Sam Doidge

Continual improvement

Database backups to Dropbox

I’m automating my database backups and storing them with Dropbox. You need Dropbox running on your server for this - it’s a great guide, but note one key point : when ‘This client is not linked to any account…’ appears - leave the service open, do not press Ctrl + C, enter the URL in the browser - when it says ‘welcome’ - then you can close.

Here I will show how to automate database backups and add them to Dropbox:

First we need a shell script to for our cron job to run, using your favourite terminal editor (I use vi):

vi is probably a better name. To backup a database useful commands are provided - mysql has mysqldump. To take a backup of the whole database enter the following in your .sh file:

mysqldump db_name -u username -ppassword > /path/to/dropbox/folder/

This command dumps the whole database, you can specify specific tables if wanted - look into the mysqldump command. I put my database dumps into a Database folder within my Dropbox folder on the server.

Once we have our shell script - run it via


to check it works, if so, let’s automate the running of this with a cron:

crontab -e

then add the following:

0 0 * * * /bin/sh /path/to/

This will have the script being run every day at midnight.