Backup a SQL Database and email it.


So recently we needed rapid backups of one of our MySQL servers. As everyone know server admin tasks are not my favorite thing to do, but it is obviously a need in our development environment so I got to thinking what was a quick reliable way to accomplish this task. The backup is easy:

Write a small script to dump the db:

timestamp=$(date '+%d-%m-%Y@%H:%M')
mysqldump -u dbuser -pPassword --all-databases | gzip > /tmp/path/for/backup/database_$timestamp.sql.gz

This is a bash script that stores the current timestamp to a variable then goes about dumping the databases to text and piping that to gzip which outputs a gzipped version of the DB. Compression is good since we’re going to email it to a Gmail account for storage and we wanna maximize our 7 GB of backup space.

$timestamp in our filepath is replaced by the timestamp we generate above.

Next we actually need to mail this file to our backups account, after a short research session i came across mutt. Which seems to fufill the requirement of sending a email with an attached file easily from the command line:

mutt -s "Hourly backup from c4.kohsrv.net | $timestamp" -a /tmp/path/for/backup/database_$timestamp.sql.gz backup_email@gmail.com < /path/to/msg/body.txt

An odd convetion of mutt that i didnt take alot of time to explore was u have to read in a text file for the msg body. this can probably be done without a file but for simplicity i just created a small text file with something like Backup from devserver. and moved on with my life.

Finally u can delete the temp file or leave it for redundency just beaware it will take up space over time.

So our completed bash script should look like


timestamp=$(date '+%d-%m-%Y@%H:%M')

mysqldump -u dbuser -pPassword --all-databases | gzip > /tmp/path/for/backup/database_$timestamp.sql.gz

mutt -s "Hourly backup from c4.kohsrv.net | $timestamp" -a /tmp/path/for/backup/database_$timestamp.sql.gz backup_email@gmail.com < /path/to/msg/body.txt

rm /tmp/path/for/backup/database_$timestamp.sql.gz

Now we have to do a couple things to make this actually work first u need to:

  1. Save it to a file in a folder, in our case since CentOS (our server) has cron folders already setup we save it in /etc/cron.hourly which is preconfigured to run every script in that folder every hour.

  2. If your os does not have preconfigured cron folders u need to add ur script to your cron this article will not go into it, but the cron is a task scheduler so when configured properly u could run a task at a given intreval on your server auto-magically. Theres a good article on configuring the cron here: http://unixgeeks.org/security/newbie/unix/cron-1.html but thats all ill say about that.

  3. Make sure your file is marked executable or it wont run most likely returning Permission Denied, to do this run: chmod +x filename.sh

So thats about it. Now your server should send your backup account an email every hour or however long you made your interval and email with a database backup.