This package is abandoned and no longer maintained. The author suggests using the lolli/dbdoctor package instead.

TYPO3 Database doctor - Find and fix TYPO3 database inconsistencies

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0.4.1 2023-03-02 09:58 UTC

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Last update: 2023-04-27 09:29:11 UTC


tests core v11 tests core v12

TYPO3 DB doctor


The mission of this extension is to find database inconsistencies that may have been introduced in a living TYPO3 instance over time, and to fix them.

As example, when a page tree is deleted by an editor, it sometimes happens that most pages are properly set to deleted, but some pages are missed, or a content element on one page is not deleted. This leads to orphan pages or content elements in the database.

There can be many reasons to end up with invalid database state like the above: TYPO3 in general has no referential integrity constrains on database tables, inconsistencies can be triggered by a dying PHP process, a lost DB connection, a core bug, a buggy extension, a broken deployment, and more. Long living active instances that were upgraded through multiple major core versions tend to end up with something that isn't quite right anymore.

Such inconsistencies can lead to further issues. For instance if a page is copied that has an orphaned localized record, the system tends to mess up localizations of the copied page, too. Editors then stumble and TYPO3 agencies have to do time-consuming debugging sessions to find out what went wrong.

This extension provides a CLI command that tries to find various such inconsistencies and gives admins options to fix them.


We're not aware of other open extensions that try to achieve the same in a similar systematic way. The core lowlevel extension comes with a couple of commands that try to clean up various DB state, but their codebase is rather rotten and hard to maintain.

This extension is not a substitution of lowlevel commands (yet?), it's more an incubator to see if a certain strategy dealing with inconsistencies actually works out in projects. It will grow over time. Maybe it ends up in the core, or the core refers to this extension as "maintenance" extensions in the future. We'll see.


The strategy of this command is to check for single things one-at-a-time and to fix them before going to the next check. Updates and deletes of not-ok records are done with low-level database queries directly, not using the DataHandler.

Single checks are carefully crafted and functional tested and the order in which they are executed is important. It can happen that a single check is run multiple times in the chain.

Single checks rather try to avoid memory consumption and assumed state at the cost of more queries being executed. Queries are often performed as prepared statements to re-use them often in a single check. Statements are properly closed when a single check finished, effectively using the PHP garbage collection. All-in-all, this command should be relatively quick even for big-sized instances, but it will hammer the database a lot.

Current status

First releases have been done, but we're not confident enough to have a 1.0.0, yet. The nature of this extension is to perform potential malicious queries, so use the system with care. We are however using this extension for some of our customers with success already.



You probably want to install this as --dev dependency. The extension currently supports TYPO3 v11 and TYPO3 v12:

$ composer require --dev lolli/dbdoctor

TYPO3 Extension Repository

For non-composer projects, the extension is available in TER as extension key dbdoctor and can be installed using the extension manager.


The nature of the CLI command is to perform destructive database operations on your instance. As such, a few things should be kept in mind:

  • [!!!] 💣 Create a fresh database backup dump before and after using the CLI interface. Ensure the recovery strategy actually works: Both the extension and the user can potentially get something wrong. We are dealing with low level database stuff here after all, so things can potentially go south rather quickly. See the "Further hints" section below, too.

  • [!!!] 💣 Make sure the database analyzer is happy and needs no new fields or tables. There will be a check in the future to verify this early, but for now, do not use the CLI interface with incomplete database analyzer.

  • It's probably not a bad idea to look at not-yet done upgrade wizards before using the extensions CLI command.

  • [!!!] Run the reference index updater when this command finished! It is very likely it will update something. A clean reference index becomes more and more important with younger core versions. Reminder: command bin/typo3 referenceindex:update.


$ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health

The interface looks like this:

Note the above image is notoriously outdated, the interface of the current version may look slightly different. We're too lazy to update the image often, but it should give a solid idea on how the interface looks like.

The main command is a chain of single checks. They are done one by one. Affected record details can be shown on a per-page and a per-record basis to give a quick overview. The interface allows deleting or updating of affected records, depending on the type of the check.

The default interactive mode will never perform updates automatically and always asks the user for actions. When pressing 's' (simulate/show), the queries that would be performed are shown, when pressing 'e' (execute), the queries are actually executed.

