Disabling foreign key checks on the command line

I have a backup script for my MySQL database, using mysqldump with the --tab option so it produces a .sql file for the structure and a .txt file (pipe-separated) for the content.

Some tables have foreign keys, so when I import it I’m getting the error:

ERROR 1217 (23000) at line 8: Cannot delete or update a parent row: a foreign key constraint fails

I know about using SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0 (and SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=1 afterward). If I add those to each .sql file then the import works. But then obviously on the next mysqldump those get overwritten.

I also tried running it as a separate command, like below but the error comes back:

echo "SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0" | mysql  
[all the imports]
echo "SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=1" | mysql

Is there some other way to disable FK checks on the command line?


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Method 1

You can also use --init-command parameter of mysql command.

I.e.: mysql --init-command="SET SESSION FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0;" ...

MySQL 5.5 Documentation – mysql options

Method 2

You can do this by concatenating the string to the file inline. I’m sure there’s an easier way to concatenate strings and files, but it works.

cat <(echo "SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0;") imports.sql | mysql

I don’t think you need to set it back to 1 since it’s just one session.

Method 3

Login to mysql command line:

mysql -u <username> -p -h <host_name or ip> Then run


2.use database <database_name>

3 SOURCE /pathToFile/backup.sql;


Method 4

Just another one to do the same:

{ echo "SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0;" ; cat imports.sql ; } | mysql

Method 5

Another way with .gz files:

gunzip < backup.sql.gz | mysql --init-command="SET SESSION FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0;" -u <username> -p

Method 6

Based off the comments and answers, I ended up using this for a zipped database import with both InnoDB and MyISAM:

{ echo "SET FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS=0;SET UNIQUE_CHECKS=0;" ; zcat dump.gz ; } | mysql

Method 7

Simply, you can call any command from cmd, this way:


Of course, you need to specify the username, password and host using -u, -p and -h

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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