How to Back Up Your Laravel Homestead Databases

Today I upgraded from Homestead 4.0.0 to 5.0.1 so I could test my sites in PHP 7. That was a major upgrade and a number of things changed, so I decided that I needed to back up my databases before I did the upgrade. I’d only ever dumped specific databases before, but TIL how to dump them all at once. Here is how to do that in Laravel Homestead:

  1. $ cd ~/Homestead
  2. $ vagrant ssh
  3. $ mysqldump -u homestead -psecret --all-databases > Code/homestead-YYYY-MM-DD-hh-mm.sql
  4. Test the sql file. I had a syntax error the first time and it only wrote out an error message. You’ve been warned.
  5. Move the SQL file somewhere safe. IE outside of any folder you might delete or change during the upgrade.
  6. After the upgrade, here is how to reload your databases in Homestead: $ mysql -u homestead -psecret < Code/homestead-YYYY-MM-DD-hh-mm.sql

I had some major issues with the upgrade. When I first tried it, vagrant up hung at the SSH auth step and never moved. I went down a deep rabbit hole with my friend Eric Davis trying to debug the SSH issues, to no avail. My last trial was to roll back to Homestead 4.0.0, check my vagrant ssh-config settings, then try the upgrade with those settings. Then, miraculously, when I tried the upgrade again, vagrant up worked with no SSH problems! No difference in settings. I’m baffled, but relieved.

FYI, there are some Homestead.yaml differences between Homestead 4 and 5, so make sure you have some time set aside to read the docs, update your yaml file, and rerun vagrant up --provision a bunch of times to get everything working again.

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