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Chapter 25. Backup and Restore

Table of Contents

25.1. SQL Dump
25.1.1. Restoring the Dump
25.1.2. Using pg_dumpall
25.1.3. Handling Large Databases
25.2. File System Level Backup
25.3. Continuous Archiving and Point-in-Time Recovery (PITR)
25.3.1. Setting Up WAL Archiving
25.3.2. Making a Base Backup
25.3.3. Making a Base Backup Using the Low Level API
25.3.4. Recovering Using a Continuous Archive Backup
25.3.5. Timelines
25.3.6. Tips and Examples
25.3.7. 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.