Provides information about the connected Cassandra cluster and objects within the cluster.

DESCRIBE (shorthand: DESC) outputs detailed information in CQL format that you can run.

CAUTION: Verify all settings before executing the full output, some options may be cluster specific in the WITH statement.


| KEYSPACES | KEYSPACE keyspace_name
| TABLES | TABLE [keyspace_name.]table_name
| TYPES | TYPE [keyspace_name.]udt_name
| FUNCTIONS | FUNCTION [keyspace_name.]udf_name
| AGGREGATES | AGGREGATE [keyspace_name.]uda_name
| INDEX [keyspace_name.]index_name
| MATERIALIZED VIEW [keyspace_name.]view_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.
Note: On Linux systems object names, such as keyspace names, table names, and so forth are case sensitive. By default, CQL converts names to lowercase unless enclosed in double quotes.
Options Description
CLUSTER Cluster information including cluster name, partitioner, and snitch and for non-system keyspaces, the endpoint-range ownership information is also shown.
FULL SCHEMA Details for all objects in the cluster.
SCHEMA Details for all non-system objects in the cluster.
KEYSPACES List of all keyspace names on the cluster.
KEYSPACE keyspace_name Details for the specified keyspace and objects it contains.
TABLES List of tables in the current keyspace or all tables in the cluster when no keyspace is selected.
TABLE keyspace_name.table_name Details on the specified table.
Note: To query the system tables, use SELECT.
INDEX keyspace.table Details on the specified index.
TYPES List of user-defined types in the current keyspace or all user-defined types in the cluster when no keyspace is selected.
TYPE keyspace_name.type_name Details on the specified user-defined type.
FUNCTIONS List of user-defined functions in the current keyspace or all user-defined functions in the cluster when no keyspace is selected.
FUNCTION keyspace_name.function_name Details on the specified user-defined function.
AGGREGATES List of user-defined aggregates in the current keyspace or all user-defined aggregates in the cluster when no keyspace is selected.
AGGREGATE keyspace_name.aggregate_name Details on the specified user-defined aggregate.
MATERIALIZED VIEW keyspace_name.view_name Details on the specified materialized view.


Show all keyspaces:
DESC keyspaces
All the keyspaces on the cluster are listed.
test_cycling   system_auth       test
cycling    system_schema  system       system_distributed  system_traces
Show details for the Cycling Calendar table:
DESC cycling.calendar
A complete table description in CQL that can be used to recreated the table is returned.
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 dclocal_read_repair_chance = 0.1
    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 read_repair_chance = 0.0
    AND speculative_retry = '99PERCENTILE';