execute *.sql file with python MySQLdb

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How can execute sql script stored in *.sql file using MySQLdb python driver. I was trying


but this doesn’t work because cursor.execute can run only one sql command at once. My sql script contains several sql statements instead. Also I was trying

cursor.execute('source %s'%PATH_TO_FILE)

but also with no success.

From python, I start a mysql process to execute the file for me:

from subprocess import Popen, PIPE
process = Popen(['mysql', db, '-u', user, '-p', passwd],
                stdout=PIPE, stdin=PIPE)
output = process.communicate('source ' + filename)[0]

I also needed to execute a SQL file, but the catch was that there wasn’t one statement per line, so the accepted answer didn’t work for me.

The SQL file I wanted to execute looked like this:

-- SQL script to bootstrap the DB:
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mystore.* TO 'x'@'%';
GRANT ALL ON `%`.* TO 'x'@`%`;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON oozie.* TO 'oozie'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'oozie';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON oozie.* TO 'oozie'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'oozie';
USE oozie;
  `bundle_action_id` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  `bundle_id` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `coord_id` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `coord_name` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `critical` int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
  `last_modified_time` datetime DEFAULT NULL,
  `pending` int(11) DEFAULT NULL,
  `status` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `bean_type` varchar(31) DEFAULT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`bundle_action_id`),
  KEY `I_BNDLTNS_DTYPE` (`bean_type`)

Some statements in the above file lie on a single line and some statements also span multiple lines (like the CREATE TABLE at the end). There are also a few SQL inline comment lines that begin with “–“.

As suggested by ThomasK, I had to write some simple rules to join lines into a statement. I ended up with a function to execute a sql file:

def exec_sql_file(cursor, sql_file):
    print "\n[INFO] Executing SQL script file: '%s'" % (sql_file)
    statement = ""

    for line in open(sql_file):
        if re.match(r'--', line):  # ignore sql comment lines
        if not re.search(r';$', line):  # keep appending lines that don't end in ';'
            statement = statement + line
        else:  # when you get a line ending in ';' then exec statement and reset for next statement
            statement = statement + line
            #print "\n\n[DEBUG] Executing SQL statement:\n%s" % (statement)
            except (OperationalError, ProgrammingError) as e:
                print "\n[WARN] MySQLError during execute statement \n\tArgs: '%s'" % (str(e.args))

            statement = ""

I’m sure there’s scope for improvement, but for now it’s working pretty well for me. Hope someone finds it useful.

This worked for me:

with open('schema.sql') as f:
    cursor.execute(f.read().decode('utf-8'), multi=True)

for line in open(PATH_TO_FILE):

This assumes you have one SQL statement per line in your file. Otherwise you’ll need to write some rules to join lines together.

Another solution that allows to leverage on the MySQL interpreter without any parsing is to use the os.system command to run a MySQL prompt command directly inside python:

from os import system
USERNAME = "root"
PASSWORD = "root"
DBNAME = "pablo"
HOST = "localhost"
PORT = 3306
FILE = "file.sql"
command = """mysql -u %s -p"%s" --host %s --port %s %s < %s""" %(USERNAME, PASSWORD, HOST, PORT, DBNAME, FILE)

It avoids any parsing error when for example you would have a string variable with a smiley ;-) in it or if you check for the ; as the last character, if you have comments afterward like SELECT * FROM foo_table; # selecting data

At least MySQLdb 1.2.3 seems to allow this out of the box, you just have to call cursor.nextset() to cycle through the returned result sets.

db = conn.cursor()
db.execute('SELECT 1; SELECT 2;')

more = True
while more:
    print db.fetchall()
    more = db.nextset()

If you want to be absolutely sure the support for this is enabled, and/or disable the support, you can use something like this:


# Multiple statement execution here...

Many of the answers here have serious flaws…

First don’t try to parse an open ended sql script yourself! If you think that is easily done, you aren’t aware of how robust and complicated sql can be. Serious sql scripts certainly involve statements and procedure definitions spanning multiple lines. It is also common to explicitly declare and change delimiters the in middle of your scripts. You can also nest source commands within each other. For so many reasons, you want to run the script through the MySQL client and allow it to handle the heavy lifting. Trying to reinvent that is fraught peril and a huge waste of time. Maybe if you are the only one writing these scripts, and you are not writing anything sophisticated you could get away with that, but why limit yourself to such a degree? What about machine generated scripts, or those written by other developers?

The answer from @jdferreira is on the right track, but also has problems and weaknesses. The most significant is that a security hole is being opened up by sending the connection parameters to the process in that manner.

Here’s a solution / example for your copy & paste pleasure. My extended discussion follows:

First, create a separate config file to save your user name and password.


user     = XXXXXXX
password = YYYYYYY

Slap the right file system permissions on that, so the python process can read from it, but no one can view that who should not be able to.

