There is already a question "How can I time SQL-queries using psql?" but I am missing answer how to do that from command line. How to run script with (optional) timing from command line – without \timing [on|off] in the script, please?

1 Answer 1


You could use the shell command time

postgres@db:$ time psql db -c 'SELECT 1'
(1 row)

real    0m0.108s
user    0m0.040s
sys     0m0.032s

Or, to combine a meta command with an SQL command, you could pipe a string to psql:

postgres@db:~/script$ echo '\timing \\ SELECT 1;' | LANG=C psql
Timing is on.
(1 row)

Time: 0.000 ms

The manual:

The special sequence \\ (two backslashes) marks the end of arguments and continues parsing SQL commands, if any. That way SQL and psql commands can be freely mixed on a line. But in any case, the arguments of a meta-command cannot continue beyond the end of the line.

More options:

  • 3
    The time command would measure whole script not each query. Inspired by the second suggestion: { echo '\timing on;'; cat file.sql } |psql. May 1, 2015 at 17:20

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