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COPY(7)				 SQL Commands			       COPY(7)

       COPY - copy data between a file and a table

       COPY tablename [ ( column [, ...] ) ]
	   FROM { 'filename' | STDIN }
	   [ [ WITH ]
		 [ BINARY ]
		 [ OIDS ]
		 [ DELIMITER [ AS ] 'delimiter' ]
		 [ NULL [ AS ] 'null string' ]
		 [ CSV [ HEADER ]
		       [ QUOTE [ AS ] 'quote' ]
		       [ ESCAPE [ AS ] 'escape' ]
		       [ FORCE NOT NULL column [, ...] ]

       COPY { tablename [ ( column [, ...] ) ] | ( query ) }
	   TO { 'filename' | STDOUT }
	   [ [ WITH ]
		 [ BINARY ]
		 [ OIDS ]
		 [ DELIMITER [ AS ] 'delimiter' ]
		 [ NULL [ AS ] 'null string' ]
		 [ CSV [ HEADER ]
		       [ QUOTE [ AS ] 'quote' ]
		       [ ESCAPE [ AS ] 'escape' ]
		       [ FORCE QUOTE column [, ...] ]

       COPY  moves  data  between  PostgreSQL  tables and standard file-system
       files. COPY TO copies the contents of a table to	 a  file,  while  COPY
       FROM copies data from a file to a table (appending the data to whatever
       is in the table already). COPY TO can also copy the results of a SELECT

       If  a list of columns is specified, COPY will only copy the data in the
       specified columns to or from the file.  If there are any columns in the
       table  that  are	 not  in  the  column  list, COPY FROM will insert the
       default values for those columns.

       COPY with a file name instructs the PostgreSQL server to directly  read
       from  or write to a file. The file must be accessible to the server and
       the name must be specified from the viewpoint of the server. When STDIN
       or  STDOUT is specified, data is transmitted via the connection between
       the client and the server.

	      The name (optionally schema-qualified) of an existing table.

       column An optional list of columns to be copied. If no column  list  is
	      specified, all columns of the table will be copied.

       query  A SELECT [select(7)] or VALUES [values(7)] command whose results
	      are to be copied.	 Note that parentheses are required around the

	      The  absolute  path  name	 of  the input or output file. Windows
	      users might need to use an E''  string  and  double  backslashes
	      used as path separators.

       STDIN  Specifies that input comes from the client application.

       STDOUT Specifies that output goes to the client application.

       BINARY Causes  all  data	 to  be stored or read in binary format rather
	      than as text. You cannot specify the  DELIMITER,	NULL,  or  CSV
	      options in binary mode.

       OIDS   Specifies	 copying  the OID for each row. (An error is raised if
	      OIDS is specified for a table that does not have OIDs, or in the
	      case of copying a query.)

	      The  single  ASCII  character that separates columns within each
	      row (line) of the file. The default is a tab character  in  text
	      mode, a comma in CSV mode.

       null string
	      The  string  that	 represents  a	null  value. The default is \N
	      (backslash-N) in text mode, and an unquoted empty string in  CSV
	      mode.  You  might	 prefer	 an empty string even in text mode for
	      cases where you don't  want  to  distinguish  nulls  from	 empty

	      Note:  When  using  COPY	FROM,  any data item that matches this
	      string will be stored as a null value, so you should  make  sure
	      that you use the same string as you used with COPY TO.

       CSV    Selects Comma Separated Value (CSV) mode.

       HEADER Specifies that the file contains a header line with the names of
	      each column in the file. On output, the first line contains  the
	      column  names  from  the	table, and on input, the first line is

       quote  Specifies the  ASCII  quotation  character  in  CSV  mode.   The
	      default is double-quote.

       escape Specifies	 the ASCII character that should appear before a QUOTE
	      data character value in CSV mode.	  The  default	is  the	 QUOTE
	      value (usually double-quote).

	      In  CSV COPY TO mode, forces quoting to be used for all non-NULL
	      values in each specified column.	NULL output is never quoted.

	      In CSV COPY FROM mode, process each specified column  as	though
	      it  were quoted and hence not a NULL value. For the default null
	      string in CSV mode (''), this causes missing values to be	 input
	      as zero-length strings.

       On  successful  completion, a COPY command returns a command tag of the

       COPY count

       The count is the number of rows copied.

       COPY can only be used with plain tables, not with views.	 However,  you
       can write COPY (SELECT * FROM viewname) TO ....

