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Don't they essentially do the same thing by storing all the data in a file and dumping it into another database? Is it that pg_dump just adds the data on to whatever is already there and restore deletes everything and then dumps it in?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 19 '13 at 2:03

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pg_dump is the official tool of the project to create a backups of PostgreSQL databases or selected objects in the file system.

To restore, you can either use pg_restore or simply psql, depending on the format of the backup.

The "Backup" and "Restore" options of pgAdmin are just a front to the above mentioned tools.

There is no (official) tool "backup" or "restore" like you seem to be implying. You are probably confusing terms.

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I would just add that there are other official tools which do other kinds of backups in PostgreSQL 9+. pg_basebackup is a good example. –  Chris Travers Mar 20 '13 at 9:51

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