Magento Store Migration

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Chapter 1: Preparing Backup


To prepare for migration first of all we need to take backup of the magento stores and their databases. All the generic terms used throughout this document i.e. user, password, db1, folder1 etc are to be replaced with actual data as these terms are used her for conceptual purpose only. All text which is in bold is the command used in linux CLI.

In order to log in to the server which holds these files use any ssh client. Normally there is a client used for this purpose i.e. putty, or mRemote.

Normally any client you use to ssh into any server needs the following information.

  1. Hostname or IP
  2. Username
  3. Password

So, you ought to have this information before you can ssh into any server.

Using Putty is the easiest. When you have downloaded putty you shall see a window as shown below in Image 1:


Image 1: Putty Window

Simply put in IP or hostname of the server and you shall immediately see a window asking for “username”. Provide both username and passwords when prompted and viola you have ssh’d into the server.


Backup Database

To backup database; use the below mentioned command.

To back up a single DB use:

#mysqldump  -u  dbuser  -p   ‘db1’   >  mysqlbackupdb1.sql

After pressing enter you shall see a prompt as mentioned below.

Enter Your Password:                    (It’s better to enter your password here for Security Reasons)

To back up more than one DB use:

#mysqldump  -u  dbuser   -p  – -databases db1 db2 > mysqlbackup.sql

After pressing enter you shall see a prompt as mentioned below.

Enter Your Password:                    (It’s better to enter your password here for Security Reasons)

Backup Store Folders

To back up your store folders go to the path where these folders are located.

From there on use the following commands:

For a single folder

#tar  -cvzf  mycompressedfile.tar.gz  folder1

For multiple folders

#tar  -cvzf  mycompressedfile.tar.gz  folder1   folder2   folder3

Transferring Files to New Server

To transfer your files to the new server use SFTP and doing that from server to server is much faster than downloading the files to your local machine and uploading from there.

For sftp always remember to check the user you are currently logged in with e.g. if you are logged in with user  “user123” and you have to sftp the server with “user456” then it should be a known fact.

To check which user you are currently logged in with you can use:


To SFTP the new server where you have to transfer the data; you would require either the IP or hostname. If for example the hostname of the server “” and IP is “”

Then you would use for hostname:


If asked for to permanently add the RSA key to known clients list then select “yes” if that will be used time and again and if you are using it for the last time then select “no” for that.

When prompted for password; provide password that you have access to.

Similarly for IP:

Then you would use for hostname:

#sftp user456@

Now you shall be logged in.

If you have to check which directory you are on the remote server (new server) try the following:

sftp> pwd

It shall give you the current directory you are logged in on remote server. For example the directory you are in on remote server is


Now when you upload files from local server (old server) you will find those files in /user456/downloads on remote machine.

Now to check the local working directory one shall use:

sftp> lpwd

Now if you for example saw that the local working directory is /user123/downloads; but your file is in directory /root/downloads/mycompressedfile.tar.gz and /root/downloads/mysqlbackup.sql

Then use the following commands:

sftp> put [Current Location of file] [destination]

sftp>  put /root/downloads/mycompressedfile.tar.gz

This will upload the tar file to the remote directory mentioned above i.e. /user456/downloads/


sftp>  put /root/downloads/mysqlbackup.sql

Now both files shall be on the remote server and from here we shall move on to restore the backup and migrate our store to new server.


To download file from a remote server to local server.

Sftp> get [Current location of file] [destination]


Chapter 2: Restoring Backup


Now log into the New server for example its IP is 10.10.1.

To start restoring back-up first we need to (un)tar [un-compress] the files in the folder which shall be used for root folder for the corresponding website. For example we have the following URL’s against the following folders:  à folder1  à folder2   à folder3

Now these folders ought to be in the tar file you uploaded from old server.

Now (un)tar these files into the desired folder which in normal cases would be “/var/www/” more importantly it’s because it is a convention and anyone working on the server would look for these files in this directory.

Restoring Folders

As mentioned before the required file is in “/user456/downloads/”; so we shall use the following commands to un-compress the folders in “/var/www/”.

#tar  -zxvf  [current location] [destination]

#tar  -zxvf  /user456/downloads/mycompressedfile.tar.gz    /var/www

Now, we have un-compressed the magento store folders to the desired folder.

Restoring Database

It is time to restore mysql databases. But before proceeding always take backup’s of the existing databases using the same commands as before i.e. myhsqldump. Now, to restore the databases simple put in the following commands:

#mysql  -u dbuser  -p  < /user456/downloads/mysqlbackup.sql

This will restore all databases which have been backed-up in mysqlbackup.sql.

To restore a single DB:

#mysql  -u  dbuser  -p  ‘db1’ < /user456/downloads/mysqlbackupdb1.sql

Now that we have restored all DB’s.

It is time to configure the local.xml files of the corresponding stores.

For example the magento store folders and their hostnames are as given below:

ServerName/HostName       Folder Name                  Database Name                             folder1                                 db1                             folder2                                 db2                             folder3                                 db3

Simply go to first folder i.e. /var/www/folder1

#cd /var/www/folder1/app/etc

Now open the file local.xml with editor of your choice. Its better to use nano if you are newbie with linux. “Nano” is installed by default in Ubuntu.

#nano local.xml

Change the Following three lines.

                    <username><![CDATA[dbuser]]></username>     [Mysql Database user]

                    <password><![CDATA[dbuserpassword]]></password>   [Mysql DB user Password]

     <dbname><![CDATA[db1]]></dbname>   [Mysql DB (which in this case is db1)]

Assuming LAMP stack is already installed and phpmyadmin is already installed as well.

Open the hostname i.e. in a browser of your choice and enter the same credentials as of db1 for example as shown in image 2:


Image 2: Phpmyadmin login page

You shall now see your database on the left panel.

Click on ‘db1’ and search for the following table “core_config_data” and change the base URL in the path value column to and as shown in image 3.


Image 3: “base_url” Changes

Configuring Apache

After Completing these steps go to “/etc/apache2/sites-available/default

One has to create virtual hosts file before the server starts accepting http requests. In order to do that one only needs to change the following in red:

<VirtualHost *:80>



DocumentRoot /var/www/folder1

<Directory />

Options FollowSymLinks

AllowOverride all


<Directory /var/www/folder1>

……other options below……………




For another virtual host; past another copy of this code.

<VirtualHost *:80>



DocumentRoot /var/www/folder2

<Directory />

Options FollowSymLinks

AllowOverride all


<Directory /var/www/folder2>

Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews

AllowOverride all

Order allow,deny

allow from all



ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/

<Directory “/usr/lib/cgi-bin”>

……all remaining code………..




After this restart apache2  i.e.

#/etc/init.d/apache2   reload

Also, do turn on the apache mod-rewrite. i.e.

#a2enmod  rewrite on

The status can be checked by stating

#a2enmod rewrite status

After these steps the magento store should be accessible if not then proceed to chapter 3.

Chapter 3: Known Issues


In known issues the most common issues can be the following:

  1. There can be an error in DNS entries in either A Records or CNAME.
  2. There can be a spelling mistake in apache configuration.
  3. There can be 301 Redirects in .htaccess
  4. There can be redirects defined in index.php.
  5. There can be issues due to ownership of the folders but mostly that’s not a problem.
  6. There can be problems with magento DB access.
  7. Whenever you transfer magento from one server to another dont forget to clear cache in /var/cache.

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