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TiDB Migration Tools Overview

TiDB provides multiple data migration tools for different scenarios such as full data migration, incremental data migration, backup and restore, and data replication.

This document introduces the user scenarios, supported upstreams and downstreams, advantages, and limitations of these tools. You can choose the right tool according to your needs.

TiDB Data Migration (DM)

User scenarioData migration from MySQL-compatible databases to TiDB
UpstreamMySQL, MariaDB, Aurora
  • A convenient and unified data migration task management tool that supports full data migration and incremental replication
  • Support filtering tables and operations
  • Support shard merge and migration
LimitationData import speed is roughly the same as that of TiDB Lightning's logical import mode, and a lot lower than that of TiDB Lightning's physical import mode. So it is recommended to use DM to migrate full data with a size of less than 1 TiB.

TiDB Lightning

User scenarioFull data import into TiDB
Upstream (the imported source file)
  • Files exported from Dumpling
  • Parquet files exported by Amazon Aurora or Apache Hive
  • CSV files
  • Data from local disks or Amazon S3
  • Support quickly importing a large amount of data and quickly initializing a specific table in a TiDB cluster
  • Support checkpoints to store the import progress, so that tidb-lightning continues importing from where it lefts off after restarting
  • Support data filtering
  • If physical import mode is used for data import, during the import process, the TiDB cluster cannot provide services.
  • If you do not want the TiDB services to be impacted, perform the data import according to TiDB Lightning logical import mode.


User scenarioFull data export from MySQL or TiDB
UpstreamMySQL, TiDB
Downstream (the output file)SQL, CSV
  • Support the table-filter feature that enables you to filter data easier
  • Support exporting data to Amazon S3
  • If you want to restore the exported data to a database other than TiDB, it is recommended to use Dumpling.
  • If you want to restore the exported data to another TiDB cluster, it is recommended to use Backup & Restore (BR).


User scenarioThis tool is implemented by pulling TiKV change logs. It can restore cluster data to a consistent state with any upstream TSO, and support other systems to subscribe to data changes.
DownstreamTiDB, MySQL, Kafka, Confluent
AdvantagesProvide TiCDC Open Protocol
LimitationTiCDC only replicates tables that have at least one valid index. The following scenarios are not supported:
  • The TiKV cluster that uses RawKV alone.
  • The DDL operation CREATE SEQUENCE and the SEQUENCE function in TiDB.

Backup & Restore (BR)

User scenarioMigrate a large amount of TiDB cluster data by backing up and restoring data
Downstream (the output file)SST, backup.meta files, backup.lock files
  • Suitable for migrating data to another TiDB cluster
  • Support backing up data to an external storage for disaster recovery
  • When BR restores data to the upstream cluster of TiCDC or Drainer, the restored data cannot be replicated to the downstream by TiCDC or Drainer.
  • BR supports operations only between clusters that have the same new_collations_enabled_on_first_bootstrap value.


User scenarioComparing data stored in the databases with the MySQL protocol
UpstreamTiDB, MySQL
DownstreamTiDB, MySQL
AdvantagesCan be used to repair data in the scenario where a small amount of data is inconsistent
  • Online check is not supported for data migration between MySQL and TiDB.
  • JSON, BIT, BINARY, BLOB and other types of data are not supported.

Install tools using TiUP

Since TiDB v4.0, TiUP acts as a package manager that helps you manage different cluster components in the TiDB ecosystem. Now you can manage any cluster component using a single command.

Step 1. Install TiUP

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

Redeclare the global environment variable:

source ~/.bash_profile

Step 2. Install components

You can use the following command to see all the available components:

tiup list

The command output lists all the available components:

Available components: Name Owner Description ---- ----- ----------- bench pingcap Benchmark database with different workloads br pingcap TiDB/TiKV cluster backup restore tool cdc pingcap CDC is a change data capture tool for TiDB client pingcap Client to connect playground cluster pingcap Deploy a TiDB cluster for production ctl pingcap TiDB controller suite dm pingcap Data Migration Platform manager dmctl pingcap dmctl component of Data Migration Platform errdoc pingcap Document about TiDB errors pd-recover pingcap PD Recover is a disaster recovery tool of PD, used to recover the PD cluster which cannot start or provide services normally playground pingcap Bootstrap a local TiDB cluster for fun tidb pingcap TiDB is an open source distributed HTAP database compatible with the MySQL protocol tidb-lightning pingcap TiDB Lightning is a tool used for fast full import of large amounts of data into a TiDB cluster tiup pingcap TiUP is a command-line component management tool that can help to download and install TiDB platform components to the local system

Choose the components to install:

tiup install dumpling tidb-lightning

Step 3. Update TiUP and its components (optional)

It is recommended to see the release log and compatibility notes of the new version.

tiup update --self && tiup update dm

See also

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