One of my experiences on a Virtual Machine (VM) running in Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently highlighted the importance of database backups.

I needed to create a full database backup and import a new SQL dump during this project.

Here's some context: Our server runs on CentOS, Plesk, and MariaDB. Our company manages these as part of a project for one of our clients.

Theoretically, I could have used Plesk and phpMyAdmin for this task. However, the number of records in the SQL dump was over a million. This enormous number was causing timeouts on phpMyAdmin. As a result, I had no choice but to import from the Linux client of MariaDB directly.

Step-by-step Process

  • Connecting to the Server

First, I connected to the server via SSH, using the command in the

ssh -i "access_key.pem" username@<server_ipv4_address>

  • Creating a Backup

To prevent the database from becoming a jumbled mess of 10 GB data, I backed up the entire database using the command:

mysqldump -uadmin -p`cat /etc/psa/.psa.shadow` database_name > backup_filename.sql

A helpful tip: The Plesk password is stored in the file at `/etc/psa/.psa.shadow`, which can be directly passed as a parameter to the mysqldump command via the output from the `cat` command.

  • Importing the SQL Dump

With the complete database backup in place, I executed:

mysql -uadmin -p`cat /etc/psa/.psa.shadow` database_name

After connecting to the database, I imported the dump file by running:

source /file_path/imported_table.sql;

  • Verification

After the import, I conducted a quick check using:



SELECT * FROM table_name LIMIT 10;

Everything was functioning correctly.

  • Archiving the Backup

It is prudent to archive the database backup. After exiting the MariaDB client with `exit;`, I compressed the backup:

gzip ./backup_filename.sql

Finally, I downloaded and stored this file in the client's OneDrive account as a backup measure.


The entire operation took roughly 10 minutes.


Article by Mr. Razvan Burz

(published )

Feel welcome to engage with our content. Please note, however, that the views expressed herein solely reflect the author's perspective and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of our families, friends, customers, or collaborators.