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3.15 Migrating and Dumping

While the state of your database is logically captured in terms of a packet stream, it is sometimes necessary or desirable (especially while monotone is still in active development) to modify the SQL table layout or storage parameters of your version database, or to make backup copies of your database in plain text. These issues are not properly addressed by generating packet streams: instead, you must use migration or dumping commands.

The mtn db migrate command is used to alter the SQL schema of a database. The schema of a monotone database is identified by a special hash of its generating SQL, which is stored in the database’s auxiliary tables. Each version of monotone knows which schema version it is able to work with, and it will refuse to operate on databases with different schemas. When you run the migrate command, monotone looks in an internal list of SQL logic which can be used to perform in-place upgrades. It applies entries from this list, in order, attempting to change the database it has into the database it wants. Each step of this migration is checked to ensure no errors occurred and the resulting schema hashes to the intended value. The migration is attempted inside a transaction, so if it fails — for example if the result of migration hashes to an unexpected value — the migration is aborted.

If more drastic changes to the underlying database are made, such as changing the page size of SQLite, or if you simply want to keep a plain text version of your database on hand, the mtn db dump command can produce a plain ASCII SQL statement which generates the state of your database. This dump can later be reloaded using the mtn db load command.

Note that when reloading a dumped database, the schema of the dumped database is included in the dump, so you should not try to init your database before a load.

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