Is it possible to restore a full backup from pgbackrest without the archive files?

I tried to restore a full backup on another server but when I tried to start the instance via pg_ctl start I get an error saying "panic: could not locate a valid checkpoint"

If it is not possible then would it be possible to restore a pgbackrest backup over ssh?

PgBackrest - Version: 2.24

PostgreSQL - Version: 9.6

pgbackrest --stanza=mystanza restore --process-max 4  --delta --link-all

1 Answer 1


There is no way to restore from a postgresql binary backup without WAL. Regardless of the backup software was used: pg_basebackup, pgbackrest, barman, wal-e, wal-g or something else that uses a binary copy of the data directory. Even if case when a postgresql server was completely shut down while the backup was taken. It is mandatory to have WAL segments to start the database system.

So, if you have no backup (correct, a basebackup without WAL means no backup) and you want to start the database and damage your data - you could try to use pg_resetwal. Please read the docs carefully. After that, any anomalies in the data are expected, for example, you may find duplicate rows under a unique constraint, see rows that have already been deleted, or cannot find recently added rows.

  • Hello, thank you for your reply. No I don't want to use the pg_resetwal. Is it possible to restore a pgbackrest backup over ssh? Nov 12, 2021 at 13:24
  • No. You cannot restore a physical backup without WAL archives. Nov 12, 2021 at 15:12
  • Okay I understand that but is it generally possible with pgbackrest to restore backups over ssh ? Nov 12, 2021 at 20:11

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