Making mySQL backups using Cron

Cron JobsEarlier this year I migrated from a Microsoft Windows based web hosting package to a Linux based one. This meant I had to learn a few new ways of doing things, such as backing up databases or files, on a regular repeating basis.

This is accomplished on Linux web hosts using the Cron time-based scheduler. I needed to create two types of cron jobs; one to backup databases and one to backup files.

The syntax for backing up a MySQL database using Cron jobs will largely be the same on all web hosts.

The below example shows the syntax to backup a mySQL database, with the sections to change highlighted:

Created by Ian Grieve of azurecurve | Ramblings of an IT Professional ( This code is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Int). */
/usr/bin/mysqldump -u {username} -p'{password}' {databasename} > /home/{username}/backups/backup_{databasename}_$(date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M\%S).sql