How to insert pandas dataframe via mysqldb into database?


I can connect to my local mysql database from python, and I can create, select from, and insert individual rows.

My question is: can I directly instruct mysqldb to take an entire dataframe and insert it into an existing table, or do I need to iterate over the rows?

In either case, what would the python script look like for a very simple table with ID and two data columns, and a matching dataframe?

5/10/2013 6:29:10 AM

Accepted Answer


There is now a to_sql method, which is the preferred way to do this, rather than write_frame:

df.to_sql(con=con, name='table_name_for_df', if_exists='replace', flavor='mysql')

Also note: the syntax may change in pandas 0.14...

You can set up the connection with MySQLdb:

from import sql
import MySQLdb

con = MySQLdb.connect()  # may need to add some other options to connect

Setting the flavor of write_frame to 'mysql' means you can write to mysql:

sql.write_frame(df, con=con, name='table_name_for_df', 
                if_exists='replace', flavor='mysql')

The argument if_exists tells pandas how to deal if the table already exists:

if_exists: {'fail', 'replace', 'append'}, default 'fail'
     fail: If table exists, do nothing.
     replace: If table exists, drop it, recreate it, and insert data.
     append: If table exists, insert data. Create if does not exist.

Although the write_frame docs currently suggest it only works on sqlite, mysql appears to be supported and in fact there is quite a bit of mysql testing in the codebase.

1/22/2018 9:04:34 PM

Andy Hayden mentioned the correct function (to_sql). In this answer, I'll give a complete example, which I tested with Python 3.5 but should also work for Python 2.7 (and Python 3.x):

First, let's create the dataframe:

# Create dataframe
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np

number_of_samples = 10
frame = pd.DataFrame({
    'feature1': np.random.random(number_of_samples),
    'feature2': np.random.random(number_of_samples),
    'class':    np.random.binomial(2, 0.1, size=number_of_samples),


Which gives:

   feature1  feature2  class
0  0.548814  0.791725      1
1  0.715189  0.528895      0
2  0.602763  0.568045      0
3  0.544883  0.925597      0
4  0.423655  0.071036      0
5  0.645894  0.087129      0
6  0.437587  0.020218      0
7  0.891773  0.832620      1
8  0.963663  0.778157      0
9  0.383442  0.870012      0

To import this dataframe into a MySQL table:

# Import dataframe into MySQL
import sqlalchemy
database_username = 'ENTER USERNAME'
database_password = 'ENTER USERNAME PASSWORD'
database_ip       = 'ENTER DATABASE IP'
database_name     = 'ENTER DATABASE NAME'
database_connection = sqlalchemy.create_engine('mysql+mysqlconnector://{0}:{1}@{2}/{3}'.
                                               format(database_username, database_password, 
                                                      database_ip, database_name))
frame.to_sql(con=database_connection, name='table_name_for_df', if_exists='replace')

One trick is that MySQLdb doesn't work with Python 3.x. So instead we use mysqlconnector, which may be installed as follows:

pip install mysql-connector==2.1.4  # version avoids Protobuf error


enter image description here

Note that to_sql creates the table as well as the columns if they do not already exist in the database.

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