Hopefully its clear to anyone reading this what backup and restore is in regards to your database. But, in case you’re entirely new to databases and even more so computers, a backup is simply a full copy of your database schema and data, with restore being the ability to use that backed up data and load it into your database or another database.
Note: Backup and restore is done on an entire database or entire table, and not meant for extracts of data. In that case you would use copy.
pg_dump is the utility for backing up your database. There are a few key knobs you have when dumping your database. These include:
So lets get started with some backing up - if you need a reminder of your databases you can list them with:
Then carry out the dump with:
pg_dump database_name_here > database.sql
The above will create the plaintext dump of your database. To create a form more suitable you a persistent backup and storage you can use either of the below:
pg_dump -Fc database_name_here > database.bak # compressed binary format pg_dump -Ft database_name_here > database.tar # tarball
When restoring, there are a few more options that you’ll want to consider:
pg_restore -Fc database.bak # restore compressed binary format pg_restore -Ft database.tar # restore tarball
If your database already exists you only need to run the above. However, if you’re creating your database new from the restore you’ll want to run a command similar to the following:
pg_restore -Fc -C database.bak # restore compressed binary format pg_restore -Ft -C database.tar # restore tarball