PostgreSQL SQL Dump

Driver short name


Driver built-in by default

This driver is built-in by default

This write-only driver implements support for generating a SQL dump file that can later be injected into a live PostgreSQL instance. It supports PostgreSQL extended with the PostGIS geometries.

This driver is very similar to the PostGIS shp2pgsql utility.

Most creation options are shared with the regular PostgreSQL driver.

The PGDump driver supports creating tables with multiple PostGIS geometry columns (following RFC 41 : Support for multiple geometry fields in OGR)

Driver capabilities

Supports Create()

This driver supports the GDALDriver::Create() operation

Supports Georeferencing

This driver supports georeferencing

Supports VirtualIO

This driver supports virtual I/O operations (/vsimem/, etc.)

Creation options

Dataset Creation Options

Dataset creation options can be specified in command-line tools using the syntax -dsco <NAME>=<VALUE> or by providing the appropriate arguments to GDALCreate() (C) or Driver.Create (Python). The following dataset creation options are supported:

  • LINEFORMAT=[CRLF/LF]: By default files are created with the line termination conventions of the local platform (CR/LF on win32 or LF on all other systems). This may be overridden through use of the LINEFORMAT dataset creation option which may have a value of CRLF (DOS format) or LF (Unix format).

Layer Creation Options

Layer creation options can be specified in command-line tools using the syntax -lco <NAME>=<VALUE> or by providing the appropriate arguments to GDALDatasetCreateLayer() (C) or Dataset.CreateLayer (Python). The following layer creation options are supported:

  • GEOM_TYPE=[geometry/geography]: Defaults to geometry. The GEOM_TYPE layer creation option can be set to one of "geometry" or "geography" (PostGIS >= 1.5) to force the type of geometry used for a table.

  • LAUNDER=[YES/NO]: Defaults to YES. This may be "YES" to force new fields created on this layer to have their field names "laundered" into a form more compatible with PostgreSQL. This converts to lower case and converts some special characters like "-" and "#" to "_". If "NO" exact names are preserved. If enabled the table (layer) name will also be laundered.

  • LAUNDER_ASCII=[YES/NO]: (GDAL >= 3.9) Defaults to NO. Implies LAUNDER=YES, with the extra substitution of UTF-8 accented characters in the Latin-1 Supplement and Latin Extented-A sets with the closest ASCII letter. Other non-ASCII characters are replaced with underscore. Consequently this option is not appropriate for non-Latin languages.

  • PRECISION=[YES/NO]: Defaults to YES. This may be "YES" to force new fields created on this layer to try and represent the width and precision information, if available using NUMERIC(width,precision) or CHAR(width) types. If "NO" then the types FLOAT8, INTEGER and VARCHAR will be used instead. The default is "YES".

  • DIM=[2/3/XYM/XYZM]: Control the dimension of the layer. Important to set to 2 for 2D layers with PostGIS 1.0+ as it has constraints on the geometry dimension during loading.

  • GEOMETRY_NAME=value: Set name of geometry column in new table. If omitted it defaults to wkb_geometry for GEOM_TYPE=geometry, or the_geog for GEOM_TYPE=geography.

  • SCHEMA=value: Set name of schema for new table. Using the same layer name in different schemas is supported, but not in the public schema and others.

  • CREATE_SCHEMA=[ON/OFF]: To be used in combination with SCHEMA. Set to ON by default so that the CREATE SCHEMA instruction is emitted. Turn to OFF to prevent CREATE SCHEMA from being emitted.

  • SPATIAL_INDEX=[NONE/GIST/SPGIST/BRIN]: Defaults to GIST. YES/NO for earlier versions and backward compatibility: Set to GIST (GDAL >=2.4, or YES for earlier versions) by default. Creates a spatial index (GiST) on the geometry column to speed up queries (Has effect only when PostGIS is available). Set to NONE (GDAL >= 2.4, or FALSE for earlier versions) to disable. BRIN is only available with PostgreSQL >= 9.4 and PostGIS >= 2.3. SPGIST is only available with PostgreSQL >= 11 and PostGIS >= 2.5

  • GEOM_COLUMN_POSITION=[IMMEDIATE/END]: (GDAL >= 3.7) Defaults to IMMEDIATE. If set to IMMEDIATE (the default), geometry columns are created in the table structure as soon as OGR is instructed to create them (which typically means that the default geometry column is created just after the FID column and before the non-spatial columns). If set to END, the geometry columns are created in the table structure after non-spatial columns.