       The  BINARY key word causes all data to be stored/read as binary format
       rather than as text. It is somewhat faster than the normal  text	 mode,
       but  a binary-format file is less portable across machine architectures
       and PostgreSQL versions.	 Also, the binary format  is  very  data  type
       specific;  for  example	it  will not work to output binary data from a
       smallint column and read it into an integer column,  even  though  that
       would work fine in text format.

       You  must  have	select privilege on the table whose values are read by
       COPY TO, and insert privilege  on  the  table  into  which  values  are
       inserted	 by  COPY  FROM. It is sufficient to have column privileges on
       the column(s) listed in the command.

       Files named in a COPY command are  read	or  written  directly  by  the
       server,	not  by the client application. Therefore, they must reside on
       or be accessible to the database server machine, not the	 client.  They
       must  be	 accessible to and readable or writable by the PostgreSQL user
       (the user ID the server runs as), not the client. COPY naming a file is
       only allowed to database superusers, since it allows reading or writing
       any file that the server has privileges to access.

       Do not confuse COPY with the psql instruction \copy. \copy invokes COPY
       FROM  STDIN  or	COPY  TO STDOUT, and then fetches/stores the data in a
       file accessible to the psql client. Thus, file accessibility and access
       rights depend on the client rather than the server when \copy is used.

       It  is  recommended that the file name used in COPY always be specified
       as an absolute path. This is enforced by the server in the case of COPY
       TO,  but	 for  COPY  FROM you do have the option of reading from a file
       specified by a relative path. The path will be interpreted relative  to
       the  working  directory	of  the server process (normally the cluster's
       data directory), not the client's working directory.

       COPY FROM will invoke any triggers and check constraints on the	desti‐
       nation table. However, it will not invoke rules.

       COPY  input  and output is affected by DateStyle. To ensure portability
       to other PostgreSQL installations that might use non-default  DateStyle
       settings,  DateStyle  should  be set to ISO before using COPY TO. It is
       also a good idea to  avoid  dumping  data  with	IntervalStyle  set  to
       sql_standard,  because negative interval values might be misinterpreted
       by a server that has a different setting for IntervalStyle.

       Input data is interpreted according to the current client encoding, and
       output  data is encoded in the the current client encoding, even if the
       data does not pass through the client but is read from or written to  a

       COPY  stops operation at the first error. This should not lead to prob‐
       lems in the event of a COPY TO, but the target table will already  have
       received earlier rows in a COPY FROM. These rows will not be visible or
       accessible, but they still occupy disk space. This might	 amount	 to  a
       considerable  amount  of wasted disk space if the failure happened well
       into a large copy operation. You might wish to invoke VACUUM to recover
       the wasted space.

       When  COPY  is used without the BINARY or CSV options, the data read or
       written is a text file with one line per table row.  Columns in	a  row
       are separated by the delimiter character.  The column values themselves
       are strings generated by the output  function,  or  acceptable  to  the
       input  function,	 of  each  attribute's	data  type. The specified null
       string is used in place of columns that are null.  COPY FROM will raise
       an  error  if any line of the input file contains more or fewer columns
       than are expected.  If OIDS is specified, the OID is read or written as
       the first column, preceding the user data columns.

       End  of	data can be represented by a single line containing just back‐
       slash-period (\.). An end-of-data marker is not necessary when  reading
       from  a file, since the end of file serves perfectly well; it is needed
       only when copying data to or from  client  applications	using  pre-3.0
       client protocol.

       Backslash  characters  (\)  can	be used in the COPY data to quote data
       characters that might otherwise be taken as row or  column  delimiters.
       In particular, the following characters must be preceded by a backslash
       if they appear as part of a column value:  backslash  itself,  newline,
       carriage return, and the current delimiter character.

       The  specified  null string is sent by COPY TO without adding any back‐
       slashes; conversely, COPY FROM  matches	the  input  against  the  null
       string before removing backslashes. Therefore, a null string such as \N
       cannot be confused with the actual data value \N (which would be repre‐
       sented as \\N).

       The  following special backslash sequences are recognized by COPY FROM:
       SequenceRepresents\bBackspace (ASCII 8)\fForm feed (ASCII  12)\nNewline
       (ASCII  10)\rCarriage  return  (ASCII  13)\tTab (ASCII 9)\vVertical tab
       (ASCII 11)\digitsBackslash followed by one to three octal digits speci‐
       fies  the  character with that numeric code\xdigitsBackslash x followed
       by one or two hex digits specifies the character with that numeric code
       Presently,  COPY	 TO  will  never emit an octal or hex-digits backslash
       sequence, but it does use the other sequences listed  above  for	 those
       control characters.

