How to move mysql database to another drive or partition?

So you need to physically move around your mysql databases, typically because you want to put them on a another partition or hard drive, or on some network device ? This is how you can do it.

My box runs Ubuntu Server 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), but the following should apply to any recent Debian or Ubuntu distribution.
First stop the mysql service :

root@box:~/# /etc/init.d/mysql stop
* Stopping MySQL database server mysqld [ OK ]

Then go to your current mysql data directory, by default in Debian / Ubuntu it should be /var/lib/mysql. Check that your databases are there (in this example I have 2 bases – the default ‘mysql’ base and a user-created ‘wpdb’ base) :

root@box:~/# cd /var/lib/mysql
root@box:~/# ls
total 21M
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql 10M 2008-05-01 14:39 ibdata1
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql 5.0M 2008-05-01 14:39 ib_logfile0
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql 5.0M 2008-04-27 20:57 ib_logfile1
drwxr-xr-x 2 mysql 4.0K 2008-04-27 20:57 mysql
-rw------- 1 root 6 2008-04-27 20:57 mysql_upgrade_info
drwx------ 2 mysql 4.0K 2008-04-28 19:28 wpdb

Create a new directory for your data (in this example, the /var/www directory which is located on another partition) and give ownership on it to the mysql user :

root@box:~/# mkdir /var/www/mysql_datadir
root@box:~/# chown -R mysql:mysql /var/www/mysql_datadir

Copy your databases to the new dir and update ownership if needed. Only move the databases dirs, don’t touch the other files.

root@box:~/# cp -r mysql /var/www/mysql_datadir/
root@box:~/# cp -r wpdb /var/www/mysql_datadir/
root@box:~/# chown -R mysql:mysql /var/www/mysql_datadir/*

Then update your my.conf file to make it point to the new dir :

root@box:~/# nano /etc/mysql/my.conf

Find the following statement :

datadir = /var/lib/mysql

and update with the new location :

datadir = /var/www/mysql_datadir

And finally restart the mysql service

root@box:~/# /etc/init.d/mysql start
* Starting MySQL database server mysqld [ OK ]

When restarting, mysql re-created files ibdata1, ib_logfile0, etc. in the new data dir.
If everything went OK, you can now remove the original dir.

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