Exporting data from Vitess

Since VTGate supports the MySQL protocol, in many cases it is possible to use existing client utilities when connecting to Vitess. This includes using logical dump tools such as mysqldump, in certain cases.

This guide provides instructions on the required options when using these tools against a VTGate server for the purposes of exporting data from Vitess. It is recommended to follow the Backup and Restore guide for regular backups, since this method is performed directly on the tablet servers and is more efficient and safer for databases of any significant size. These methods are typically not suitable for production backups, because Vitess does not implement all the locking constructs across a sharded database that are necessary to do a consistent logical backup while writing to the database.


The default invocation of mysqldump attempts to execute statements which are not supported by Vitess, such as attempting to lock tables and dump GTID coordinates. The following options are required when using the mysqldump binary from MySQL 5.7 to export data from the commerce keyspace:

  • --lock-tables=off: VTGate currently prohibits the syntax LOCK TABLES and UNLOCK TABLES.
  • --set-gtid-purged=OFF: mysqldump attemps to dump GTID coordinates of a server, but in the case of VTGate this does not make sense since it could be routing to multiple servers.
  • --no-tablespaces: This option disables dumping InnoDB tables by tablespace. This functionality is not yet supported by Vitess.
  • --skip-network-timeout: This option is required when using mysqldump from MySQL 8.0 (#5401).

For example to export the commerce keyspace using the mysqldump binary from MySQL 5.7:

mysqldump  --lock-tables=off --set-gtid-purged=OFF --no-tablespaces commerce > commerce.sql

Note that if you are using the mysqldump binary from MySQL 8.0, this will not work, since the newer version of mysqldump sends additional commands to the server, which are not yet supported by Vitess.

To restore dump files created by mysqldump, replay it against a Vitess server or other MySQL server using the mysql command line client.


Alternatively, you can use a slight modification of the go-mydumper tool to export logical dumps of a Vitess keyspace. go-mydumper has the advantage of being multi-threaded, and so can run faster on a database that has many tables. For a database with just one or a handful of large tables, go-mydumper may not be that much faster than mysqldump.

For information on the Vitess-compatible fork of go-mydumper, see https://github.com/aquarapid/go-mydumper . Examples and instructions are available in the README.md in that repo. You will need to be able to compile golang binaries to use this tool.

go-mydumper creates multiple files for each backup. To restore a backup, you can use the mysql commandline client, but using the myloader tool as described in the go-mydumper repo above is easier and can be faster, since the loader is also multithreaded.

Exporting data from Vitess