       Any  other backslashed character that is not mentioned in the above ta‐
       ble will be taken to represent itself. However, beware of adding	 back‐
       slashes	unnecessarily,	since that might accidentally produce a string
       matching the  end-of-data  marker  (\.)	or  the	 null  string  (\N  by
       default).  These	 strings will be recognized before any other backslash
       processing is done.

       It is strongly recommended that applications generating COPY data  con‐
       vert  data  newlines  and  carriage  returns to the \n and \r sequences
       respectively. At present it is possible to represent  a	data  carriage
       return by a backslash and carriage return, and to represent a data new‐
       line by a backslash and newline.	 However, these representations	 might
       not be accepted in future releases.  They are also highly vulnerable to
       corruption if the COPY file is transferred  across  different  machines
       (for example, from Unix to Windows or vice versa).

       COPY  TO	 will  terminate  each row with a Unix-style newline (``\n'').
       Servers	running	 on  Microsoft	 Windows   instead   output   carriage
       return/newline (``\r\n''), but only for COPY to a server file; for con‐
       sistency across platforms, COPY TO STDOUT always sends  ``\n''  regard‐
       less  of	 server platform.  COPY FROM can handle lines ending with new‐
       lines, carriage returns, or carriage  return/newlines.  To  reduce  the
       risk  of	 error due to un-backslashed newlines or carriage returns that
       were meant as data, COPY FROM will complain if the line endings in  the
       input are not all alike.

       This  format  is	 used  for importing and exporting the Comma Separated
       Value (CSV) file format used by many other programs,  such  as  spread‐
       sheets.	Instead	 of  the  escaping  used by PostgreSQL's standard text
       mode, it produces and recognizes the common CSV escaping mechanism.

       The values in each record are separated by the DELIMITER character.  If
       the  value  contains  the delimiter character, the QUOTE character, the
       NULL string, a carriage return, or line feed character, then the	 whole
       value  is  prefixed and suffixed by the QUOTE character, and any occur‐
       rence within the value of a QUOTE character or the ESCAPE character  is
       preceded	 by  the  escape  character.   You can also use FORCE QUOTE to
       force quotes when outputting non-NULL values in specific columns.

       The CSV format has no standard way to distinguish a NULL value from  an
       empty  string.	PostgreSQL's  COPY handles this by quoting.  A NULL is
       output as the NULL parameter string and is not quoted, while a non-NULL
       value  matching	the NULL parameter string is quoted. For example, with
       the default settings, a NULL is written as an  unquoted	empty  string,
       while  an  empty	 string data value is written with double quotes ("").
       Reading values follows similar rules. You can use  FORCE	 NOT  NULL  to
       prevent NULL input comparisons for specific columns.

       Because backslash is not a special character in the CSV format, \., the
       end-of-data marker, could also appear as a data	value.	To  avoid  any
       misinterpretation, a \.	data value appearing as a lone entry on a line
       is automatically quoted on output, and on  input,  if  quoted,  is  not
       interpreted  as	the end-of-data marker. If you are loading a file cre‐
       ated by another application that has a single unquoted column and might
       have  a	value  of  \., you might need to quote that value in the input

	      Note: In CSV mode, all  characters  are  significant.  A	quoted
	      value  surrounded	 by  white space, or any characters other than
	      DELIMITER, will include those characters. This can cause	errors
	      if  you import data from a system that pads CSV lines with white
	      space out to some fixed width. If such a	situation  arises  you
	      might  need  to  preprocess  the CSV file to remove the trailing
	      white space, before importing the data into PostgreSQL.

	      Note: CSV mode will both recognize and produce  CSV  files  with
	      quoted  values  containing  embedded  carriage  returns and line
	      feeds. Thus the files are not strictly one line  per  table  row
	      like text-mode files.

	      Note:  Many  programs  produce strange and occasionally perverse
	      CSV files, so the file format is more a convention than a	 stan‐
	      dard.  Thus  you	might  encounter  some	files  that  cannot be
	      imported using this mechanism, and COPY might produce files that
	      other programs cannot process.

