Python script to backup mysql databases on Debian

Here’s a short python script I must have knocked up some time ago – and totally forgotten – hopefully it’ll be of some use to others….

Purpose: backup all MySQL databases, one in each file with a timestamp on the end. You’ll probably want to have a secondary cron job which does something like :

find /backups/mysql -mtime +5 -print | xargs -r rm

to delete old copies… changing +5 to how ever many days history you wish to have.

Method: Read /etc/mysql/debian.cnf to get login details for MySQL, connect to MySQL and ask it for a list of all databases, go through this list calling mysqldump on each one.


(Last updated: 2012/10/10 – skip trying to backup the performance_schema).

#!/usr/bin/env python
import ConfigParser
import os
import time

# On Debian, /etc/mysql/debian.cnf contains 'root' a like login and password.
config = ConfigParser.ConfigParser()"/etc/mysql/debian.cnf")
username = config.get('client', 'user')
password = config.get('client', 'password')
hostname = config.get('client', 'host')

filestamp = time.strftime('%Y-%m-%d')

# Get a list of databases with :
database_list_command="mysql -u %s -p%s -h %s --silent -N -e 'show databases'" % (username, password, hostname)
for database in os.popen(database_list_command).readlines():
    database = database.strip()
    if database == 'information_schema':
    if database == 'performance_schema':
    filename = "/backups/mysql/%s-%s.sql" % (database, filestamp)
    os.popen("mysqldump -u %s -p%s -h %s -e --opt -c %s | gzip -c > %s.gz" % (username, password, hostname, database, filename))


  1. I tried the exact code by giving the access details like username,password,localhost. Then its displaying me below error

    ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’ (using password: YES)

    how to solve this error from the above code

  2. Of course, a better approach would be to just use :

    mysqldump/mysql’s –defaults-extra-file=/etc/mysql/debian.cnf option

    to handle the authentication bit – rather than parsing the /etc/mysql/debian.cnf file and then using the extracted username/password.

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