|PG_DUMPALL(1)||PostgreSQL 14.3 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(1) to restore the databases. It does this by calling pg_dump(1) 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 34.16 for more information.
The following command-line options control the content and format of the output.
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 superuser.
The following command-line options control the database connection parameters.
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 -l 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.
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.
This utility, like most other PostgreSQL utilities, also uses the environment variables supported by libpq (see Section 34.15).
Since pg_dumpall calls pg_dump internally, some diagnostic messages will refer to pg_dump.
The --clean option can be useful even when your intention is to restore the dump script into a fresh cluster. Use of --clean authorizes the script to drop and re-create the built-in postgres and 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 contents.
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 “role already 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 --clean option is likely to produce additional harmless error messages about non-existent objects, although you can minimize those by adding --if-exists.
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(1) for details on possible error conditions.