Shows a list of all tables in a keyspace, or executable CQL information for a single table.

Shows this output depending on the options selected:

  • List of all tables in a keyspace.
  • Executable CQL information for a single table, including materialized views that are based on the table.
CAUTION: Verify all settings before executing the full CQL output for recreating a table returned by this command. Some table options might be cluster-specific.


DESCRIBE TABLES | TABLE [keyspace_name.]table_name
Table 1. Legend
Syntax conventions Description
UPPERCASE Literal keyword.
Lowercase Not literal.
Italics Variable value. Replace with a user-defined value.
[] Optional. Square brackets ( [] ) surround optional command arguments. Do not type the square brackets.
( ) Group. Parentheses ( ( ) ) identify a group to choose from. Do not type the parentheses.
| Or. A vertical bar ( | ) separates alternative elements. Type any one of the elements. Do not type the vertical bar.
... Repeatable. An ellipsis ( ... ) indicates that you can repeat the syntax element as often as required.
'Literal string' Single quotation ( ' ) marks must surround literal strings in CQL statements. Use single quotation marks to preserve upper case.
{ key : value } Map collection. Braces ( { } ) enclose map collections or key value pairs. A colon separates the key and the value.
<datatype1,datatype2> Set, list, map, or tuple. Angle brackets ( < > ) enclose data types in a set, list, map, or tuple. Separate the data types with a comma.
cql_statement; End CQL statement. A semicolon ( ; ) terminates all CQL statements.
[--] Separate the command line options from the command arguments with two hyphens ( -- ). This syntax is useful when arguments might be mistaken for command line options.
' <schema> ... </schema> ' Search CQL only: Single quotation marks ( ' ) surround an entire XML schema declaration.
@xml_entity='xml_entity_type' Search CQL only: Identify the entity and literal value to overwrite the XML element in the schema and solrConfig files.
All tables.
One table.
Name of the keyspace.
Name of the table.


Show a list of tables in the system keyspace:
A list of all the tables in the keyspace is returned:
repairs              view_builds_in_progress  paxos           transferred_ranges
available_ranges     peers                    size_estimates
batches              compaction_history       built_views
prepared_statements  sstable_activity         range_xfers
"IndexInfo"          peer_events              local
Show the CQL for the cycling calendar table:
DESC cycling.calendar
A complete CQL table description is returned, which can be used to recreate the table:
CREATE TABLE cycling.calendar (
  race_id int,
  race_start_date timestamp,
  race_end_date timestamp,
  race_name text,
  PRIMARY KEY (race_id, race_start_date, race_end_date)
) WITH CLUSTERING ORDER BY (race_start_date ASC, race_end_date ASC)
  AND bloom_filter_fp_chance = 0.01
  AND caching = {'keys': 'ALL', 'rows_per_partition': 'NONE'}
  AND comment = ''
  AND compaction = {'class': 'org.apache.cassandra.db.compaction.SizeTieredCompactionStrategy',
    'max_threshold': '32', 'min_threshold': '4'}
  AND compression = {'chunk_length_in_kb': '64', 'class': ''}
  AND crc_check_chance = 1.0
  AND default_time_to_live = 0
  AND gc_grace_seconds = 864000
  AND max_index_interval = 2048
  AND memtable_flush_period_in_ms = 0
  AND min_index_interval = 128
  AND nodesync = {'enabled' : 'true'}
  AND speculative_retry = '99PERCENTILE';