Rake task for foolproof database dumps
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Adds a Rake command to dump and restore the application's database.

Delegates to regular dumping utilities such as mysqldump and pg_dump. Unlike them, you don't have to remember any proper syntax.

You don't have to specify the connection parameters either; if the application works the dumper works, too.


rake db:dump

Without parameters the task dumps the current database to standard output.

Pass a TABLE_NAME environment variable to dump a single table:

rake db:dump TABLE_NAME=locations

There is also a symmetrical task, rake db:restore, which restores the database from standard input.


Rails versions 2.3 through 4.2 are tested and supported.

Supported database engines: MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite. The command line utilities must be available from the PATH:

  • for MySQL - mysqldump;
  • for PostgreSQL - pg_dump;
  • for SQLite - sqlite or sqlite3.


Rails 3 and later: add gem rails_db_dump, '~>1.0.0' to your Gemfile.

Rails 2.3: add the gem to your environment; add require 'rails_db_dump/tasks' to the end of Rakefile.

Integration with other tools

The thought behind this plugin was to do one thing and do it good, and that is reuse the existings database settings to provide database dumping functionality.

If you want a complet-er backup solution, pipe it up to gzip then add timestamps:

rake db:dump RAILS_ENV=production | gzip > db/backup/`date +%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M`.sql.gz

Only keep the last 5 dumps:

cd dumps && ls -t | awk 'NR>5' | xargs rm

Push'em home with scp:

scp -r dumps my_secure_backup_server.com:/my/backup/location

Or use rsnapshot to rotate backups.

© 2015 Leonid Shevtsov, released under the MIT license