I am running a mysqldump via a bash script and have encountered a problem with a password that contains special characters.

mysqldump -hlocalhost -uUSERNAME -pPA$$W0RD DATABASE | 
                                gzip > /home/USERNAME/backups-mysql/BACKUP.gz

How do I escape the password?


I found the answer. You have to quote the password, like this:

mysql -u root -p'PASSWORD'

You must do this if the password has any of the following characters: * ? [ < > & ; ! | $ ( )

  • Do you know how to escape apostrophes within the password? – Steve Mayne May 14 '13 at 20:00
  • 3
    @SteveMayne i think its just a backslash before it – psynnott May 15 '13 at 6:33
  • 3
    parenthesis also need to be in quotes. – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jun 5 '14 at 17:12
  • 1
    On Windows I found I had to use double quotes. Single quotes did not work. (MySQL 5.6) – TheStoryCoder Mar 25 '15 at 8:08
  • 1
    blanks in the password also require the ' ' – Hafenkranich Oct 22 '18 at 12:43

when you use the quotes, make sure there is no space :
between -p and 'PASSWORD' or
between --password= and 'PASSWORD'

mysql -u root -p'PASSWORD'
mysql -u root --password='PASSWORD'

does not work:
mysql -u root -p 'PASSWORD'
mysql -u root --password = 'PASSWORD'

you can also define a variable and then use it for the command (still with no spaces in between) MSQLPWD='PASSWORD'
mysql -u root -p$MSQLPWD


Depends on your shell. Are you using Microsoft Windows or Linux? If you are using Linux/BASH then it is likely that $$ is being interpreted as your current process ID. Have you tried putting a backslash in front of each dollar sign? e.g.

mysqldump \
  -hlocalhost \
  -pPA\$\$W0RD \
| gzip -c \
> /home/USERNAME/backups-mysql/BACKUP.gz

Note that gzip probably requires the "-c" option if you want to compress to STDOUT.

  • The password I am using is not PA$$W0RD but I used this as an example. The actual password I am using has an ampersand and this is what is causing the problem. I used the backslash as you suggested but it did not work. – psynnott Mar 25 '10 at 11:35

Try backslashing (\) those special chars.

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