pg_dumpall — extract a PostgreSQL database cluster into a script file
pg_dumpall is a utility for writing out (“dumping”) all PostgreSQL databases of a cluster into one script file. The script file contains SQL commands that can be used as input to psql to restore the databases. It does this by calling pg_dump for each database in the cluster. pg_dumpall also dumps global objects that are common to all databases, that is, database roles and tablespaces. (pg_dump does not save these objects.)
Since pg_dumpall reads tables from all databases you will most likely have to connect as a database superuser in order to produce a complete dump. Also you will need superuser privileges to execute the saved script in order to be allowed to add roles and create databases.
The SQL script will be written to the standard output. Use the [-f|file] option or shell operators to redirect it into a file.
pg_dumpall needs to connect
several times to the PostgreSQL server (once per database). If
you use password authentication it will ask for a password each
time. It is convenient to have a
~/.pgpass file in such cases. See Section 34.15 for more
The following command-line options control the content and format of the output.
Dump only the data, not the schema (data definitions).
Include SQL commands to clean (drop) databases before
commands for roles and tablespaces are added as well.
Create the dump in the specified character set
encoding. By default, the dump is created in the database
encoding. (Another way to get the same result is to set
environment variable to the desired dump encoding.)
Send output to the specified file. If this is omitted, the standard output is used.
Dump only global objects (roles and tablespaces), no databases.
Dump object identifiers (OIDs) as part of the data for every table. Use this option if your application references the OID columns in some way (e.g., in a foreign key constraint). Otherwise, this option should not be used.
Do not output commands to set ownership of objects to
match the original database. By default, pg_dumpall issues
ALTER OWNER or
SESSION AUTHORIZATION statements to set ownership
of created schema elements. These statements will fail
when the script is run unless it is started by a
superuser (or the same user that owns all of the objects
in the script). To make a script that can be restored by
any user, but will give that user ownership of all the
Dump only roles, no databases or tablespaces.
Dump only the object definitions (schema), not data.
Specify the superuser user name to use when disabling
triggers. This is relevant only if
--disable-triggers is used. (Usually,
it's better to leave this out, and instead start the
resulting script as superuser.)
Dump only tablespaces, no databases or roles.
Specifies verbose mode. This will cause pg_dumpall to output start/stop times to the dump file, and progress messages to standard error. It will also enable verbose output in pg_dump.
Print the pg_dumpall version and exit.
Prevent dumping of access privileges (grant/revoke commands).
This option is for use by in-place upgrade utilities. Its use for other purposes is not recommended or supported. The behavior of the option may change in future releases without notice.
Dump data as
commands with explicit column names (
INSERT INTO ). This will make restoration very slow; it is
mainly useful for making dumps that can be loaded into
column, ...) VALUES
This option disables the use of dollar quoting for function bodies, and forces them to be quoted using SQL standard string syntax.
This option is relevant only when creating a data-only dump. It instructs pg_dumpall to include commands to temporarily disable triggers on the target tables while the data is reloaded. Use this if you have referential integrity checks or other triggers on the tables that you do not want to invoke during data reload.
Presently, the commands emitted for
--disable-triggers must be done as
superuser. So, you should also specify a superuser name
-S, or preferably be
careful to start the resulting script as a superuser.
Use conditional commands (i.e. add an
IF EXISTS clause) to drop databases and
other objects. This option is not valid unless
--clean is also
Dump data as
commands (rather than
This will make restoration very slow; it is mainly useful
for making dumps that can be loaded into non-PostgreSQL databases. Note that the
restore might fail altogether if you have rearranged
column order. The
--column-inserts option is safer, though
When dumping data for a table partition, make the
INSERT statements target the root of the
partitioning hierarchy that contains it, rather than the
partition itself. This causes the appropriate partition
to be re-determined for each row when the data is loaded.
This may be useful when reloading data on a server where
rows do not always fall into the same partitions as they
did on the original server. That could happen, for
example, if the partitioning column is of type text and
the two systems have different definitions of the
collation used to sort the partitioning column.
Do not wait forever to acquire shared table locks at
the beginning of the dump. Instead, fail if unable to
lock a table within the specified
timeout. The timeout may
be specified in any of the formats accepted by
Allowed values vary depending on the server version you
are dumping from, but an integer number of milliseconds
is accepted by all versions since 7.3. This option is
ignored when dumping from a pre-7.3 server.
Do not dump comments.
Do not dump publications.
Do not dump passwords for roles. When restored, roles
will have a null password, and password authentication
will always fail until the password is set. Since
password values aren't needed when this option is
specified, the role information is read from the catalog
pg_roles instead of
this option also helps if access to
pg_authid is restricted by some
Do not dump security labels.
Do not dump subscriptions.
will wait for all files to be written safely to disk.
