I am trying to export about 2000 contacts (exporting primary fields only) and when I click continue I get this error:

Sorry but we are not able to provide this at the moment. DB Error: unknown error Return to home page.

Not sure why its occurring and how to find out more info?


2 Answers 2


KarinG's answer is correct. To anticipate what you're likely to find - when you do an export, CiviCRM generates a temporary database table. Many servers aren't configured with a large enough space in their /tmp directory to store a large database table. Because "all primary fields" is actually a very large number of fields, you're likely overwhelming the temporary space.

I recommend selecting only the fields you need rather than all primary fields, and this issue is likely to go away. Alternatively, increase the size of your /tmp folder.


First place to look is in the ConfigAndLog directory - it will contain a number of files. Find the current log file; it will contain more details on the DB Error (if you can't easily find it -> reproduce your DB error by trying to export again -> then the DB error will be at the bottom of the current log file).

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