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Run a query in psql and output the result as CSV.


Mac OS X

psql2csv is available on Homebrew.

$ brew install psql2csv


Grab the file psql2csv, put in somewhere in your $PATH, and make it executable:

$ curl > /usr/local/bin/psql2csv && chmod +x /usr/local/bin/psql2csv


psql2csv [OPTIONS] < QUERY
psql2csv [OPTIONS] QUERY


The query is assumed to be the contents of STDIN, if present, or the last argument. All other arguments are forwarded to psql except for these:

-?, --help                 show this help, then exit
--delimiter=DELIMITER      set the field delimiter (default: ,)
--quote=QUOTE              set the quote delimiter (default: ")
--escape=ESCAPE            set the escape character (default: QUOTE)
--null=NULL                set the string representing NULL; printed without quotes (default: empty string)
--force-quote=FORCE_QUOTE  set the columns to be force quoted; comma separated list of columns or * for all (default: none)
--encoding=ENCODING        set the output encoding; Excel likes latin1 (default: UTF8)
--no-header                do not output a header
--timezone=TIMEZONE        set the timezone config before running the query
--search-path=SEARCH_PATH  set the search_path config before running the query
--dry-run                  print the COPY statement that would be run without actually running it

Example Usage

$ psql2csv dbname "select * from table" > data.csv

$ psql2csv dbname < query.sql > data.csv

$ psql2csv --no-header --delimiter=$'\t' --encoding=latin1 dbname <<sql
> FROM some_table
> WHERE some_condition
> LIMIT 10
> sql

Advanced Usage

Let's assume you have a script monthly_report.sql that you run every month. This script has a WHERE that limits the report to a certain month:

WHERE date_trunc('month', created_at) = '2019-01-01'

Every time you run it you have to edit the script to change the month you want to run it for. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to specify a variable instead?

Turns out psql does have support for variables which you can pass to psql (and thus to psql2csv) via -v, --variable, or --set. To interpolate the variable into the query you can use :VAR for the literal value, :'VAR' for the value as a string, or :"VAR" for the value as an identifier.

Let's change the WHERE clause in monthly_report.sql file to use a variable instead:

WHERE date_trunc('month', created_at) = (:'MONTH' || '-01')::timestamptz

With this change we can now run the query for any desired month as follows:

$ psql2csv -v MONTH=2019-02 < monthly_report.sql > data.csv

Further Help


Philipe Fatio (@fphilipe)


Run a query in psql and output the result as CSV.





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