Then, use this Python (in my example case the creds file is adjacent to the py script):


import os
import sys
import MySQLdb
from subprocess import Popen, PIPE, STDOUT


__THIS_DIR = os.path.dirname( os.path.realpath( sys.argv[0] ) )

__DB_CONFIG_PATH    = os.path.join( __THIS_DIR, "db-creds.cfg" )
__DB_CONFIG_SECTION = "client"

__DB_CONN_HOST = "localhost"
__DB_CONN_PORT = 3306

# ----------------------------------------------------------------

class MySqlScriptError( Exception ):

    def __init__( self, dbName, scriptPath, stdOut, stdErr ):
        Exception.__init__( self )
        self.dbName = dbName
        self.scriptPath = scriptPath
        self.priorOutput = stdOut
        self.errorMsg = stdErr                
        errNumParts = stdErr.split("(")        
        try : self.errorNum = long( errNumParts[0].replace("ERROR","").strip() )
        except: self.errorNum = None        
        try : self.sqlState = long( errNumParts[1].split(")")[0].strip() )
        except: self.sqlState = None

    def __str__( self ): 
        return ("--- MySqlScriptError ---\n" +
                "Script: %s\n" % (self.scriptPath,) +
                "Database: %s\n" % (self.dbName,) +
                self.errorMsg ) 

    def __repr__( self ): return self.__str__()

# ----------------------------------------------------------------

def databaseLoginParms() :        
    from ConfigParser import RawConfigParser
    parser = RawConfigParser()
    parser.read( __DB_CONFIG_PATH )   
    return ( parser.get( __DB_CONFIG_SECTION, "user" ).strip(), 
             parser.get( __DB_CONFIG_SECTION, "password" ).strip() )

def databaseConn( username, password, dbName ):        
    return MySQLdb.connect( host=__DB_CONN_HOST, port=__DB_CONN_PORT,
                            user=username, passwd=password, db=dbName )

def executeSqlScript( dbName, scriptPath, ignoreErrors=False ) :       
    scriptDirPath = os.path.dirname( os.path.realpath( scriptPath ) )
    sourceCmd = "SOURCE %s" % (scriptPath,)
    cmdList = [ __MYSQL_CLIENT_PATH,                
               "--defaults-extra-file=%s" % (__DB_CONFIG_PATH,) , 
               "--database", dbName,
               "--unbuffered" ] 
    if ignoreErrors : 
        cmdList.append( "--force" )
        cmdList.extend( ["--execute", sourceCmd ] )
    process = Popen( cmdList 
                   , cwd=scriptDirPath
                   , stdout=PIPE 
                   , stderr=(STDOUT if ignoreErrors else PIPE) 
                   , stdin=(PIPE if ignoreErrors else None) )
    stdOut, stdErr = process.communicate( sourceCmd if ignoreErrors else None )
    if stdErr is not None and len(stdErr) > 0 : 
        raise MySqlScriptError( dbName, scriptPath, stdOut, stdErr )
    return stdOut

If you want to test it out, add this:

if __name__ == "__main__": 

    ( username, password ) = databaseLoginParms()
    dbName = "ExampleDatabase"

    print "MySQLdb Test"
    conn = databaseConn( username, password, dbName )
    cursor = conn.cursor()
    cursor.execute( "show tables" )
    print cursor.fetchall()

    print "-----------------"
    print "Execute Script with ignore errors"
    scriptPath = "test.sql"
    print executeSqlScript( dbName, scriptPath, 
                            ignoreErrors=True )

    print "-----------------"
    print "Execute Script WITHOUT ignore errors"                            
    try : print executeSqlScript( dbName, scriptPath )
    except MySqlScriptError as e :        
        print "dbName: %s" % (e.dbName,)
        print "scriptPath: %s" % (e.scriptPath,)
        print "errorNum: %s" % (str(e.errorNum),)
        print "sqlState: %s" % (str(e.sqlState),)
        print "priorOutput:"        
        print e.priorOutput
        print "errorMsg:"
        print e.errorMsg           
        print e

And for good measure, here’s an example sql script to feed into it:


show tables;
blow up;
show tables;

So, now for some discussion.

First, I illustrate how to use MySQLdb along with this external script execution, while storing the creds in one shared file you can use for both.

By using --defaults-extra-file on the command line you can SECURELY pass your connection parameters in.

The combination of either --force with stdin streaming the source command OR --execute running the command on the outside let’s you dictate how the script will run. That is by ignoring errors and continuing to run, or stopping as soon as an error occurs.

The order in which the results comeback will also be preserved via --unbuffered. Without that, your stdout and stderr streams will be jumbled and undefined in their order, making it very hard to figure out what worked and what did not when comparing that to the input sql.

Using the Popen cwd=scriptDirPath let’s you nest source commands within one another using relative paths. If your scripts will all be in the same directory (or a known path relative to it), doing this let’s you reference those relative to where the top level script resides.

Finally, I threw in an exception class which carries all the info you could possibly want about what happened. If you are not using the ignoreErrors option, one of these exceptions will be thrown in your python when something goes wrong and script has stopped running upon that error.

