Provided by: postgresql-9.1_9.1.3-2_amd64 bug


       pg_basebackup - take a base backup of a PostgreSQL cluster


       pg_basebackup [option...]


       pg_basebackup is used to take base backups of a running PostgreSQL database cluster. These
       are taken without affecting other clients to the database, and can be used both for
       point-in-time recovery (see Section 24.3, “Continuous Archiving and Point-in-Time Recovery
       (PITR)”, in the documentation) and as the starting point for a log shipping or streaming
       replication standby servers (see Section 25.2, “Log-Shipping Standby Servers”, in the

       pg_basebackup makes a binary copy of the database cluster files, while making sure the
       system is automatically put in and out of backup mode automatically. Backups are always
       taken of the entire database cluster, it is not possible to back up individual databases
       or database objects. For individual database backups, a tool such as pg_dump(1) must be

       The backup is made over a regular PostgreSQL connection, and uses the replication
       protocol. The connection must be made with a user having REPLICATION permissions (see
       Section 20.2, “Role Attributes”, in the documentation), and the user must be granted
       explicit permissions in pg_hba.conf. The server must also be configured with
       max_wal_senders set high enough to leave at least one session available for the backup.

       There can be multiple pg_basebackups running at the same time, but it is better from a
       performance point of view to take only one backup, and copy the result.


       The following command-line options control the location and format of the output.

       -D directory, --pgdata=directory
           Directory to write the output to.

           When the backup is in tar mode, and the directory is specified as - (dash), the tar
           file will be written to stdout.

           This parameter is required.

       -F format, --format=format
           Selects the format for the output.  format can be one of the following:

           p, plain
               Write the output as plain files, with the same layout as the current data
               directory and tablespaces. When the cluster has no additional tablespaces, the
               whole database will be placed in the target directory. If the cluster contains
               additional tablespaces, the main data directory will be placed in the target
               directory, but all other tablespaces will be placed in the same absolute path as
               they have on the server.

               This is the default format.

           t, tar
               Write the output as tar files in the target directory. The main data directory
               will be written to a file named base.tar, and all other tablespaces will be named
               after the tablespace OID.

               If the value - (dash) is specified as target directory, the tar contents will be
               written to standard output, suitable for piping to for example gzip. This is only
               possible if the cluster has no additional tablespaces.

       -x, --xlog
           Includes the required transaction log files (WAL files) in the backup. This will
           include all transaction logs generated during the backup. If this option is specified,
           it is possible to start a postmaster directly in the extracted directory without the
           need to consult the log archive, thus making this a completely standalone backup.

               The transaction log files are collected at the end of the backup. Therefore, it is
               necessary for the wal_keep_segments parameter to be set high enough that the log
               is not removed before the end of the backup. If the log has been rotated when it's
               time to transfer it, the backup will fail and be unusable.

       -z, --gzip
           Enables gzip compression of tar file output, with the default compression level.
           Compression is only available when using the tar format.

       -Z level, --compress=level
           Enables gzip compression of tar file output, and specifies the compression level (1
           through 9, 9 being best compression). Compression is only available when using the tar

       The following command-line options control the generation of the backup and the running of
       the program.

       -c fast|spread, --checkpoint=fast|spread
           Sets checkpoint mode to fast or spread (default).

       -l label, --label=label
           Sets the label for the backup. If none is specified, a default value of pg_basebackup
           base backup will be used.

       -P, --progress
           Enables progress reporting. Turning this on will deliver an approximate progress
           report during the backup. Since the database may change during the backup, this is
           only an approximation and may not end at exactly 100%. In particular, when WAL log is
           included in the backup, the total amount of data cannot be estimated in advance, and
           in this case the estimated target size will increase once it passes the total estimate
           without WAL.

           When this is enabled, the backup will start by enumerating the size of the entire
           database, and then go back and send the actual contents. This may make the backup take
           slightly longer, and in particular it will take longer before the first data is sent.

       -v, --verbose
           Enables verbose mode. Will output some extra steps during startup and shutdown, as
           well as show the exact file name that is currently being processed if progress
           reporting is also enabled.

       The following command-line options control the database connection parameters.

       -h host, --host=host
           Specifies the host name of the machine on which the server is running. If the value
           begins with a slash, it is used as the directory for the Unix domain socket. The
           default is taken from the PGHOST environment variable, if set, else a Unix domain
           socket connection is attempted.

       -p port, --port=port
           Specifies the TCP port or local Unix domain socket file extension on which the server
           is listening for connections. Defaults to the PGPORT environment variable, if set, or
           a compiled-in default.

       -U username, --username=username
           User name to connect as.

       -w, --no-password
           Never issue a password prompt. If the server requires password authentication and a
           password is not available by other means such as a .pgpass file, the connection
           attempt will fail. This option can be useful in batch jobs and scripts where no user
           is present to enter a password.

       -W, --password
           Force pg_basebackup to prompt for a password before connecting to a database.

           This option is never essential, since pg_basebackup will automatically prompt for a
           password if the server demands password authentication. However, pg_basebackup 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.

       Other, less commonly used, parameters are also available:

       -V, --version
           Print the pg_basebackup version and exit.

       -?, --help
           Show help about pg_basebackup command line arguments, and exit.


       This utility, like most other PostgreSQL utilities, uses the environment variables
       supported by libpq (see Section 31.13, “Environment Variables”, in the documentation).


       The backup will include all files in the data directory and tablespaces, including the
       configuration files and any additional files placed in the directory by third parties.
       Only regular files and directories are allowed in the data directory, no symbolic links or
       special device files.

       The way PostgreSQL manages tablespaces, the path for all additional tablespaces must be
       identical whenever a backup is restored. The main data directory, however, is relocatable
       to any location.


       To create a base backup of the server at mydbserver and store it in the local directory

           $ pg_basebackup -h mydbserver -D /usr/local/pgsql/data

       To create a backup of the local server with one compressed tar file for each tablespace,
       and store it in the directory backup, showing a progress report while running:

           $ pg_basebackup -D backup -Ft -z -P

       To create a backup of a single-tablespace local database and compress this with bzip2:

           $ pg_basebackup -D - -Ft | bzip2 > backup.tar.bz2

       (This command will fail if there are multiple tablespaces in the database.)