I have a file dump.sql with many databases in it: mydb1, mydb2, mydb3, etc.

How to import only mydb3 and not the other databases?


mysql> create database mydb3;
mysql> use mydb3;
mysql> source /path/to/dump.sql;

import all databases?

  • source does not recognize that you want only a subset of the file.
    – Rick James
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:13
  • @RickJames How would you do it easily?
    – Basj
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:40
  • @ErgestBasha Thanks! Out of curiosity, is sed adapter for such kind of tasks? How would you use it here?
    – Basj
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:45
  • 1
    @Basj - sed is a simple, general-purpose, command-line editor; it dates back decades, long before the term "adapter" was invented.
    – Rick James
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:46
  • @RickJames sorry, I meant "is it well adapted for this task?" it was a typo :) I don't know what an "adapter" is in this context. My mistake!
    – Basj
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:59

4 Answers 4


You can use the --one-database option or -o for short:

mysql ... -o mysb3 < /path/to/dump.sql

Note that the documentation page in the link above states:

This option is rudimentary and should be used with care.

However, I think dump files created by mysqldump should be safe enough.

Note: this doesn't run the actual CREATE DATABASE ... statement, so you have to do that before you import.

  • IHMO This is the most expedient answer without creating another file. If you were doing mydb1 or mydb2 like this as well and hit Ctrl-C when it finishes loading mydb1 or mydb2. Dec 4, 2021 at 23:19
  • Thank you! Do you think this is safe, and won't overwrite mydb1 in the current mysql install if dump.sql also contains mydb1?
    – Basj
    Dec 5, 2021 at 19:13
  • @Basj Yes, it should be safe as long as the dump was created by mysqldump or the dump file is organised so that everything to do with database x is preceded by USE x;.
    – dbdemon
    Dec 5, 2021 at 20:43

Try this:

sed -n '/^-- Current Database: `mydb1`/,/^-- Current Database: `/p' dump.sql > mydb1.sql

Other ways of using sed to get specific tables:

sed -n -e '/CREATE TABLE.*`table_name`/,/CREATE TABLE/p' "dump_file" > table_name.sql

If you have .gz or .bz2 dumps:

gunzip < fulldump.sql.gz | sed -n -e '/DROP TABLE.*`table_name`/,/UNLOCK TABLES/p' | gzip -c > table_name.gz 

sudo bzip2 -d < fulldump.bz2 | sed -n -e '/DROP TABLE.*`table_name`/,/UNLOCK TABLES/p' | bzip2 -z > table_name.gz 

awk and perl are also good tools for this task.

awk '/^-- Current Database: `mydb1`/,/^-- Current Database: `/' dump.sql > mydb1.sql

perl -ne 'print if /^-- Current Database: `mydb1`/../^-- Current Database: `/' dump.sql > mydb1.sql

Substitute your schema name for "mydb1" in the above examples.



Plan A:

Go back to the original server and dump only mydb3:

mysqldump ... mydb3 > db3.sql

mysql ... < db3.sql

Plan B:

Edit the dump to extract just the statements needed, then load that subset. sed is one way, most editors is another way; there may be other ways.

Caution: Be careful to include/exclude the extra commands such as DROP, USE, etc.

Plan C:

Load the whole dump into a separate instance of MySQL, then do Plan A to copy the db to the ultimate destination.

  • Thank you. Plan A is impossible, the original server has been wiped now, and I only have a dump of all databases in a single file. Would you have more details about how to use sed for Plan B?
    – Basj
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:58
  • @Basj - 30 years ago, I could rattle off the details for sed, awk, ex, and maybe some others; I haven't use sed in more than a decade. Let's hope someone else will jump in. Suggest you try your favorite text editor (not Word).
    – Rick James
    Dec 4, 2021 at 18:03

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