Summary: in this tutorial, we will show you how to backup databases using PostgreSQL backup tools including
Backing up databases is one of the most critical tasks in database administration. Before backing up the databases, you should consider the following points:
- Full / partial databases
- Both data and structures, or only structures
- Point In Time recovery
- Restore performance
pg_dumpalltools to help you backup databases easily and effectively.
For ones who want to see the command to backup databases quickly, here it is:
>pg_dump -U username -W -F t database_name > c:\backup_file.tar
In this following section, we will show you practical ways to backup one database, all databases, and only database objects.
How to backup one database
To backup one database, you can use the
pg_dump tool. The
pg_dump dumps out the content of all database objects into a single file.
First, navigate to PostgreSQL BIN folder:
C:\>cd C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\9.2\bin
Second, execute the
pg_dump program and use the following options to backup the
dvdrentaldatabase to the
dvdrental.tar file in the
>pg_dump -U postgres -W -F t dvdrental > c:\pgbackup\dvdrental.tar
Let’s examine the options in more detail.
-U postgres: specifies the user to connect to PostgreSQL database server. We used postgres in this example.
-W: forces pg_dump to prompt for the password before connecting to the PostgreSQL database server. After you hit enter, pg_dump will prompt for the password of postgres user.
-F : specifies the output file format that can be one of the following:
- c: custom-format archive file format
- d: directory-format archive
- p: plain text SQL script file).
Because we want the output file to be a tar-format archive file, we use
-F t in this example.
dvdrental: is the name of the database that we want to back
> c:\pgbackup\dvdrental.tar is the output backup file path.
How to backup all databases
To backup all databases, you can run the individual
pg_dump command above sequentially, or parallel if you want to speed up the backup process.
- First, from the psql, use the command
\listto list all available databases in your cluster
- Second, back up each individual database using the
pg_dumpprogram as described in the above section.
pg_dump program, PostgreSQL also provides you with the
pg_dumpall tool that allows you to backup all databases at once. However, it is not recommended to use this tool because of the following reasons:
pg_dumpallprogram exports all databases, one after another, into a single script file, which prevents you from performing the parallel restore. If you backup all databases this way, the restore process will take more time.
- The processing of dumping all databases takes longer than each individual one so you do not know which dump of each database relates to a specific point in time.
If you have a good reason to use the
pg_dumpallto backup all databases, the following is the command:
>pg_dumpall -U postgres > c:\pgbackup\all.sql
The options of the
pg_dumpall program are similar to the options of the pg_dump program. We omit the -W option to avoid typing the password for each individual database, which is quite tedious.
How to backup database object definitions
Sometimes, you want to backup only database object definitions so that you can restore the schema only. This is helpful in the test phase, which you do not want keep the old test data populated during the testing period.
To backup all objects in all databases, including roles, tablespaces, databases, schemas, tables, indexes, triggers, functions, constraints, views, ownerships and privileges, you use the following command:
>pg_dumpall --schema-only > c:\pgdump\definitiononly.sql
If you want to backup role definition only, use the following command:
>pg_dumpall --roles-only > c:\pgdump\allroles.sql
If you want to backup tablespaces definition, use the following command:
>pg_dumpall --tablespaces-only > c:\pgdump\allroles.sql
How to backup using pgAdmin
The pgAdmin provides an intuitive user interface that allows you to backup a database using pg_dump tool.
For example to backup the dvdrental database to a dvdrental.tar in the
c:\pgbackup\dvdrental.tar file, you can follow the following steps:
First, right mouse click on the dvdrental database, and choose the
Backup... menu item.
Second, enter the output file name and choose the file format.
pgAdmin backup tool provides various dump options as follows:
In the objects tab, you can select which objects to backup:
Third, click OK button to start performing a backup. The messages tag provides you with detailed messages of the backup process.
In this tutorial, we have shown you some practical way to backup PostgreSQL databases by using
- http://www.postgresql.org/docs/8.4/static/app-pgdump.html – How to use the