I'm a newbie at SQL, and even greener when it comes to using the PostgreSQL C++ API libpqxx.

What I'd like to do is insert some binary data into a BYTEA column, but I find the Doxygen output is lacking in details. The fact that http://pqxx.org/ has been down for the past few days isn't helping me...

How would I go about inserting the contents of somefile.bin into a table with a BYTEA column?

What I have is along these lines:

pqxx::work work( conn );
work.exec( "CREATE TABLE test ( name varchar(20), data BYTEA )" );
work.exec( "INSERT INTO test( name, data ) VALUES ( 'foo', <insert filename.bin here> )" );

If it makes a difference, I'd like to use the new hex format for BYTEA available in PostgreSQL 9.1.

  • This may help you: stackoverflow.com/questions/8994702/… And please, don't cross-post your questions. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 4:57
  • The two libraries have similar names -- libpq and libpqxx -- but the first is C, while libpqxx is C++. The API is very different.
    – Stéphane
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 0:12

1 Answer 1


Took a while, but I figured out how to do it. Here is some example code:

pqxx::connection conn( ... );
conn.prepare( "test", "INSERT INTO mytable( name, binfile ) VALUES ($1, $2)" );
pqxx::work work( conn );
for ( ... )
    std::string name = "foo";
    void * bin_data = ...; // -- obviously do what you need to get the binary data...
    size_t bin_size = 123; // -- ...and the size of the binary data

    pqxx::binarystring blob( bin_data, bin_size );
    pqxx::result r = work.prepared( "test" )( name )( blob ).exec();

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