Section: PostgreSQL Client Applications (1)
Return to Main Contents
pg_restore - restore a PostgreSQL database from an archive file created by pg_dump
pg_restore [ option... ] [ filename ]
pg_restore is a utility for restoring a
PostgreSQL database from an archive
created by pg_dump(1) in one of the non-plain-text
formats. It will issue the commands necessary to reconstruct the
database to the state it was in at the time it was saved. The
archive files also allow pg_restore to
be selective about what is restored, or even to reorder the items
prior to being restored. The archive files are designed to be
portable across architectures.
pg_restore can operate in two modes.
If a database name is specified, the archive is restored directly into
the database. Otherwise, a script containing the SQL
commands necessary to rebuild the database is created and written
to a file or standard output. The script output is equivalent to
the plain text output format of pg_dump.
Some of the options controlling the output are therefore analogous to
Obviously, pg_restore cannot restore information
that is not present in the archive file. For instance, if the
archive was made using the ``dump data as
INSERT commands'' option,
pg_restore will not be able to load the data
using COPY statements.
pg_restore accepts the following command
Specifies the location of the archive file to be restored.
If not specified, the standard input is used.
Restore only the data, not the schema (data definitions).
Clean (drop) database objects before recreating them.
Create the database before restoring into it. (When this
option is used, the database named with -d is
used only to issue the initial CREATE DATABASE
command. All data is restored into the database name that
appears in the archive.)
- -d dbname
Connect to database dbname and restore directly
into the database.
Exit if an error is encountered while sending SQL commands to
the database. The default is to continue and to display a count of
errors at the end of the restoration.
- -f filename
Specify output file for generated script, or for the listing
when used with -l. Default is the standard
- -F format
Specify format of the archive. It is not necessary to specify
the format, since pg_restore will
determine the format automatically. If specified, it can be
one of the following:
The archive is a tar archive. Using this
archive format allows reordering and/or exclusion of schema
elements at the time the database is restored. It is also
possible to limit which data is reloaded at restore time.
The archive is in the custom format of
pg_dump. This is the most
flexible format in that it allows reordering of data load
as well as schema elements. This format is also compressed
Ignore database version checks.
- -I index
Restore definition of named index only.
List the contents of the archive. The output of this operation
can be used with the -L option to restrict
and reorder the items that are restored.
- -L list-file
Restore elements in list-file only, and in the
order they appear in the file. Lines can be moved and may also
be commented out by placing a ; at the
start of the line. (See below for examples.)
- -n namespace
Restore only objects that are in the named schema. This can be
combined with the -t option to restore just a
Do not output commands to set
ownership of objects to match the original database.
By default, pg_restore issues
ALTER OWNER or
SET SESSION AUTHORIZATION
statements to set ownership of created schema elements.
These statements will fail unless the initial connection to the
database is made by a superuser
(or the same user that owns all of the objects in the script).
With -O, any user name can be used for the
initial connection, and this user will own all the created objects.
- -P function-name(argtype [, ...])
- --function=function-name(argtype [, ...])
Restore the named function only. Be careful to spell the function
name and arguments exactly as they appear in the dump file's table
This option is obsolete but still accepted for backwards
Restore only the schema (data definitions), not the data (table
contents). Sequence current values will not be restored, either.
(Do not confuse this with the --schema option, which
uses the word ``schema'' in a different meaning.)
- -S username
Specify the superuser user name to use when disabling triggers.
This is only relevant if --disable-triggers is used.
- -t table
Restore definition and/or data of named table only.
- -T trigger
Restore named trigger only.
Specifies verbose mode.
Prevent restoration of access privileges (grant/revoke commands).
- -X use-set-session-authorization
Output SQL-standard SET SESSION 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, may not restore
- -X disable-triggers
This option is only relevant when performing a data-only restore.
It instructs pg_restore to execute 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 with -S, or
preferably run pg_restore as a
pg_restore also accepts
the following command line arguments for connection parameters:
- -h host
Specifies the host name of the machine on which the 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.
- -p port
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 compiled-in default.
- -U username
Connect as the given user
Force a password prompt. This should happen automatically if
the server requires password authentication.
Default connection parameters
When a direct database connection is specified using the
-d option, pg_restore
internally executes SQL statements. If you have
problems running pg_restore, make sure
you are able to select information from the database using, for
If your installation has any local additions to the
template1 database, be careful to load the output of
pg_restore into a truly empty database;
otherwise you are likely to get errors due to duplicate definitions
of the added objects. To make an empty database without any local
additions, copy from template0 not template1, for example:
CREATE DATABASE foo WITH TEMPLATE template0;
The limitations of pg_restore are detailed below.
When restoring data to a pre-existing table and the option
--disable-triggers is used,
pg_restore emits commands
to disable triggers on user tables before inserting the data then emits commands to
re-enable them after the data has been inserted. If the restore is stopped in the
middle, the system catalogs may be left in the wrong state.
pg_restore will not restore large objects for a single table. If
an archive contains large objects, then all large objects will be restored.
See also the pg_dump(1) documentation for details on
limitations of pg_dump.
Once restored, it is wise to run ANALYZE on each
restored table so the optimizer has useful statistics.
To dump a database called mydb to a tar
$ pg_dump -Ft mydb > db.tar
To reload this dump into an
existing database called newdb:
$ pg_restore -d newdb db.tar
To reorder database items, it is first necessary to dump the table of
contents of the archive:
$ pg_restore -l archive.file > archive.list
The listing file consists of a header and one line for each item, e.g.,
; Archive created at Fri Jul 28 22:28:36 2000
; dbname: birds
; TOC Entries: 74
; Compression: 0
; Dump Version: 1.4-0
; Format: CUSTOM
; Selected TOC Entries:
2; 145344 TABLE species postgres
3; 145344 ACL species
4; 145359 TABLE nt_header postgres
5; 145359 ACL nt_header
6; 145402 TABLE species_records postgres
7; 145402 ACL species_records
8; 145416 TABLE ss_old postgres
9; 145416 ACL ss_old
10; 145433 TABLE map_resolutions postgres
11; 145433 ACL map_resolutions
12; 145443 TABLE hs_old postgres
13; 145443 ACL hs_old
Semicolons start a comment, and the numbers at the start of lines refer to the
internal archive ID assigned to each item.
Lines in the file can be commented out, deleted, and reordered. For example,
10; 145433 TABLE map_resolutions postgres
;2; 145344 TABLE species postgres
;4; 145359 TABLE nt_header postgres
6; 145402 TABLE species_records postgres
;8; 145416 TABLE ss_old postgres
could be used as input to pg_restore and would only restore
items 10 and 6, in that order:
$ pg_restore -L archive.list archive.file
The pg_restore utility first appeared in
pg_dump(1), pg_dumpall(1), psql(1), Environment Variables (the documentation)
- SEE ALSO
linux.jgfs.net manual pages