  • TEMPORARY=[ON/OFF]: Defaults to OFF. Creates a temporary table instead of a permanent one.

  • UNLOGGED=[ON/OFF]: Defaults to OFF. Whether to create the table as a unlogged one. Unlogged tables are only supported since PostgreSQL 9.1, and GiST indexes used for spatial indexing since PostgreSQL 9.3.

  • WRITE_EWKT_GEOM=[ON/OFF]: Defaults to OFF. Turn to ON to write EWKT geometries instead of HEX geometries. This option will have no effect PG_USE_COPY environment variable is to YES.

  • CREATE_TABLE=[ON/OFF]: Defaults to ON. Set to ON by default so that tables are recreated if necessary. Turn to OFF to disable this and use existing table structure.

  • DROP_TABLE=[ON/OFF/IF_EXISTS]: Defaults to IF_EXISTS. Set to ON so that tables are destroyed before being recreated. Set to OFF to prevent DROP TABLE from being emitted. Set to IF_EXISTS in order DROP TABLE IF EXISTS to be emitted (needs PostgreSQL >= 8.2)

  • SRID=value: Set the SRID of the geometry. Defaults to -1, unless a SRS is associated with the layer. In the case, if the EPSG code is mentioned, it will be used as the SRID. (Note: the spatial_ref_sys table must be correctly populated with the specified SRID)

  • NONE_AS_UNKNOWN=[YES/NO]: Can be set to YES to force non-spatial layers (wkbNone) to be created as spatial tables of type GEOMETRY (wkbUnknown). Defaults to NO, in which case a regular table is created and not recorded in the PostGIS geometry_columns table.

  • FID=value: Defaults to ogc_fid. Name of the FID column to create. Starting with GDAL 3.7, if set explicitly to the empty string, disables the creation of a FID column.

  • FID64=[TRUE/FALSE]: Defaults to FALSE. This may be "TRUE" to create a FID column that can support 64 bit identifiers.

  • EXTRACT_SCHEMA_FROM_LAYER_NAME=[YES/NO]: Defaults to YEs. Can be set to NO to avoid considering the dot character as the separator between the schema and the table name.

  • COLUMN_TYPES=value: A list of strings of format field_name=pg_field_type (separated by comma) that should be use when CreateField() is invoked on them. This will override the default choice that OGR would have made. This can for example be used to create a column of type HSTORE.

  • POSTGIS_VERSION=[1.5/2.0/2.2]: Defaults to 2.2 starting with GDAL 3.2 (1.5 previously) PostGIS 2.0 encodes differently non-linear geometry types. And 2.2 brings special handling for POINT EMPTY geometries.

  • DESCRIPTION=value: Description string to put in the pg_description system table. The description can also be written with SetMetadataItem("DESCRIPTION", description_string). Descriptions are preserved by default by ogr2ogr, unless the -nomd option is used.

Environment variables

Configuration options can be specified in command-line tools using the syntax --config <NAME>=<VALUE> or using functions such as CPLSetConfigOption() (C) or gdal.config_options (Python). The following configuration options are available:

  • PG_USE_COPY=value: This may be "YES" for using COPY for inserting data to Postgresql. COPY is significantly faster than INSERT. COPY is used by default when inserting from a table that has just been created.


    At time of writing, PgPoolII is not compatible with COPY mode as used by the OGR PostgreSQL driver. Thus you should force PG_USE_COPY=NO when using PgPoolII.

VSI Virtual File System API support

The driver supports writing to files managed by VSI Virtual File System API, which include "regular" files, as well as files in the /vsizip/, /vsigzip/ domains.

Writing to /dev/stdout or /vsistdout/ is also supported.


  • Simple translation of a shapefile into PostgreSQL into a file abc.sql. The table 'abc' will be created with the features from abc.shp and attributes from abc.dbf. The SRID is specified. PG_USE_COPY is set to YES to improve the performance.

    ogr2ogr --config PG_USE_COPY YES -f PGDump abc.sql abc.shp -lco SRID=32631
  • Pipe the output of the PGDump driver into the psql utility.

    ogr2ogr --config PG_USE_COPY YES -f PGDump /vsistdout/ abc.shp | psql -d my_dbname -f -

See Also