Create MySQL Backup

There are a number of ways to backup a MySQL database. For my local environment I like a quick way to take a backup before trying something new. Rather than go through the cumbersome process of logging into Terminal, navigating to the MAMP /bin directory and then entering a very long command, which I would easily forget, it’s simpler to create a shell script and then invoke it as an Application by using AppleScript.

First, create your shell script by opening a text editor, eg TextWrangler (and not an RTF editor), and type:


On the next line type in the commands you would normally do in Terminal. In my case, I wanted to navigate to the MAMP /bin where mysqldump lives. Then, I wanted to use this to dump a sql file of a specific database within my sites directory.

cd /Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/
./mysqldump -a -uroot -pPASSWORD mydb1 > ../../../../Users/[username]/Sites/Backups/db1.sql;

Finally, close it with


You then save this in a logical place (ie somewhere you can find it!), in my case /Users/[username]/Sites/Backups/scripts/. Next go to Application > Utilities and launch AppeScript Editor. Type the following into the edit pane.

do shell script "/Users/[username]/Sites/Backups/scripts/"

Save this to either Applications or a sub-directory within Applications. When you change the File Format to Applications before saving.

Once done, all you need to do to take a backup is double-click the new application you’ve created and your previous backup is overwritten with a new one.

Remove System Mail

The other day I was in Terminal when I noticed for the first time it said You’ve got mail. at the top. Knowing I didn’t have any new mail I typed mail to see a whole load of system mail from previous web development work.  I’m no command line expert so I checked on and quickly found out what to do. Here’s the original post.

Go to the directory (=folder) where the system level email files for all users are stored, and list them:

cd /private/var/mail/; ls -l

Display the email(s) for the user which you fill into <username>. Either use your username (without the angle brackets) or use the character * (asterisk) if you want all emails from users listed:

cat <username> | less

Finally erase your mail file, in case you do not need it anymore.

sudo rm /private/var/mail/<username>

Obviously, seeing as you’re deleting mail from your mac make sure you’re certain before doing so. Also, the sudo rm command has no safety net. Once something’s gone it’s gone so if you’re unsure, don’t do it.

Resetting Root Password in MAMP

I struggled for a while to do this as I expected MAMP to automatically update the root password after I’d changed it in the mysql.user table. To be clear, it does not. And so, here’s a brief guide to sorting out you MAMP woes.

First, connect to mysql using Terminal. MAMP is automatically set to use root as the user account to connect to mysql. Funnily enough, root is also the password!

/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysql --host=localhost -uroot -proot
You’ll be logged into mysql and will see the following.
Last login: Wed Dec 28 14:48:04 on ttys001
ZoooJs-MacBook-Pro:~ zoooj$ /Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysql --host=localhost -uroot -proot
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or g.
Your MySQL connection id is 38
Server version: 5.1.44 Source distribution

Type 'help;' or 'h' for help. Type 'c' to clear the current input statement.
 The next thing to do is reset your password. Type the following replacing your-new-password with your new password. You should see the Query OK message.
mysql> SET PASSWORD FOR 'root'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('your-new-password');
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Once that’s done you need to edit a number of files in the /Applications/MAMP/ directory. I still can’t quite believe that you have to do this in so many places. You’d think they would have a single file that has the master password set. Hey ho, maybe not.
So, find and edit these files using a plain text editor, not TextEdit, Word, OpenOffice, etc. Use TextWrangler or another decent Mac IDE. TextWrangler is free. You’ll need to find the line that has -proot and change it to read -pyour-new-password. Note that there is no space between -p (stands for password) and the password itself.


Restart MAMP and all should be well.