Revert configuration from file based to database based

The D8 project I'm currently working on used the file-system based workflow for configuration management. As our deployment workflow improved and got slightly more complex, we started to run into issues with file permissions during deployments and wanted to revert back to the database based workflow that is the default for a new D8 installation.

Backup migrate restore fails silently

I just wanted to migrate a database from my dev server to my local environment (after having updated from OS X 10.6.8 to 10.9 the other day) and was surprised that the restore on my local machine silently failed. No error message, nothing. First I guessed that this had something to do with permissions in the file system. I checked and everything was fine. So where to look next?