This option causes
pg_dumpall to return without waiting,
which is faster, but means that a subsequent operating
system crash can leave the dump corrupt. Generally, this
option is useful for testing but should not be used when
dumping data from production installation.
Do not output commands to create tablespaces nor select tablespaces for objects. With this option, all objects will be created in whichever tablespace is the default during restore.
Do not dump the contents of unlogged tables. This option has no effect on whether or not the table definitions (schema) are dumped; it only suppresses dumping the table data.
Force quoting of all identifiers. This option is
recommended when dumping a database from a server whose
PostgreSQL major version
is different from pg_dumpall's, or when the output is
intended to be loaded into a server of a different major
version. By default, pg_dumpall quotes only identifiers
that are reserved words in its own major version. This
sometimes results in compatibility issues when dealing
with servers of other versions that may have slightly
different sets of reserved words. Using
--quote-all-identifiers prevents such
issues, at the price of a harder-to-read dump script.
AUTHORIZATION commands instead of
ALTER OWNER commands to determine object
ownership. This makes the dump more standards compatible,
but depending on the history of the objects in the dump,
might not restore properly.
Show help about pg_dumpall command line arguments, and exit.
The following command-line options control the database connection parameters.
Specifies parameters used to connect to the server, as a connection string. See Section 34.1.1 for more information.
The option is called
--dbname for consistency with other
client applications, but because pg_dumpall needs to connect to many
databases, the database name in the connection string
will be ignored. Use the
option to specify the name of the database used for the
initial connection, which will dump global objects and
discover what other databases should be dumped.
Specifies the host name of the machine on which the
database server is running. If the value begins with a
slash, it is used as the directory for the Unix domain
socket. The default is taken from the
PGHOST environment variable, if set, else
a Unix domain socket connection is attempted.
Specifies the name of the database to connect to for
dumping global objects and discovering what other
databases should be dumped. If not specified, the
postgres database will be
used, and if that does not exist,
template1 will be used.
Specifies the TCP port or local Unix domain socket
file extension on which the server is listening for
connections. Defaults to the
PGPORT environment variable, if set, or a
User name to connect as.
Never issue a password prompt. If the server requires
password authentication and a password is not available
by other means such as a
.pgpass file, the connection attempt
will fail. This option can be useful in batch jobs and
scripts where no user is present to enter a password.
Force pg_dumpall to prompt for a password before connecting to a database.
This option is never essential, since pg_dumpall will automatically prompt
for a password if the server demands password
authentication. However, pg_dumpall will waste a connection
attempt finding out that the server wants a password. In
some cases it is worth typing
-W to avoid the extra connection
Note that the password prompt will occur again for
each database to be dumped. Usually, it's better to set
~/.pgpass file than to
rely on manual password entry.
Specifies a role name to be used to create the dump.
This option causes pg_dumpall to issue a
rolename command after
connecting to the database. It is useful when the
authenticated user (specified by
-U) lacks privileges needed by
pg_dumpall, but can
switch to a role with the required rights. Some
installations have a policy against logging in directly
as a superuser, and use of this option allows dumps to be
made without violating the policy.
Default connection parameters
This utility, like most other PostgreSQL utilities, also uses the environment variables supported by libpq (see Section 34.14).
Since pg_dumpall calls pg_dump internally, some diagnostic messages will refer to pg_dump.
--clean option can be useful
even when your intention is to restore the dump script into a
fresh cluster. Use of
authorizes the script to drop and re-create the built-in
template1 databases, ensuring that those
databases will retain the same properties (for instance, locale
and encoding) that they had in the source cluster. Without the
option, those databases will retain their existing
database-level properties, as well as any pre-existing
Once restored, it is wise to run
ANALYZE on each database so the optimizer has
useful statistics. You can also run
vacuumdb -a -z to analyze all databases.
The dump script should not be expected to run completely
without errors. In particular, because the script will issue
CREATE ROLE for every role
existing in the source cluster, it is certain to get a
exists” error for the bootstrap superuser, unless
the destination cluster was initialized with a different
bootstrap superuser name. This error is harmless and should be
ignored. Use of the
is likely to produce additional harmless error messages about
non-existent objects, although you can minimize those by adding
pg_dumpall requires all needed tablespace directories to exist before the restore; otherwise, database creation will fail for databases in non-default locations.
To dump all databases:
pg_dumpall > db.out
To reload database(s) from this file, you can use:
psql -f db.out postgres
It is not important to which database you connect here since
the script file created by pg_dumpall will contain the appropriate
commands to create and connect to the saved databases. An
exception is that if you specified
--clean, you must connect to the
postgres database initially; the script will
attempt to drop other databases immediately, and that will fail
for the database you are connected to.
Check pg_dump for details on possible error conditions.
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