I'm developing a really long script. I'd like to break the script into smaller, more manageable scripts and include each sql file in a master file, then just execute the master file.

example: master.sql

contents (I don't know the syntax to use):


I've found several tutorials about using psql -f in the command-line and \i to include these files, but the preference here is to avoid the terminal and use a GUI to manage my database and execute the master.sql script.

Is this possible in any postgres admin GUI? Presumably it's not in pgAdmin.

  • You can edit your SQL files in any editor (there are much better options than pgAdmin) and then only run a single command in psql (say psql -f master.sql). Mar 12, 2013 at 20:15
  • OK, then I will be clear: you presumably can't do that in pgAdmin. Anyway, I can't really see why this is a problem (I may be too used to this limitation). Mar 13, 2013 at 8:41
  • Thanks for the comment. And you'll be able to see that it is a problem without a solution if you attempt to do what I want in pgAdmin. It may be a limitation (WADU) of pgAdmin, as you say, so I'll edit my question to open it up to asking for ANY postgres GUI that will do this.
    – jnmitch
    Mar 13, 2013 at 18:34
  • 1
    SQL Workbench/J can do that: sql-workbench.net/manual/wb-commands.html#command-wbinclude
    – user1822
    Mar 13, 2013 at 22:59
  • Thanks @a_horse_with_no_name. I noticed in the URL referenced that: "If the included SQL script contains SELECT queries, the result of those queries will not be displayed in the GUI". My scripts have many select statements. To confirm this disclaimer, I tested this product using the WbInclude command on a very simple script containing a select and confirmed it doesn't display the results. I wonder why? Anyway, aside from that, this product definitely works at calling other scripts within scripts.
    – jnmitch
    Mar 14, 2013 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


A psql script

A psql script can index multiple files, let's assume 01_mydb.psql, is in the current working directory, and you have a directory 01 that has the files 01_schema.sql and 02_types.sql.

01_mydb.psql may look like this.

\i 01/01_schema.sql
\i 01/02_types.sql

Or however you want to structure it. If things get more complex and need more order, add more subdirectories

\i 01/10_tables/01_foo.sql
\i 01/10_tables/02_bar.sql

Then you would just either..

  1. Add an index file in 01, something like ./01/10_tables.psql
  2. Or, just add them all to 01_mydb.sql

I'll show the second method using find,

Using find to generate a master-load script.

Let's go ahead and create that structure.

├── 01_schema.psql
├── 02_types.psql
└── 10_tables
    ├── 01_foo.psql
    └── 02_bar.psql

Here is the commands we use to create it.,

mkdir 01
touch 01/01_schema.sql
touch 01/02_types.sql
mkdir 01/10_tables
touch 01/10_tables/01_foo.sql
touch 01/10_tables/02_bar.sql

Now you can use find to generate a load script

find ./01/ -type f -printf '\\i %p\n' | sort | tee master.psql
\i ./01/01_schema.sql
\i ./01/02_types.sql
\i ./01/10_tables/01_foo.sql
\i ./01/10_tables/02_bar.sql

Now just run master.psql;

psql -d database -f master.psql

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