What's the best way to migrate CiviCRM to a new a server? I haven't been able to get it to work. I've been following this guide. Here are the steps I've been taking to for the migration.

1.) SQLDump and exclude the flowing tables in old database.




db_name.civicrm_cache db_name.civicrm_group_contact_cache

2.) Setup new CMS (WordPress, Joomla or Drupal) I have tried all three platforms

3.) SQLDump old database into new

2.) Clear cache and rebuild menus

I know that I must be missing steps. Here are some of the problems I'm running into:

1.) There is a problem when trying to run custom reports that repopulate after rebuilding the menu. The message I get is (error: You have tried to access a report that does not exist.) Where do you find custom reports made on the old system? Whats the best way to transfer them, copy paste?

2.) When clicking a a link on the menu or running search I get this (error: DB:no such field).

I'm guessing that when I transfer the custom templates/reports (not sure the proper nomenclature) the database error will resolve itself?

Here is the database error from the CiviCRM error log:

[code] => -19
[message] => DB Error: no such field
[mode] => 16
[debug_info] => SELECT civicrm_uf_group.id, civicrm_uf_group.title, civicrm_uf_group.created_id, civicrm_uf_group.is_active, civicrm_uf_group.is_reserved, civicrm_uf_group.group_type, civicrm_uf_group.description
                    FROM civicrm_uf_group
                    LEFT JOIN civicrm_uf_join ON (civicrm_uf_group.id = uf_group_id) AND civicrm_uf_group.is_active = 1
                          WHERE civicrm_uf_join.module = 'Search Profile' ORDER BY civicrm_uf_join.weight, civicrm_uf_group.title [nativecode=1054 ** Unknown column 'civicrm_uf_group.description' in 'field list']
  • Are you using the same exact versions of civi on the old server and the new? Can you look on the old server and see if the column "description" exists in the civicrm_uf_group table? The error message says it doesn't exist on the new server or it is having issues reading it.
    – Paul-Tahoe
    Jun 10, 2015 at 22:54
  • You may improve your answers by giving more detail in your question - eg rather than SQLDump old database into new, give the exact command you executed to load the DB on the destination server, and report any errors if shown. Jun 11, 2015 at 1:29
  • To compare your versions on each: What version of CiviCRM is installed on the destination server? What does this SQL query show on the source DB? SELECT version FROM civicrm_domain Jun 11, 2015 at 1:40

1 Answer 1


There are a few questions combined here I think. From what you describe there may be other problems afoot, but hopefully these two suggestions may help you make some progress.

Why do I see the error DB Error: no such field with Unknown column 'civicrm_uf_group.description' in 'field list'?

It sounds like your source and destination CiviCRM may be different versions. Check the codebase of your source and destination CiviCRM and if the destination is newer, make them match.

Up to you whether to run the upgrader on the source before migration or on the destination afterwards. It may be as simple as visiting the CiviCRM upgrade URL on the destination server.

Why doesn't the DB migrate when I exclude those tables?

The docs actually say If copying an existing install don't skip the cache tables they will not be created automatically, so you should NOT exclude those tables if you are migrating CiviCRM to a new server.

(It looks like the docs could be improved there, they give different-yet-kinda-identical advice for dumping Drupal and Joomla and don't mention how to deal with WordPress?)

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