How to Import a database into MySQL

Importing a database dump into MySQL is a quick and easy process. However, there are a couple pitfalls that you should know about.

Here’s how to import a SQL dump into MySQL

Example user, password, and database name:
  1. If you don’t already have it, Create a SQL dump from the original database that you want to import.
  2. In the new database, create the database you want to import the data into.
    mysql -u kris -p CREATE DATABASE myDatabase

    It will prompt you for a password. Type it in and hit enter.

  3. Once created, import the file:
    mysql -u kris -p myDatabase < /path/to/sql/dump/file.sql

    It will prompt you again for a password.
    Note: this command doesn’t give you any feedback as it is progressing (Unless there is an error, and you’ll then get an error message). Don’t worry.

Be Careful

If you accidentally type a “>” instead of the left-pointing “<” character, it will just hang and not give any feedback, which you will sit and stare at for a moment. Then you will cancel the command with Ctrl-C. Doing this actually corrupts the file, and you will then get the following error message next time you try to import the dump file:

ERROR 1064 (42000) at line 1: You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘Ctrl-C’ at line 1

If this happens to you, replace the dump file with a new one, because it is corrupted. Then re-run your import with the correct “<” character. :)