New in version 1.0.3.

Setup a secondary MySQL instance painlessly.

This setups a MySQL under ~/sandboxes/ (by default) with a randomly generated password for the root@localhost user and networking disabled.

A simple shell script is provided to start, stop and connect to the MySQL instance.

Changed in version 1.0.5: dbsake verifies the gpg signature of downloaded MySQL tarball distributions


As of dbsake 2.0.0, the sandbox options have changed. -D is now an alias for –datadir, although it was previously an alias for –data-source. The -s option is now an alias for –data-source in order to specify a tarball to seed the sandbox instance with. See sandbox --datadir and sandbox --data-source for more information.


Usage: dbsake sandbox [OPTIONS]

  Create a sandboxed MySQL instance.

  This command installs a new MySQL instance under the specified sandbox
  directory, or under ~/sandboxes/sandbox_<datetime> if none is specified.

  -d, --sandbox-directory <path>  path where sandbox will be installed
  -m, --mysql-distribution <dist>
                                  mysql distribution to install
  -D, --datadir <path>            Path to datadir for sandbox
  -s, --data-source <source>      path to file to populate sandbox
  -t, --table <glob-pattern>      db.table glob pattern to include from
  -T, --exclude-table <glob-pattern>
                                  db.table glob pattern to exclude from
  -c, --cache-policy <policy>     cache policy to apply when downloading mysql
  --skip-libcheck                 skip check for required system libraries
  --skip-gpgcheck                 skip gpg verification of download mysql
  --force                         overwrite existing sandbox directory
  -u, --mysql-user <user>         MySQL user to add to the sandbox instance
  -p, --password                  prompt for password to create root@localhost
  -x, --innobackupex-options <options>
                                  additional options to run innobackupex
  -?, --help                      Show this message and exit.


# dbsake sandbox --sandbox-directory=/opt/mysql-5.6.19 \
>                --mysql-distribution=5.6.19 \
>                --data-source=backup.tar.gz
Preparing sandbox instance: /opt/mysql-5.6.19
  Creating sandbox directories
    * Created directories in 0.00 seconds
  Preloading sandbox data from /root/backup.tar.gz
(100.00%)[========================================] 276.0KiB / 276.0KiB
    - Sandbox data appears to be unprepared xtrabackup data
    - Running: /root/xb/bin/innobackupex --apply-log  .
    - (cwd: /opt/mysql-5.6.19/data)
    - innobackupex --apply-log succeeded. datadir is ready.
    * Data extracted in 4.46 seconds
  Deploying MySQL distribution
    - Deploying MySQL 5.6.19 from download
    - Downloading from
    - Importing mysql public key to /root/.dbsake/gpg
    - Verifying gpg signature via: /bin/gpg2 --verify /root/.dbsake/cache/mysql-5.6.19-linux-glibc2.5-x86_64.tar.gz.asc -
    - Unpacking tar stream. This may take some time
(100.00%)[========================================] 291.4MiB / 291.4MiB
    - GPG signature validated
    - Stored MD5 checksum for download: /root/.dbsake/cache/mysql-5.6.19-linux-glibc2.5-x86_64.tar.gz.md5
    * Deployed MySQL distribution in 46.17 seconds
  Generating my.sandbox.cnf
    - Generated random password for sandbox user root@localhost
    ! Existing ib_logfile0 detected. Setting innodb-log-file-size=5M
    ! Found existing shared innodb tablespace: ibdata1:18M:autoextend
    * Generated /opt/mysql-5.6.19/my.sandbox.cnf in 0.03 seconds
  Bootstrapping sandbox instance
    - Logging bootstrap output to /opt/mysql-5.6.19/bootstrap.log
    - User supplied mysql.user table detected.
    - Skipping normal load of system table data
    - Ensuring root@localhost exists
    * Bootstrapped sandbox in 2.04 seconds
  Creating initscript
    * Generated initscript in 0.01 seconds
Sandbox created in 52.72 seconds

Here are some useful sandbox commands:
       Start sandbox: /opt/mysql-5.6.19/ start
        Stop sandbox: /opt/mysql-5.6.19/ stop
  Connect to sandbox: /opt/mysql-5.6.19/ mysql <options>
   mysqldump sandbox: /opt/mysql-5.6.19/ mysqldump <options>
Install SysV service: /opt/mysql-5.6.19/ install-service


Changed in version 2.0.0: mysql-sandbox renamed to sandbox

-d, --sandbox-directory <path>

Specify the path under which to create the sandbox. This defaults to ~/sandboxes/sandbox_$(date +%Y%m%d_%H%M%S)

Changed in version 1.0.6: –sandbox-directory supports relative paths

-m, --mysql-distribution <name>

Specify the source for the mysql distribution. This can be one of:

  • system - use the local mysqld binaries already installed on
    the system
  • mysql*.tar.gz - path to a tarball distribution
  • <mysql-version> - if a mysql version is specified then an
    attempt is made to download a binary tarball from and otherwise is identical to installing from a local tarball

The default, if no option is specified, will be to use system which copies the minimum binaries from system director to $sandbox_directory/bin/.

Changed in version 1.0.4: –mysql-source was renamed to –mysql-distribution


–mysql-distribution = <version> will only auto-download tarballs from To install Percona or MariaDB sandboxes, you will need to download the tarballs separately and specify the tarball path via –mysql-distribution /path/to/my/tarball

-D, --datadir <path>

Specify the path to the datadir to be used for the sandbox. If this path does not exist, it will be created. The datadir will be boostrapped using the MySQL version specified via the sandbox --mysql-distribution option. Sanity checks will be done against the path to verify that it is either empty or seems to be a valid, unused MySQL datadir.

