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Sun, Oct 16, 2011 10:42 pm

Backing Up a MySQL Database

The mysqldump command can be used to backup a MySQL database. The mysqldump command will write its output, which consists of SQL statements that can be used to recreate the database, to standard output by default; you can use > filename to redirect its output to a file. The format of the command to backup one or more databases is mysqldump --databases db1 db2 db3 > outputfile.sql where db1, db2, etc. are the names of the databases you wish to back up and outputfile.sql is the name of the output file to which the dababase will be dumped.. The --databases option causes all names on the command line to be treated as database names. Without this option, mysqldump treats the first name as a database name and those following as table names.
# mysqldump -p --databases partsdb > partsdb-20111016.sql
Enter password:

In the above example, the -p option causes mysql to prompt for the mysql account password with the username assumed to be the same as the login name for the account from which you are running the command. If you wish to specify the username, use --user=user_name or -u user_name.

If you want to back up all databases you can use the command mysqldump --all-databases > dump.sql to back up all databases to which the account has access on the system to a file named dump.sql in this case.

A dump file can be used in several ways:

An example script to dump mysql databases to a gzip file which will be transferred to another server via SSH for safekeeping can be found at How to have a rock solid Linux backup without pro budget. Placing your dump file on another system ensures you don't lose your data should the system on which your databases reside suffer a hard drive crash or some other catastrophe.


  1. 6.4.1. Dumping Data in SQL Format with mysqldump
    MySQL :: Developer Zone
  2. 6.4. Using mysqldump for Backups
    MySQL :: Developer Zone
  3. How to have a rock solid Linux backup without pro budget
    documentation planet

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