Database Backup

I’m a little confused when it comes to backing up my database. I want to download a copy of my database to my home computer. I looked in the Knowledge Base and went to the page on how to do a backup, but I’m not clear if that will let me download it to my computer, or if it backs it up on DreamHost’s computers.

Also, the instructions say, “1. Use phpMyAdmin and use the options there to dump the contents to a text file.” I went to phpMyAdmin, and I’m not sure which options to use. Can anyone help me, step-by-step?

Then it says: “2. From the shell, run this command: [and then the command to run]”

I understand how to run the command (I think), but where is the shell? I haven’t used telnet in a long time, but I assume this means I can run this command from my web browser in phpMyAdmin?

I understand creating web pages and running some scripts (mostly, Perl and PHP) pretty well, but on databases, I’m an amateur. :slight_smile: Help appreciated.


shell is accessed through telnet or SSH. You can run that command from a shell prompt and it will create the file on your hosting account, and then you’d have to FTP in and download it. (I think if you database is really big you may be not able to backup with phpmyadmin, and you’d have to do it that way)

It’s easier to use phpmyadmin. Here’s the steps:
Log into your phpmyadmin (
Click Export (it’s in the center area, in the middle of a list - text link)
Select the datbase from the left
Scroll down and check Save as file.
All the other settings are default and your backup will work as is - you can change any settings you want.
Click Go, and you should be prmopted to download a something.sql file. That’s your backup!

Good luck!


Thank you! It’s no problem if I have to do it through Telnet, but I just wanted to make sure I understood how to do it through the browser as well. Right now, my database isn’t too big at all. Hopefully in the future it will be, though!