I have a postgres 9.1 server running and I do backups with

pg_dumpall -c -f /nfs/backup/fulldump.sql

I'm testing restoring the backup to another server with

psql -f /nfs/backup/fulldump.sql

while running as user postgres and I get two errors

psql:/nfs/backup/fulldump.sql:27: ERROR:  current user cannot be dropped
psql:/nfs/backup/fulldump.sql:36: ERROR:  role "postgres" already exists

I understand that these are caused by commands

DROP ROLE postgres;
CREATE ROLE postgres;

in the backup dump.

Is it possible to somehow restore the dump from pg_dumpall -c without having a single error?

  • Searching around the web hints that single user mode (postgres --single) could be the correct answer. That can be started like described in answer dba.stackexchange.com/a/61784/29183 -- my dump takes around an hour to read in so I have to test it some later time... Aug 27, 2014 at 6:00

1 Answer 1


I ended up using grep for this:

egrep -v '^(CREATE|DROP) ROLE postgres;' dump.sql \
| psql -X -v ON_ERROR_STOP=1 -1 ...
  • I think your regular expression should only match DROP and CREATE, not ALTER. Otherwise that should do the job. Jun 20, 2017 at 15:49
  • @MikkoRantalainen good point, fixed.
    – 11181
    Jun 20, 2017 at 18:16
  • 3
    I can't believe this is still a problem. Thanks for the grep.
    – Jeff
    Sep 21, 2022 at 13:21

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