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It is good practice to back up your server regularly. If you are using MySQL, the mysqldump command makes it very easy.

The typical command to back up your entire database is:

mysqldump -u root -p -e --single-transaction -q -r"/home/ben/backup.sql" openmrs

  • -uroot = use username of root
  • -p = ask for password
  • -e = extended inserts (makes the dump 10x smaller)
  • --single-transaction = run this in a single transaction (to prevent corruption)
  • -q = quick
  • -r = file location to store
  • openmrs = name of your database

If you want to automate it, you can provide the username and password for mysql in the command:

mysqldump -u root -pPA$$W0rd -e --single-transaction -q -r"/home/ben/backup.sql" openmrs

If you want to exclude a few of the extremely large tables, you can do that too

mysqldump -u root -p -e --single-transaction -q -r"/home/ben/backup.sql" --ignore-table=hl7_in_archive --ignore-table=formentry_archive openmrs

If you are on a linux variant, you can insert the date automatically into the backup sql filename:

mysqldump -uroot -p -e --single-transaction -q -r"/home/ben/backup`date +%Y%m%d`.sql" openmrs

If you are on windows, you can insert the date automatically too, its just a little uglier:

mysqldump -u root -p -e --single-transaction -q -r"C:\backup%date:~10,4%%date:~4,2%%date:~7,2%" openmrs

After creating the backup .sql file, you can zip it and store it for later use.

Restoring From A Backup File

The now get the data out of an archived sql backup file and into a new database its merely three simple steps:

  1. Create your new database
    • create database openmrsbackuprestoration default character set utf8;
  2. Tell mysql to work against that new database
    • use openmrsbackuprestoration
  3. Run the sql file
    • source backup.sql

Now wait for 1, 20, or 30 minutes and you'll have all your data back.

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  1. im using mysql 5.6 and the syntax wont seem to work..

    anyone knows the right syntax in backing up the database?

    1. I expect mysqldump db_name > /pathTo/backup-file.sql... to be working well, please send us any syntax error messages sent back from mysql 5.6, otherwise consider looking into the mysql 5.6 manual

      1. hi kaweesi, i look back to mysql manual and found the answer. seems like im trying to enter it in the mysql>. thanks a lot for the support!
        kind regards

        1. O sorry, the command is not supposed to be entered into mysql shell/client/mysql> but rather the normal shell (e.g. terminal) without loading another shell inside it; since mysqldump is a seperate utility stored at:  .../bin/mysqldump of your mysql server package like: /opt/lampp/bin/mysqldump on my machine.

          Otherwise, glad you went about the problem Albert Palconet.