New in version 2.0.0.

-s, --data-source <tarball>

Specify a tarball that will be used for the sandbox datadir. If a tarball is specified it will be extracted to the ./data/ path under the sandbox directory, subject to any filtering specified by the –table and –exclude-table options.

New in version 1.0.4.

Changed in version 2.0.0: The -s short option was added. In 1.0 this was -D, but as of 2.0.0, -D is an alias for –datadir.

Changed in version 2.0.0: –data-source now only takes a tarball option. To use an existing datadir, use the sandbox --datadir option.

Changed in version 1.0.5: A directory may be specified for the –data-source option to use an existing datadir for the sandbox.


Support for tarballs in –data-source is presently limited to tarballs relative to the datadir - such as those generated by percona-xtrabackup or certain LVM snapshot backup utilities.

Directory data sources have no filtering applied even if –table or –exclude-table options were provided.

-t, --table <glob>

Specify a glob pattern to filter elements from the –data-source option. If –data-source is not specified this option has no effect. <glob> should be of the form database.table with optional glob special characters. This use the python fnmatch mechanism under the hood so is limited to only the *, ?, [seq] and [!seq] glob operations.

New in version 1.0.4.

Changed in version 2.0.0: --table="mysql.*" is included by default in the list of table options regardless of other sandbox --table optons. Tables in the mysql schema can be excluded by using the sandbox --exclude-table option.

-T, --exclude-table <glob>

Specify a glob pattern to filter elements from the –data-source option. If –data-source is not specified this option has no effect.

New in version 1.0.4.

-c, --cache-policy <always|never|refresh|local>

Specify the cache policy if installing a MySQL distribution via a download (i.e when only a version is specified). This command will cache downloaded tarballs by default in the directory specified by $DBSAKE_CACHE environment variable, or ~/.dbsake/cache if this is not specified.

The cache policies have the following semantics:

  • always - check cache and update the cache if a download is required
  • never - never use the cache - this will always result in a download
  • refresh - skip the cache, but update it from a download
  • local - check cache, but fail if a local tarball is not present

New in version 1.0.4.


As of dbsake 1.0.5, if a version of MySQL >= 5.5.4 is requested for download, dbsake checks for libaio on the system. Without libaio mysqld from any recent version of MySQL will fail to start at all. This option allows proceeding anyway in case, dbsake is not detecting libaio correctly. Use of this option will often cause the sandbox process to just fail later in the process.

New in version 1.0.5.


Disables verification of the gpg signature when downloading MySQL tarball distributions.

New in version 1.0.5.


Forces overwriting the path specified by --sandbox-directory if it already exists

New in version 1.0.9.

-u, --mysql-user <name>

Specify the user to add to the sandbox instance. By default this is root@localhost but can be overriden with this option to avoid changing the password for an existing root@localhost user when using the sandbox --data-source option.

New in version 2.0.0.

-p, --password

Prompt for the root@localhost password instead of generating a random password (the default behavior). The password will be read from stdin if this option is specified and stdin is not a TTY

New in version 1.0.9.

Changed in version 2.0.0: –prompt-password renamed to –password

-x, --innobackupex-options <options>

Add additional options to the “innobackupex –apply-log {extra options} .” commandline that the sandbox command uses to prepare a datadir created from an xtrabackup tarball image provided via the --data-source opton.

New in version 1.0.9.

Using the control script

Usage: ./ <action> [options]

When creating a sandbox, mysql-sandbox generate a simple bash script to control the sandbox in ./ under the sandbox directory. This follows the pattern of a SysV init script and has many standard actions:

  • start

    start the sandbox (noop if already started)

    Note: start passes any additional options directly to the

    mysqld_safe script. So you can do things like: ./ start –init-file=reset_root.sql

  • stop

    stop the sandbox (noop if already stopped)

  • restart

    stop then start the sandbox

  • condrestart

    only restart if sandbox is running

  • status check if the sandbox is running

Additionally there are several custom actions to make managing the sandbox easier:

  • metadata

    Outputs some basic information about the sandbox environment including the version, the my.cnf being used, and various mysql command paths that are used by

  • version

    Output a version string for the mysql server process this sandbox was initialized with.

  • mysql [options]

    connect to the sandbox using the mysql command line client

    You can pass any option you might pass to mysql here. I.e: ./ mysql -e ‘SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUSG’ For convenience the action ‘use’ is an alias for ‘mysql’

  • mysqldump [options]

    run mysqldump against the sandbox

    Example: ./ mysqldump –all-databases | gzip > backup.sql.gz

  • upgrade [options]

    run mysql_upgrade against the sandbox

    Example: ./ upgrade –upgrade-system-tables

    This is useful in conjunction with the –data-source option where you might load data from a previous MySQL version into a new version for testing and want to perform an in-place upgrade of that data.

  • install-service

    attempt to install the under /etc/init.d and add to default runlevels. This is effectively just an alias for:

# cp /etc/init.d/${name}
# chkconfig --add ${name} && chkconfig ${name} on

Under ubuntu update-rc.d is used instead of chkconfig.

install-service accept one argument as the name of the service to install.
By default this will be called mysql-${version} where $version is the
current mysqld version being used (e.g. 5.6.15)