Neat Little Tricks by Anup Bishnoi

Exporting Amazon RDS database using mysqldump

Getting MySQL data out from Amazon RDS databases is frustratingly hard and makes you want to kill yourself when it finally works without the port number.


mysqldump is the command-line tool used to get a complete data dump from MySQL databases, including its table structure.

I installed it simply with brew install mysql in Mac OSX.

Amazon RDS

Go to Amazon RDS Console and get to your DB instance.

Note the Username, DB Name, and Endpoint of the instance from here.

If you don’t remember the Master Password you chose when creating this DB instance, then change it by right-clicking the instance and selecting Modify. There is a field for New Master Password there.

Next, check out the instance’s security groups and open one of the security groups by clicking on it.

In the security groups’s settings, open the Inbound tab, and allow MYSQL (3306) port range there.


Now open the terminal and type in this, filling in the placeholders with your own values:

$ mysqldump <DB Name> -h <Endpoint> -u <Username> -p<Master Password> -P 3306 > rds.sql

This should save the complete database dump into rds.sql, which is ready to be exported to another MySQL server and life goes on.

If only life were that easy.. Things that will trip you hard in that last command unless you ensure:

  • No port number at the end of Endpoint
  • No space between -p and Master Password
  • DB instance has the property Publicly Accessible set to true (visible when you select the instance)

I was bitten by 2 out of the 3 gotchas above. Just saying, Amazon.