SSH — Backing up your database

This article explains how to backup your site using SSH. This means you would log into your server using a terminal, then run a command to download the database to the server. For other backup options, view the following article instead:

Finding your database credentials

To backup your database, you'll need to know your database credentials such as username, password, hostname, and database name. View the following article for instructions on how to locate these credentials:

Where to run the command?

You must log into your web server via SSH to run the following command. Visit the following article for full instructions on how to do log into your server in a terminal:

Running the command

At this point you should have your database credentials and are logged into your server in a terminal. Make sure you're in your user's home directory:

[server]$ cd ~

Once there, run the following command. Make sure to change the username, password, yourMySQLHostname, and dbname to the correct credentials. 

[server]$ mysqldump --opt --user=username --password=password --host=yourMySQLHostname dbname > nameofyourbackup.sql

You can use any name for "nameofyourbackup.sql" – just make sure it ends with .sql.

Please note the following when you run this command:

  • You only need to run the command once.
  • The command does not provide any output.
  • To an inexperienced user, it may appear that the server is not responding — Do not cancel the command action! If there is no response from the server, then you can assume that the command is continuing with the backup.
  • For large databases, a backup can take several minutes to complete.

You can now use the following FTP article for instructions on how to log into your server and download the .sql file:

See also

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Article last updated PST.