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PostgreSQL Tasks and Functions for Ruby on Rails


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'pg_tasks', '>= 1.1.0', '< 2.0.0'


Rake Tasks

The following rake tasks are available:

rake db:pg:structure_and_data:dump FILE=...
rake db:pg:structure_and_data:restore FILE=...
rake db:pg:data:restore FILE=...
rake db:pg:terminate_connections
rake db:pg:truncate_tables

The meaning should be clear from the names.

The FILE environment variable is optional. There are defaults.

Access from Ruby Code

PgTasks.structure_and_data_dump(filename = nil)
PgTasks.structure_and_data_restore(filename = nil)
PgTasks.data_restore(filename = nil)

Breaking Changes from Version 1.x to 2.x

The task db:pg:data:dump and the corresponding command PgTasks.data_dump has been removed.

The task db:pg:data:restore and the corresponding command PgTasks.data_restore operate now only on dumps also including the schema.

The task db:pg:data:restore and the corresponding command PgTasks.data_restore do not disable triggers!


  • The integrity of the data is now checked also when restoring data only.

  • Most use cases require now only one dump (structure_and_data) instead of two. This translates in ½ the time to create dumps and ½ the space required to store them.

You might ask why it hasn't been this way from the start? The facilities PostgreSQL provides clashes a bit with how ActiveRecord works with respect the schema_migrations table and you have to perform "a bit of a dance" to make it work this way.

Internals and Caveats

This library uses and extends ActiveRecord::Tasks::DatabaseTasks as well as ActiveRecord::Tasks::PostgreSQLDatabaseTasks.

The dump and restore tasks communicate with Postgresql via the system binaries pg_dump and pg_restore (in the same way as some of the original rails tasks do). truncate_tables uses ActiveRecord::Base.connection.

Restoring a complete database doesn't play well if there are open connections. Restore is carried out in a single transaction add will abort immediately if there is a problem.

data_restore as well as truncate_tables leaves the schema_migrations table alone. This is the desired behavior for a library designed to interact with ruby on rails respectively active record.

Calling PgTasks.terminate_connections() will also terminate the current connection.

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