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I notice in the Codex that the --add-drop-table option is displayed for backing up a database. Before I screw anything up, does this just mean that when the backup is eventually imported, the tables will overwrite if they exist in the destination db?

I don't want to drop the tables when I back them up!

user@linux:~/files/blog> mysqldump --add-drop-table -h mysqlhostserver
 -u mysqlusername -p databasename (tablename tablename tablename) | bzip2
 -c > blog.bak.sql.bz2

Enter password: (enter your mysql password)


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It only affects the output of your MySQL dump in the file that is created.

It isn't necessary. It is just there so that if you import the created dump file into a database that already has a table with the same name, it will drop that table and then add the new table in its place. Otherwise you will get an error, and the dump file won't be imported.

It adds this line before the create table statement in the dump file:


If you plan to import the dump file into a fresh database, it won't matter.

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Thanks for the confirmation – AlxVallejo Aug 23 '12 at 2:07
You know what's interesting is that even if I use the dump without the add-drop-table option on an existing WP database, it works fine as well. – AlxVallejo Sep 22 '12 at 17:33

That's because the overall syntax goes something like:

mysql>mysqldump --opt --all-databses > all.sql

--opt is enabled by default (which implies: --add-drop-table) as mentioned in MySQL documentation.

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