Shows 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.

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>
Syntax legend
Syntax conventions Description


Literal keyword.


Not literal.

< >

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.


Set, list, map, or tuple. Angle brackets ( < > ) enclose data types in a set, list, map, or tuple. Separate the data types with a comma.


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.


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';

Was this helpful?

Give Feedback

How can we improve the documentation?

© 2024 DataStax | Privacy policy | Terms of use

Apache, Apache Cassandra, Cassandra, Apache Tomcat, Tomcat, Apache Lucene, Apache Solr, Apache Hadoop, Hadoop, Apache Pulsar, Pulsar, Apache Spark, Spark, Apache TinkerPop, TinkerPop, Apache Kafka and Kafka are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation or its subsidiaries in Canada, the United States and/or other countries. Kubernetes is the registered trademark of the Linux Foundation.

General Inquiries: +1 (650) 389-6000,