Simplify the process of migrating data from MySQL to MongoDB.
Switch branches/tags
Latest commit e127677 Feb 23, 2011 @lovette Tweak man page text.


A collection of scripts to simplify importing database tables from MySQL* into MongoDB.

Using mongoimport to import all the tables of a relational database into MongoDB can be a bit tedious if you have more than a handful of tables. This collection of scripts makes the process much less manual.

* This tool can be used with any database, or even no database. Only one of the scripts is directly related to MySQL.


  • Supports comma and tab-delimited data files
  • Automatic export SQL generation
  • Easily filter exported records by customizing table SELECT SQL
  • Easily change exported field values by customizing column SELECT SQL
  • Convert data files to UTF-8 before import
  • Create collections from joined data files
  • Workarounds for known mongoimport parsing issues



Download the archive and extract into a folder. Then, to install the package:

make install

This installs user scripts to /usr/local/bin and man pages to /usr/share/man. You can also stage the installation with:

make DESTDIR=/stage/path install

You can undo the install with:

make uninstall


my2mo-fields [OPTION]... SCHEMAFILE
my2mo-export [OPTION]... CSVDIR EXPORTDB

Run each command with --help argument or see the man pages for available OPTIONS.

Quick Start

Here are the commands necessary to import an entire MySQL database into MongoDB.

$ mkdir -p my2mo/csvdata
$ cd my2mo
$ mysqldump --no-data mydatabase > schema.sql
$ my2mo-fields schema.sql
$ my2mo-export csvdata mydatabase
$ mysql -p -u root < export.sql
$ my2mo-import csvdata modatabase


Step 1: Create table list and fields files

The first information mongoimport needs that can take quite some time to produce from scratch is a list of fields to import for each table. If you want to do this by hand, have fun. But if you have an SQL file with the database schema, the my2mo-fields script will jumpstart the process.

my2mo-fields [OPTION]... SCHEMAFILE

my2mo-fields reads the database schema SQL generated by a tool such as mysqldump or phpMyAdmin. Each table will have a statement like this:

  Field1 ...,
  Field2 ...,
) TYPE=...;

my2mo-fields creates the file import.tables that lists the tables found, and creates a TABLE.fields file for each table listing all the table columns/fields. (The fields files are grouped together in a fields subdirectory.)


The import.tables file lists each table that will be imported. The first column of the file is the table name. The optional second column is the SQL to use in the SELECT statement of the export SQL to filter records. Typically this would be a WHERE or ORDER BY statement.

# List of tables to import
Table2 ORDER BY Field1


Each imported table must have a corresponding fields file that lists the table fields that will be imported. The first column of the file is the field name. The optional second column is the SQL to use in the SELECT statement of the export SQL to select the column data.

# List of fields to import
Field2 IFNULL(Field2, "")

Step 2: Create SQL commands to create data files

The next step is to export the database tables to comma or tab-delimited data files. This requires running a series of mysqldump or SELECT INTO OUTFILE statements against your MySQL database. The my2mo-export script facilitates the latter option. If you already have data files ready for import, you can skip this step.

my2mo-export [OPTION]... CSVDIR EXPORTDB

my2mo-export reads the import.tables and *.fields files (see previous section) to create an export.sql file containing SQL to execute against your database server. You can edit the import.tables and *.fields files before running the command to comment out tables or fields to exclude or add additional SQL for record selection.

The SQL generated is simply a series of SELECT statements that look like this:


Redirect this script into a mysql command to export each table to a file in CSVDIR (as shown in the Quick Start section).

Step 3: Import data files into MongoDB

The final step is to run mongoimport for each table data file you want to import into MongoDB. The script my2mo-import makes this easy.


my2mo-import reads the import.tables and *.fields files (see previous section) and executes mongoimport with the appropriate options. The result is a fresh collection created for each table. Each command looks like this:

mongoimport --db IMPORTDB --type csv --drop -c TABLE --file TABLE.csv --fields ... IMPORTOPTIONS

If you need to specify additional options for mongoimport (for example, --host or --username) just include them at the end of the command line after a --. Details of the import process are saved to the file mongoimport.log.

Data File Joins

my2mo-import supports joining two table data files using the join command. Joined tables are listed in a join.tables file. This file lists the new table name, the two tables to join, and the fields to join on. Because join requires both data files to be sorted on the join field, you can specify which field the resulting data should be sorted by before importing into the database. Use - if you don't want to sort the join results. The resulting table will not include the join field of the righthand table.

# List of tables to join
# NewTable Table1.Field Table2.Field FinalSortField
UserCity User.AddressCityID City.CityID AddressCityID

Note that this join is done on the data files themselves, and not by MySQL. If you want to import a table that is a result of an SQL join, you can edit the export.sql file by hand and create a corresponding .fields file.

UTF-8 Encoding

If mongoimport warns you about invalid characters in your data files, you can run my2mo-import with the -i option and it will run iconv to create a copy of the data files. The character set will be changed from ASCII to UTF-8, and invalid characters will be ommited from the data file. Specify the -I option to convert and delete the original data file if no changes are detected.


Through at least version 1.6.5, mongoimport has some serious parsing issues 1,2,3 with both comma and tab-delimited data files. Until these issues are resolved, your best option is to run my2mo-fields with the -W option and run my2mo-export and my2mo-import with the -t option. This will create tab-delimited data files where all tab, carriage return and newline characters (\t,\r,\n) are replaced with the text <TAB>, <CR> and <LF> respectively for all CHAR, TEXT and BLOB field types.