Supported Versions: Current (16) / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12
Development Versions: 17 / devel
Unsupported versions: 11 / 10 / 9.6 / 9.5 / 9.4 / 9.3 / 9.2 / 9.1 / 9.0 / 8.4 / 8.3 / 8.2

34.12. Miscellaneous Functions

As always, there are some functions that just don't fit anywhere.


Frees memory allocated by libpq.

void PQfreemem(void *ptr);

Frees memory allocated by libpq, particularly PQescapeByteaConn, PQescapeBytea, PQunescapeBytea, and PQnotifies. It is particularly important that this function, rather than free(), be used on Microsoft Windows. This is because allocating memory in a DLL and releasing it in the application works only if multithreaded/single-threaded, release/debug, and static/dynamic flags are the same for the DLL and the application. On non-Microsoft Windows platforms, this function is the same as the standard library function free().


Frees the data structures allocated by PQconndefaults or PQconninfoParse.

void PQconninfoFree(PQconninfoOption *connOptions);

A simple PQfreemem will not do for this, since the array contains references to subsidiary strings.


Prepares the encrypted form of a PostgreSQL password.

char *PQencryptPasswordConn(PGconn *conn, const char *passwd, const char *user, const char *algorithm);

This function is intended to be used by client applications that wish to send commands like ALTER USER joe PASSWORD 'pwd'. It is good practice not to send the original cleartext password in such a command, because it might be exposed in command logs, activity displays, and so on. Instead, use this function to convert the password to encrypted form before it is sent.

The passwd and user arguments are the cleartext password, and the SQL name of the user it is for. algorithm specifies the encryption algorithm to use to encrypt the password. Currently supported algorithms are md5 and scram-sha-256 (on and off are also accepted as aliases for md5, for compatibility with older server versions). Note that support for scram-sha-256 was introduced in PostgreSQL version 10, and will not work correctly with older server versions. If algorithm is NULL, this function will query the server for the current value of the password_encryption setting. That can block, and will fail if the current transaction is aborted, or if the connection is busy executing another query. If you wish to use the default algorithm for the server but want to avoid blocking, query password_encryption yourself before calling PQencryptPasswordConn, and pass that value as the algorithm.

The return value is a string allocated by malloc. The caller can assume the string doesn't contain any special characters that would require escaping. Use PQfreemem to free the result when done with it. On error, returns NULL, and a suitable message is stored in the connection object.


Prepares the md5-encrypted form of a PostgreSQL password.

char *PQencryptPassword(const char *passwd, const char *user);

PQencryptPassword is an older, deprecated version of PQencryptPasswordConn. The difference is that PQencryptPassword does not require a connection object, and md5 is always used as the encryption algorithm.


Constructs an empty PGresult object with the given status.

PGresult *PQmakeEmptyPGresult(PGconn *conn, ExecStatusType status);

This is libpq's internal function to allocate and initialize an empty PGresult object. This function returns NULL if memory could not be allocated. It is exported because some applications find it useful to generate result objects (particularly objects with error status) themselves. If conn is not null and status indicates an error, the current error message of the specified connection is copied into the PGresult. Also, if conn is not null, any event procedures registered in the connection are copied into the PGresult. (They do not get PGEVT_RESULTCREATE calls, but see PQfireResultCreateEvents.) Note that PQclear should eventually be called on the object, just as with a PGresult returned by libpq itself.


Fires a PGEVT_RESULTCREATE event (see Section 34.14) for each event procedure registered in the PGresult object. Returns non-zero for success, zero if any event procedure fails.

int PQfireResultCreateEvents(PGconn *conn, PGresult *res);

The conn argument is passed through to event procedures but not used directly. It can be NULL if the event procedures won't use it.

Event procedures that have already received a PGEVT_RESULTCREATE or PGEVT_RESULTCOPY event for this object are not fired again.

The main reason that this function is separate from PQmakeEmptyPGresult is that it is often appropriate to create a PGresult and fill it with data before invoking the event procedures.


Makes a copy of a PGresult object. The copy is not linked to the source result in any way and PQclear must be called when the copy is no longer needed. If the function fails, NULL is returned.

PGresult *PQcopyResult(const PGresult *src, int flags);

This is not intended to make an exact copy. The returned result is always put into PGRES_TUPLES_OK status, and does not copy any error message in the source. (It does copy the command status string, however.) The flags argument determines what else is copied. It is a bitwise OR of several flags. PG_COPYRES_ATTRS specifies copying the source result's attributes (column definitions). PG_COPYRES_TUPLES specifies copying the source result's tuples. (This implies copying the attributes, too.) PG_COPYRES_NOTICEHOOKS specifies copying the source result's notify hooks. PG_COPYRES_EVENTS specifies copying the source result's events. (But any instance data associated with the source is not copied.) The event procedures receive PGEVT_RESULTCOPY events.


Sets the attributes of a PGresult object.

int PQsetResultAttrs(PGresult *res, int numAttributes, PGresAttDesc *attDescs);

The provided attDescs are copied into the result. If the attDescs pointer is NULL or numAttributes is less than one, the request is ignored and the function succeeds. If res already contains attributes, the function will fail. If the function fails, the return value is zero. If the function succeeds, the return value is non-zero.


Sets a tuple field value of a PGresult object.

int PQsetvalue(PGresult *res, int tup_num, int field_num, char *value, int len);

The function will automatically grow the result's internal tuples array as needed. However, the tup_num argument must be less than or equal to PQntuples, meaning this function can only grow the tuples array one tuple at a time. But any field of any existing tuple can be modified in any order. If a value at field_num already exists, it will be overwritten. If len is -1 or value is NULL, the field value will be set to an SQL null value. The value is copied into the result's private storage, thus is no longer needed after the function returns. If the function fails, the return value is zero. If the function succeeds, the return value is non-zero.


Allocate subsidiary storage for a PGresult object.

void *PQresultAlloc(PGresult *res, size_t nBytes);

Any memory allocated with this function will be freed when res is cleared. If the function fails, the return value is NULL. The result is guaranteed to be adequately aligned for any type of data, just as for malloc.


Retrieves the number of bytes allocated for a PGresult object.

size_t PQresultMemorySize(const PGresult *res);

This value is the sum of all malloc requests associated with the PGresult object, that is, all the space that will be freed by PQclear. This information can be useful for managing memory consumption.


Return the version of libpq that is being used.

int PQlibVersion(void);

The result of this function can be used to determine, at run time, whether specific functionality is available in the currently loaded version of libpq. The function can be used, for example, to determine which connection options are available in PQconnectdb.

The result is formed by multiplying the library's major version number by 10000 and adding the minor version number. For example, version 10.1 will be returned as 100001, and version 11.0 will be returned as 110000.

Prior to major version 10, PostgreSQL used three-part version numbers in which the first two parts together represented the major version. For those versions, PQlibVersion uses two digits for each part; for example version 9.1.5 will be returned as 90105, and version 9.2.0 will be returned as 90200.

Therefore, for purposes of determining feature compatibility, applications should divide the result of PQlibVersion by 100 not 10000 to determine a logical major version number. In all release series, only the last two digits differ between minor releases (bug-fix releases).


This function appeared in PostgreSQL version 9.1, so it cannot be used to detect required functionality in earlier versions, since calling it will create a link dependency on version 9.1 or later.

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