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I am using AWS as my cloud environment. I installed PostgreSQL on the same drive as my root instance volume. I have attached and mounted the second drive to my instance. Now I want to move all my PostgreSQL data to the different drive. I am still in development mode so I can delete the old data if it makes transfer easier at this point of time. What is the best way to do this?

Is PostgreSQL tablespace something which I should look at?

share|improve this question
Tablespaces would be the way to go if you wanted to move part of your database(s) to a separate drive. – Erwin Brandstetter Nov 19 '12 at 23:42
This answer suggests that tablespaces should NOT go on an external hard drive: Not sure I understand the risk if you're already putting the data on an external? – Statwonk Jun 29 '14 at 0:14
up vote 15 down vote accepted

The following should do it:

  1. Shut down PostgreSQL
  2. Make sure PostgreSQL does not run any longer
  3. Check that PostgreSQL is really stopped
  4. Copy the old data directory to the new drive
    This is usually defined through a commandline parameter (-D) for your service or through the PGDATA environment variable.
  5. Update your PostgreSQL configuration (service, environment var) to point to the new data directory.
  6. If you copied the data, rename the old data directory to make sure PostgreSQL cannot find it any longer. That way you'll get an error message if you didn't get the configuration right.
  7. Start the service
  8. If everything is running fine, you can delete the old directory.
share|improve this answer
In 4th point, what do you mean by 'This is usually defined through a commandline parameter...'? – codecool Nov 19 '12 at 15:52
@codecool: there are several different ways how this could be defined. Usually it's part of the service definition. But it depends on your operating system, distribution and personal changes. – a_horse_with_no_name Nov 19 '12 at 15:54
This worked but I used the regedit instead of the command line for Windows. Whew. My disk was just about to run out of space but now I have it safely operating elsewhere with enough space. – trench Jul 13 at 18:02
  1. Stop postgresql service
  2. cp -a source_data_directory destination_data_directory
  3. chown -R postgres_user /destination_data_directory
  4. export PGDATA=destination_data_directory
  5. Changing data directory to destination_data_directory within postgresql.conf
  6. pg_ctl start
share|improve this answer
I glad you remembered the chown command for the new folder. – RolandoMySQLDBA May 6 at 21:49

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