In the example above, eight pages are found that have no connection to the tree-root anymore. A help is selected, then an overview to show more record details. Finally, the records are deleted and the next check is called. The delete queries are shown, which can become handy if those should be executed manually on a different server.


The CLI comes with a couple of options. The default mode is "interactive", prompting for user input after each failed check.

  • Help overview:

    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health -h

    Left to the reader to find out what is done here :P

  • Interactive mode: --mode interactive or -m interactive or option not given:

    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health -m interactive

    The default mode: Perform checks one-by-one and have an interactive interface to see affected record details, show pages with affected records, simulate performed queries, reload check and ultimately execute queries.

  • Check mode: --mode check or -m check:

    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health -m check

    Run all checks but don't perform any DB changes. Returns 0 (zero) if some checks found something and non-zero if something was found by any check. Useful to run as cron job to see if check "go red" over time after everything has been fixed once.

  • Execute mode: --mode execute or -m execute:

    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health -m execute

    Blindly execute all checks without further questions! Destructive auto-operation if you trust the command enough, which you shouldn't ;-) Did you create a DB backup before?

  • Log execute queries to file: --file or -f:

    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health -f /tmp/foo.sql
    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health -f /tmp/dbdoctor-changes-my-instance-`date +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S`.sql

    Log all data changing queries to a file. The argument must be an absolute file name. Never put such a file into the public web folder of your instance. This is available in "interactive" and "execute" mode. Data changing queries are not only displayed, but also logged to a file. This can be useful if the command has been executed on a staging system using a current live database image: The queries can be reviewed again and then executed on a live instance using something like mysql my_database < file.sql or similar for other DBMS.

Existing health checks

Single tests are described in details when running the CLI command. Rough overview:

  • Page tree integrity checks
  • FAL related sys_file_reference and friends checks
  • Language handling related checks
  • Workspace related checks
  • Inline parent-child relation related checks

Further hints

We highly encourage admins to back up databases when working with dbdoctor. Some basic rules regarding SQL dumps must not be forgotten when doing this:

  • When dumping an existing MySQL / MariaDB database before and after executing the CLI command, it can be helpful to toggle-off the "extended inserts" option: mysqldump by default merges multiple INSERT statements into one call for efficiency and speed. This is both quicker to dump and to import, and consumes less disk space.

    However, when looking for single DB changes, it is much more convenient to turn this off and have one line for each inserted row. Tools like diff are then far easier to grasp when searching for something that eventually went wrong. Example shell commands:

    $ mysqldump --skip-extended-insert myDatabase > /tmp/myDatabase-`date +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S`-dbdoctor-before.sql
    $ bin/typo3 dbdoctor:health
    $ mysqldump --skip-extended-insert myDatabase > /tmp/myDatabase-`date +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S`-dbdoctor-after.sql

    It's always possible to deviate from with when you know what you're doing, though.

  • When dumping databases, it is a crucial security measure to never put such dumps into a public directory accessible by a web server or some third party server user. Violating this basic rule is a common source of data leaks in the wild! There is no excuse to get this wrong. It is also a good idea to put SQL files at a place that is rotated into backups to allow debugging later in case issues only pop up after a while. To follow GDPR rules, those files should still be removed at some point!

  • When dumping databases, it is often a good idea to gzip .sql files: This typically reduces file size by around factor eight. Lets safe some precious server disk and backup size! It's also possible to directly 'pipe' to gzip when dumping. Either do that, or remember to gzip stuff before logging out of a system.


  • Will the functionality be made available in a backend GUI?

    No. CLI is the only sane way for these kind of things.

  • Will support for TYPO3 v10 or other older core versions added?

    No. TYPO3 v11 had quite a few DB changes, and it is not planned to implement a v10 backwards compatible layer.

Tagging and releasing is enabled via the casual github hook. TER releases are created by the "publish.yml" github workflow when tagging versions using tailor. The commit message of the tagged commit is used as TER upload comment.


Build/Scripts/ -s clean
Build/Scripts/ -s composerUpdate
composer req --dev typo3/tailor
.Build/bin/tailor set-version 0.3.2
composer rem --dev typo3/tailor
git commit -am "[RELEASE] 0.3.2 Added some basic inline foreign field related checks"
git tag 0.3.2
git push
git push --tags