Skip to content

Database Management

DDEV provides lots of flexibility for managing your databases between your local, staging and production environments. You may commonly use the ddev import-db and ddev export-db commands, but there are plenty of other adaptable ways to work with your databases.


You can run ddev [command] --help for more info on many of the topics below.

Database Imports

Import a database with one command, from one of the following file formats:
.sql, .sql.gz, .mysql, .mysql.gz, .tar, .tar.gz, and .zip.

Here’s an example of a database import using DDEV:

ddev import-db --file=dumpfile.sql.gz

You can also:

Database Backends and Defaults

You can use a variety of different database types, including MariaDB (5.5–10.8), MySQL (5.5–8.0), and PostgreSQL (9–16). If you want to change database type, you need to export your database, run ddev delete to remove the project (and its existing database), change to a new database type, run ddev start again, and import your data.

DDEV creates a default database named db and default permissions for the db user with password db, and it’s on the (inside Docker) hostname db.

Extra Databases

You can easily create and populate additional databases. For example, ddev import-db --database=backend --file=backend.sql.gz will create the database named backend with permissions for that same db user and import from the backend.sql.gz dumpfile.

You can export in the same way: ddev export-db -f mysite.sql.gz will export your default database (db). ddev export-db --database=backend -f backend-export.sql.gz will dump the database named backend.


Snapshots let you easily save the entire status of all of your databases, which can be great when you’re working incrementally on migrations or updates and want to save state so you can start right back where you were.

Snapshots can be named for easier reference later on. For example, ddev snapshot --name=two-dbs would make a snapshot named two-dbs in the .ddev/db_snapshots directory. It includes the entire state of the db server, so in the case of our two databases above, both databases and the system level mysql or postgres database will all be snapshotted. Then if you want to delete everything with ddev delete -O (omitting the snapshot since we have one already), and then ddev start again, we can ddev snapshot restore two-dbs and we’ll be right back where we were.

Use the ddev snapshot restore command to interactively choose among snapshots, or append --latest to restore the most recent snapshot: ddev snapshot restore --latest.

Database Clients

The ddev mysql and ddev psql commands give you direct access to the mysql and psql clients in the database container, which can be useful for quickly running commands while you work. You might run ddev mysql to use interactive commands like DROP DATABASE backend; or SHOW TABLES;, or do things like echo "SHOW TABLES;" | ddev mysql or ddev mysql -uroot -proot to get root privileges.

The web and db containers are each ready with MySQL/PostgreSQL clients, so you can ddev ssh or ddev ssh -s db and use mysql or psql.

mysqldump and pg_dump

The web and db containers come with mysqldump. You could run ddev ssh to enter the web container, for example, then mkdir /var/www/html/.tarballs and run mysqldump db >/var/www/html/.tarballs/db.sql or run mysqldump db | gzip >/var/www/html/.tarballs/db.sql.gz to create database dumps. Because /var/www/html is mounted into the container from your project root, the .tarballs directory will also show up in the root of the project on your host machine.

The PostgreSQL database container includes normal pg commands like pg_dump.

Database GUIs

If you’d like to use a GUI database client, you’ll need the right connection details and there may even be a command to launch it for you:

  • phpMyAdmin, formerly built into DDEV core, can be installed by running ddev get ddev/ddev-phpmyadmin.
  • Adminer can be installed with ddev get ddev/ddev-adminer
  • The ddev describe command displays the Host: details you’ll need to connect to the db container externally, for example if you’re using an on-host database browser like SequelAce.
  • macOS users can use ddev sequelace to launch the free Sequel Ace database browser, ddev tableplus to launch TablePlus, ddev querious to launch Querious, ddev dbeaver to launch DBeaver, and the obsolete Sequel Pro is also supported with ddev sequelpro. (Each must be installed for the command to exist.)
  • Linux users can use ddev dbeaver to launch DBeaver. (Must be installed for the command to exist.)
  • PhpStorm (and all JetBrains tools) have a nice database browser. (If you use the DDEV Integration plugin this is all done for you.)
    • Choose a static host_db_port setting for your project. For example host_db_port: 59002 (each project’s database port should be different if you’re running more than one project at a time). Use ddev start for it to take effect.
    • Use the “database” tool to create a source from “localhost”, with the proper type “mysql” or “postgresql” and the port you chose, username db + password db.
    • Explore away!
  • There’s a sample custom command that will run the free MySQL Workbench on macOS, Windows or Linux. To use it, run:
    • cp ~/.ddev/commands/host/mysqlworkbench.example ~/.ddev/commands/host/mysqlworkbench
    • ddev mysqlworkbench