How to export your MySQL database using mysqldump

Doug Support 0 Comments

Use your command line to backup your mysql database by exporting it to an .sql file. All you need to complete this task is shell access & a mysql account.

A major use for this command is to easily migrate your sites from one server to another. Since this is often part of a larger process, I like to decide ahead of time which directory will contain this file. So I’ll start by navigating to my desired directory and scoping it out:

user@server:~$ cd /path/to/dir/; ls -al

Now that you’re sure about using this directory. Here is the basic mysqldump command:
user@server:/path/to/dir$ mysqldump db_name > db_backup.sql

But, depending on your level of access, you may need to modify it:
user@server:/path/to/dir$ mysqldump -u mysql_user -p db_name > db_backup.sql
Enter password:

After entering your mysql password, a file called db_backup.sql will be created in the default location, which is your current directory (three cheers for planning ahead!).
Of course, we could have just as easily added a location statement within the command:
user@server:~$ mysqldump -u mysql_user -p db_name > /path/to/dir/db_backup.sql

But, you’re going to want to cd there anyways, just to verify that everything’s in order 🙂

Be sure to browse our related posts describing how to get migrate files from one server to another, and how to import an .sql file into an empty MySQL databse.

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