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Importing an SQL file using the command line in MySQL

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MySQL
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Database Cookbook
schedule Jul 1, 2022
Last updated
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We can import an SQL file using the command line in MySQL using the following command:

mysql -u username -p database_name < file_name.sql

Where:

  • username is your MySQL username.

  • database_name is the name of the database you would like to import the file to.

  • file_name is the name of the sql file you would like to import. It is best practice to include the full file path.

NOTE

If the database_name that you specify does not yet exist, then you will have to create it first if your SQL file does not contain a CREATE DATABASE statement. Learn more about how to create a database here.

Example

Consider we have the following table students residing within the people database:

student_id

fname

lname

day_enrolled

age

username

1

Sky

Towner

2015-12-03

17

stowner1

2

Ben

Davis

2016-04-20

19

bdavis2

3

Travis

Apple

2018-08-14

18

tapple3

4

Arthur

David

2016-04-01

16

adavid4

5

Benjamin

Town

2014-01-01

17

btown5

The above sample table can be created using the code here.

To import an SQL file test.sql that contains the SQL statement SELECT * FROM students; to database people:

mysql -u root -p people < /Users/Bob/test.sql
student_id fname lname day_enrolled age username
1 Sky Towner 2015-12-03 17 stowner1
2 Ben Davis 2016-04-20 19 bdavis2
3 Travis Apple 2018-08-14 18 tapple3
4 Arthur David 2016-04-01 16 adavid4
5 Benjamin Town 2014-01-01 17 btown5

On running the command and inputting our password, we can see that the SQL code within the test.sql file is executed returning the contents of the students table within the people database.

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Published by Arthur Yanagisawa
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