I'm using PostgreSQL 9.1.X

I am trying to build psql script to print results without a header but including a footer.


From the document above

\pset tuples_only

will turn both header and footer off. and

\pset footer off

will turn footer off only.

Is there a way in psql to turn the header off and keep the footer on?

I know there are many ways to work around this issue using shell/perl/whatever text tool you like, however I am wondering why there is a config for the footer but not one for the header?

id <--this line I don't want
---- <-- this line I don't want either
 1  <-- this line, yes
(1 row) <-- yes, I want it!
  • Are you on Unix? If so, you can use head/tail/grep/awk/sed/a million other things – Philᵀᴹ Sep 12 '12 at 20:42

When executing psql from shell you can use -t (prints tuples only) option:

$ psql -t -c "SELECT version();"
 PostgreSQL 9.5.5 on x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, compiled by gcc (Debian 4.9.2-10) 4.9.2, 64-bit

Within psql use \t to turn off printing header and row count.


My solution is not quite turning off but rather discarding headers.

You can try to tail the query output:

\o | tail -n +2

With \o, you can redirect output to a file or a pipe, like in this case. This solution has its flaw, too: at least in my case, after execution of SELECT [...], I don't get back to a prompt unless I press a key. And the first output row appears after a prompt. If you then redirect output to a file, it shouldn't be a problem though.

This behaviour can be avoided if you set the PAGER environmental variable appropriately and always use pager is psql:

$ export PAGER='tail -n +3'

$ psql -U postgres -d test
psql (9.1.4, server 9.1.5)

test=# \pset pager always
Pager is always used.

test=# select * from a;
  2 | b
  3 | b
(2 rows)

In the psql version that comes with PostgreSQL 9.2 you can use the \setenv command for convenience (I mean that you don't have to set an env variable which may affect other applications as well).

  • nice hack, good to know pager option. but really there is no option for header itself? Maybe I should check postgresql's mailist – skong Sep 14 '12 at 15:20
  • @sinbadblue No. As you've already checked, no. You can post a feature request, though :) Would be a useful advancement. – dezso Sep 14 '12 at 19:10

You need to add in a psql command line option -P "footer=off". This option keep the columns titles in the result.

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