Chapter 26. Backup and Restore

Table of Contents

26.1. SQL Dump
26.1.1. Restoring the Dump
26.1.2. Using pg_dumpall
26.1.3. Handling Large Databases
26.2. File System Level Backup
26.3. Continuous Archiving and Point-in-Time Recovery (PITR)
26.3.1. Setting Up WAL Archiving
26.3.2. Making a Base Backup
26.3.3. Making a Base Backup Using the Low Level API
26.3.4. Recovering Using a Continuous Archive Backup
26.3.5. Timelines
26.3.6. Tips and Examples
26.3.7. Caveats

As with everything that contains valuable data, PostgreSQL databases should be backed up regularly. While the procedure is essentially simple, it is important to have a clear understanding of the underlying techniques and assumptions.

There are three fundamentally different approaches to backing up PostgreSQL data:

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses; each is discussed in turn in the following sections.