I have a Virtual Private Server with a Plesk control panel and Ubuntu installed in the back end.

Over the last year it grew very large beyond my expectations and I do not have any backups. I am quite desperate to have it secured quickly just in case.

When I try to do a dump, phpMyAdmin just crashes because the DB weighs 5Gb in total, I know this is an extreme amount of data but this was a bit unforseen. I hope somebody can suggest a script or application that could maybe automate a gradual backup. I would usually do a manual table by table but the structure is also huge so that will take me ages.

The only backup solution available on the panel is myLittleBackup but i am unable to install this because it requires ASP.NET

  • 5gb EXTREME? For your phone - yes. For a server - no. Multiply it by 20.000 and we talk of hugh. I have a 800gb database at home.
    – TomTom
    Oct 17, 2011 at 8:17
  • apologies for my simplicity, im not used to dealing with such large sizes. do you have any suggestions for a backup solution?
    – Arturski
    Oct 17, 2011 at 8:39

3 Answers 3


Have you tried the command line utility mysqldump ?

Something along the lines of

cd /tmp
mysqldump -u root -pPASSWORD databasename > dump.sql

or for a large database like yours

cd /tmp
mysqldump -u root -pPASSWORD databasename | gzip > dump.sql.gz
  • The gzip is a nice twist. Oct 17, 2011 at 11:35

Have you tried with CPANEL Backup System.?? There's an option to only backup database, or you can backup all site, and let it work in the background. The system will send you an email when the backup is done. Download it and look for the MYSQL folder where your database should be.

I have never tried this before, 5gb in a DB is a lot of information. So, if works, let me know to add it

  • Ah.! Do it at night, when the server has minimal load.
    – user998802
    Oct 17, 2011 at 8:54
  • Hi thanks for the advice, i apologise for the confusion but I have edited the main text. it is actually a VPS with linux installed and a Plesk Admin panel. I got confused between two server im sorry
    – Arturski
    Oct 17, 2011 at 10:37

If you have shell access or your db accessible from the outside, you can run the dump with mysqldump command line tool. It is simple and relatively fast, we use it all time !

For version 5.1 the doc ref is here

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