Backing up a PostgreSQL database (Windows)


Content contributed by DJ Platten

These instructions are based on PostgreSQL 9.1 and OpenREM 0.5.0 running on Windows Server 2008. The database restore has been tested on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Create a PostgreSQL user called backup with a password of backup. This is easiest to do using the pgAdminIII tool: you’ll need to create a new login role. In the role privileges ensure that at least Can login, Superuser and Can initiate streaming replication and backups are checked.

The pgAdminIII tool is available by default on Windows, but needs to be explicitly installed if using Ubuntu with the following command:

sudo apt-get install pgadmin3

For the remainder of this article I’m going to assume that your OpenREM database is called openrempostgresql.

To backup the contents of openrempostgresql to a file called backup.sql run the following at the command line in a command prompt (Windows), or terminal window (Ubuntu):

pg_dump -U backup -F c -b -v -f backup.sql openrempostgresql

You will need to add your C:\path\to\postgres\bin folder to the path environment variable for this to work. Make sure to use the actual path to your PostgreSQL bin folder rather than the example text provided here. See for instructions on editing the path environment variable.

The -U backup indicates that the backup user is to carry out the task. The -F c option archives in a suitable format for input into the pg_restore command. Further information on pg_dump and backing up a PostgreSQL database can be found here: and here:

Restoring a PostgreSQL database (Windows)

The pg_restore command can be used to restore the database using one of the backed-up SQL files that were produced using the pg_dump command.

Use the pgAdminIII tool to ensure that there is a PostgreSQL user called openremuser.

Use pgAdminIII to create a database called openrempostgresql; set the owner to openremuser and the encoding to UTF8.

Run the following command in a command prompt window (Windows) or terminal window (Ubuntu) to restore the contents of backupFile to the openrempostgresql database, where backupFile is the file created by the pg_dump command:

pg_restore -U postgres -d openrempostgresql backupFile

Ensure that openremuser has an entry in PostgreSQL’s pg_hpa.conf file for md5 authentication:

local all openremuser md5

The PostgreSQL server will need to be restarted if you have changed pg_hpa.conf.

See for further details.