mysql – How to output MySQL query results in CSV format?

Is there an easy way to run a MySQL query from the Linux command line and output the results in CSV format?

Here’s what I’m doing now:

mysql -u uid -ppwd -D dbname << EOQ | sed -e 's/        /,/g' | tee list.csv
select id, concat("\"",name,"\"") as name
from students
EOQ

It gets messy when there are a lot of columns that need to be surrounded by quotes, or if there are quotes in the results that need to be escaped.


From http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/1475/save-mysql-query-results-into-a-text-or-csv-file/

SELECT order_id,product_name,qty
FROM orders
WHERE foo = 'bar'
INTO OUTFILE '/var/lib/mysql-files/orders.csv'
FIELDS TERMINATED BY ','
ENCLOSED BY '"'
LINES TERMINATED BY '\n';

Using this command columns names will not be exported.

Also note that /var/lib/mysql-files/orders.csv will be on the server that is running MySQL. The user that the MySQL process is running under must have permissions to write to the directory chosen, or the command will fail.

If you want to write output to your local machine from a remote server (especially a hosted or virtualize machine such as Heroku or Amazon RDS), this solution is not suitable.


$ mysql your_database --password=foo < my_requests.sql > out.csv

Which is tab separated. Pipe it like that to get a true CSV (thanks @therefromhere):

... .sql | sed 's/\t/,/g' > out.csv

mysql –batch, -B

Print results using tab as the column separator, with each row on a new line. With this option, mysql does not use the history file. Batch mode results in non-tabular output format and escaping of special characters. Escaping may be disabled by using raw mode; see the description for the –raw option.

This will give you a tab separated file. Since commas (or strings containing comma) are not escaped it is not straightforward to change the delimiter to comma.


Here’s a fairly gnarly way of doing it. Found it somewhere, can’t take any credit

mysql --user=wibble --password wobble -B -e "select * from vehicle_categories;" | sed "s/'/\'/;s/\t/\",\"/g;s/^/\"/;s/$/\"/;s/\n//g" > vehicle_categories.csv

Works pretty well. Once again though a regex proves write only.

Regex Explanation:

  • s/// means substitute what’s between the first // with what’s between the second //
  • the “g” at the end is a modifier that means “all instance, not just first”
  • ^ (in this context) means beginning of line
  • $ (in this context) means end of line

So, putting it all together:

s/'/\'/          replace ' with \'
s/\t/\",\"/g     replace all \t (tab) with ","
s/^/\"/          at the beginning of the line place a "
s/$/\"/          at the end of the line place a "
s/\n//g          replace all \n (newline) with nothing

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