Importing a CSV file into MySQL

I just wrote this script, and it seems pretty generic so I’m going to share it with The Internet. This will import data from a CSV into a MySQL database table. Two rules:

  1. The first line of the CSV must contain the column names
  2. These column names must be exactly the same as the column names in the database table


The basic usage is as follows:

php import.php -f [filename.csv] --database=[db_name] --table=[table_name]

You also have the following extra options:

-q (Quiet; no output)
-v (Verbose; print out all database insert commands)
--host=[hostname] (The host the database is on
- defaults to 'localhost')
--username=[username] (The username for the database)
--password=[password] (The password for the database)


Let’s say we have a database called “example_db” containing a table “example_table”:

mysql> desc example_table;
| Field | Type         | Null | Key | Default | Extra |
| id    | int(11)      | YES  |     | NULL    |       |
| value | varchar(255) | YES  |     | NULL    |       |
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Now we create a CSV of data called “example_csv.csv”:

id,value 1,hello world 2,this is god

Now we run the import script:

$ php import.php -f example_csv.csv --database=example_db --table=example_table

Resulting in the data being imported into the table:

mysql> select * from example_table;
| id   | value       |
| 1    | hello world |
| 2    | this is god |
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

That wasn’t too painful was it?


Download the CSV import script in .zip format.

To export from MySQL

into outfile


mysql -e '...' > filename

See: this MySQL forum post.

By @nottrobin