.

Keep in mind that it’s an 0-based index. So, if you want the line number n, the first argument should be n-1. The second argument will always be 1, because you just want one row. For example, if you want the line number 56 of a table customer:

SELECT * FROM customer LIMIT 55,1

Method 2

You cannot select a row like that. You have to specify a field whose values will be 3

Here is a query that will work, if the field you are comparing against is id

select * from customer where `id` = 3

Method 3

SET @customerID=0;
SELECT @customerID:<a href="" class="__cf_email__" data-cfemail="4b760b283e383f24262e39020f">[email protected]</a>+1 AS customerID

you can obtain the dataset from SQL like this and populate it into a java data structure (like a List) and then make the necessary sorting over there. (maybe with the help of a comparable interface)

Method 4

SQL tables are not ordered by default, and asking for the n-th row from a non ordered set of rows has no meaning as it could potentially return a different row each time unless you specify an ORDER BY:

select * from customer order by id where row_number() = 3

(sometimes MySQL tables are shown with an internal order but you cannot rely on this behaviour). Then you can use LIMIT offset, row_count, with a 0-based offset so row number 3 becomes offset 2:

select * from customer order by id
limit 2, 1

or you can use LIMIT row_count OFFSET offset:

select * from customer order by id
limit 1 offset 2

Method 5

You can add an auto generated id field in the table and select by this id


Method 6

Your table will need to be created with a unique ID field that will ideally have the AUTO_INCREMENT attribute. example:

LastName varchar(255) NOT NULL,
FirstName varchar(255),

Then you can access the 3rd record in this table with:

SELECT * FROM Persons WHERE P_Id = 3

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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