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Simple question: I want to migrate all of a Postgres server's data, schema, roles, everything from Windows to Linux.

Can I just copy the contents of the %PGDATA% directory in Windows to which the server points to Linux and start the server there pointing PGDATA argument/variable to that directory? In other words, are the data files platform independent to make porting from one OS to another a matter of copying?

I also have developed a script for cloning PG databases, schema+data but, for a variety of reasons, I would prefer to just put the data files on a USB drive and be done with it.

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No, you cannot do that. The files in the data directory are not compatible across operating systems (or different architectures).

You will need to use pg_dump and pg_restore

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    You may also need to care about encoding or collation for some languages. – Sahap Asci Nov 15 '18 at 6:12

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