The accepted answer will encounter problems when your sql script contains empty lines and your query sentence spans multiple lines. Instead, using the following approach will solve the problem:

f = open(filename, 'r')
query = " ".join(f.readlines())

As mentioned in one of the comments, if you are sure that every command ends with a semi-colon, you can do this:

import mysql.connector
connection = mysql.connector.connect(

cursor = connection.cursor()

with open(script, encoding="utf-8") as f:
    commands = f.read().split(';')

for command in commands:


Load mysqldump file:

for line in open(PATH_TO_FILE).read().split(';\n'):

Are you able to use a different database driver?
If yes: what you want is possible with the MySQL Connector/Python driver by MySQL.

Its cursor.execute method supports executing multiple SQL statements at once by passing Multi=True.

Splitting the SQL statements in the file by semicolon is not necessary.

Simple example (mainly copy & paste from the second link, I just added reading the SQL from the file):

import mysql.connector

file = open('test.sql')
sql = file.read()

cnx = mysql.connector.connect(user="uuu", password='ppp', host="hhh", database="ddd")
cursor = cnx.cursor()

for result in cursor.execute(sql, multi=True):
  if result.with_rows:
    print("Rows produced by statement '{}':".format(
    print("Number of rows affected by statement '{}': {}".format(
      result.statement, result.rowcount))


I’m using this to import MySQL dumps (created in phpMyAdmin by exporting the whole database to a SQL file) from the *.sql file back into a database.

Here’s a code snippet that will import a typical .sql that comes from an export. (I used it with exports from Sequel Pro successfully.) Deals with multi-line queries and comments (#).

  • Note 1: I used the initial lines from Thomas K’s response but added more.
  • Note 2: For newbies, replace the DB_HOST, DB_PASS etc with your database connection info.

import MySQLdb
from configdb import DB_HOST, DB_PASS, DB_USER, DB_DATABASE_NAME

db = MySQLdb.connect(host=DB_HOST,    # your host, usually localhost
                     user=DB_USER,         # your username
                     passwd=DB_PASS,  # your password
                     db=DB_DATABASE_NAME)        # name of the data base

cur = db.cursor()

PATH_TO_FILE = "db-testcases.sql"


for line in open(PATH_TO_FILE):
  tempLine = line.strip()

  # Skip empty lines.
  # However, it seems "strip" doesn't remove every sort of whitespace.
  # So, we also catch the "Query was empty" error below.
  if len(tempLine) == 0:

  # Skip comments
  if tempLine[0] == '#':

  fullLine += line

  if not ';' in line:

  # You can remove this. It's for debugging purposes.
  print "[line] ", fullLine, "[/line]"

  except MySQLdb.OperationalError as e:
    if e[1] == 'Query was empty':

    raise e



How about using the pexpect library? The idea is, that you can start a process pexpect.spawn(...), and wait until the output of that process contains a certain pattern process.expect(pattern).

I actually used this to connect to the mysql client and execute some sql scripts.


import pexpect
process = pexpect.spawn("mysql", ["-u", user, "-p"])
process.expect("Enter password")

This way the password is not hardcoded into the command line parameter (removes security risk).

Executing even several sql scripts:

error = False
for script in sql_scripts:
    process.sendline("source {};".format(script))
    index = process.expect(["mysql>", "ERROR"])

    # Error occurred, interrupt
    if index == 1:
        error = True

if not error:
    # commit changes of the scripts

    print "Everything fine"
    # don't commit + print error message
    print "Your scripts have errors"

Beware that you always call expect(pattern), and that it matches, otherwise you will get a timeout error. I needed this bit of code to execute several sql scripts and only commit their changes if no error occurred, but it is easily adaptable for use cases with only one script.

Also an example for sqlite below (it will work also with MySQL).

Example file.sql

INSERT INTO actors (name)  VALUES  ('Evan Goldberg')   
INSERT INTO actors (name)  VALUES  ('Jay Baruchel')   
INSERT INTO actors (name)  VALUES  ('Ray Downey')

Example app.py

import sqlite3
from sqlite3 import OperationalError

#Connect to sqlite database
conn = sqlite3.connect('./database.db') 
cur  = conn.cursor()

#Create Table if not exist
create_table="""CREATE TABLE actors
  name VARCHAR NOT NULL);"""
  execute = cur.execute(create_table)
except OperationalError as e:

#Read File line by line and execute sql
with open("file.sql", "r") as f: #ps forgot to add open mode (r)  
     query = f.readlines() 
     for sql in query:
         execute = cur.execute(sql)

#Check if data was submitted
execute = cur.execute('Select * From actors Order By id asc Limit 3')
rows = cur.fetchall()


you should see as result something like:

[(1, 'Evan Goldberg'), (2, 'Jay Baruchel'), (3, 'Ray Downey')]

You can use something like this-

def write_data(schema_name: str, table_name: str, column_names: str, data: list):
        data_list_template=",".join(['%s'] * len(data))
        insert_query = f"insert into {schema_name}.{table_name} ({column_names}) values {data_list_template}"
        db.execute(insert_query, data)
    except Exception as e:
        raise e

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