pg_dumpall Man page

PG_DUMPALL(1) PostgreSQL 9.5.5 Documentation PG_DUMPALL(1)


pg_dumpall – extract a PostgreSQL database cluster into a script file


pg_dumpall [connection-option…] [option…]


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 a
cluster. pg_dumpall also dumps global objects that are common to all
databases. (pg_dump does not save these objects.) This currently
includes information about database users and groups, tablespaces, and
properties such as access permissions that apply to databases as a

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 users and groups, and to create

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 31.15, “The Password File”, in the documentation for
more information.


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 recreating
them. DROP commands for roles and tablespaces are added as well.

-f filename
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 SET
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 objects,
specify -O.

Dump only roles, no databases or tablespaces.

Dump only the object definitions (schema), not data.

-S username
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

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 INSERT commands with explicit column names (INSERT
INTO table (column, …) VALUES …). This will make restoration
very slow; it is mainly useful for making dumps that can be loaded
into non-PostgreSQL databases.

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 with -S,
or preferably be careful to start the resulting script as a

Use conditional commands (i.e. add an IF EXISTS clause) to clean
databases and other objects. This option is not valid unless
–clean is also specified.

Dump data as INSERT commands (rather than COPY). 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 even slower.

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 SET statement_timeout. 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 security labels.

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.

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, might not restore properly.

Show help about pg_dumpall command line arguments, and exit.

The following command-line options control the database connection

-d connstr
Specifies parameters used to connect to the server, as a connection
string. See Section 31.1.1, “Connection Strings”, in the
documentation for more information.

The option is called –dbname for consistency with other client
applications, but because pg_dumpall needs to connect to many
databases, database name in the connection string will be ignored.
Use -l option to specify the name of the database used to dump
global objects and to discover what other databases should be

-h host
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.

-l dbname
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.

-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
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

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 attempt.

Note that the password prompt will occur again for each database to
be dumped. Usually, it’s better to set up a ~/.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 SET ROLE 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



Default connection parameters

This utility, like most other PostgreSQL utilities, also uses the
environment variables supported by libpq (see Section 31.14,
“Environment Variables”, in the documentation).

Since pg_dumpall calls pg_dump internally, some diagnostic messages
will refer to pg_dump.

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.

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.)


Check pg_dump for details on possible error conditions.

PostgreSQL 9.5.5 2016 PG_DUMPALL(1)