       The file format used for COPY BINARY changed in PostgreSQL 7.4. The new
       format consists of a file header, zero or more  tuples  containing  the
       row  data, and a file trailer. Headers and data are now in network byte

       The file header consists of 15 bytes of fixed  fields,  followed	 by  a
       variable-length header extension area. The fixed fields are:

	      11-byte sequence PGCOPY\n\377\r\n\0 — note that the zero byte is
	      a required part of the signature. (The signature is designed  to
	      allow  easy  identification  of files that have been munged by a
	      non-8-bit-clean transfer. This signature will be changed by end-
	      of-line-translation  filters,  dropped  zero bytes, dropped high
	      bits, or parity changes.)

       Flags field
	      32-bit integer bit mask to denote important aspects of the  file
	      format.  Bits  are  numbered from 0 (LSB) to 31 (MSB). Note that
	      this field is stored in network  byte  order  (most  significant
	      byte first), as are all the integer fields used in the file for‐
	      mat. Bits 16-31 are reserved  to	denote	critical  file	format
	      issues;  a reader should abort if it finds an unexpected bit set
	      in this range. Bits 0-15 are reserved to	signal	backwards-com‐
	      patible  format  issues; a reader should simply ignore any unex‐
	      pected bits set in this range. Currently only one	 flag  bit  is
	      defined, and the rest must be zero:

	      Bit 16 if 1, OIDs are included in the data; if 0, not

       Header extension area length
	      32-bit  integer,	length	in  bytes  of remainder of header, not
	      including self.  Currently, this is zero, and  the  first	 tuple
	      follows  immediately.  Future  changes to the format might allow
	      additional data to be present in the  header.  A	reader	should
	      silently	skip  over  any header extension data it does not know
	      what to do with.

       The header extension area is envisioned to contain a sequence of	 self-
       identifying  chunks.  The  flags	 field is not intended to tell readers
       what is in the extension area. Specific design of header extension con‐
       tents is left for a later release.

       This  design allows for both backwards-compatible header additions (add
       header extension chunks, or set low-order flag bits) and non-backwards-
       compatible  changes  (set  high-order flag bits to signal such changes,
       and add supporting data to the extension area if needed).

       Each tuple begins with a 16-bit integer count of the number  of	fields
       in  the	tuple.	(Presently,  all  tuples in a table will have the same
       count, but that might not always be  true.)  Then,  repeated  for  each
       field in the tuple, there is a 32-bit length word followed by that many
       bytes of field data. (The length word does not include itself, and  can
       be  zero.) As a special case, -1 indicates a NULL field value. No value
       bytes follow in the NULL case.

       There is no alignment padding or any other extra data between fields.

       Presently, all data values in a COPY BINARY file are assumed to	be  in
       binary format (format code one). It is anticipated that a future exten‐
       sion might add a header field that allows per-column format codes to be

       To  determine  the  appropriate binary format for the actual tuple data
       you should consult the PostgreSQL source, in particular the  *send  and
       *recv  functions for each column's data type (typically these functions
       are found in the src/backend/utils/adt/ directory of the source distri‐

       If OIDs are included in the file, the OID field immediately follows the
       field-count word. It is a normal field except that it's not included in
       the  field-count.  In particular it has a length word — this will allow
       handling of 4-byte vs. 8-byte OIDs without  too	much  pain,  and  will
       allow OIDs to be shown as null if that ever proves desirable.

       The  file trailer consists of a 16-bit integer word containing -1. This
       is easily distinguished from a tuple's field-count word.

       A reader should report an error if a field-count word is neither -1 nor
       the  expected  number  of columns. This provides an extra check against
       somehow getting out of sync with the data.

       The following example copies a table to the client using	 the  vertical
       bar (|) as the field delimiter:


       To copy data from a file into the country table:

       COPY country FROM '/usr1/proj/bray/sql/country_data';

       To copy into a file just the countries whose names start with 'A':

       COPY (SELECT * FROM country WHERE country_name LIKE 'A%') TO '/usr1/proj/bray/sql/a_list_countries.copy';

       Here is a sample of data suitable for copying into a table from STDIN:

       AF      AFGHANISTAN
       AL      ALBANIA
       DZ      ALGERIA
       ZM      ZAMBIA
       ZW      ZIMBABWE

       Note that the white space on each line is actually a tab character.

       The  following  is the same data, output in binary format.  The data is
       shown after filtering through the Unix utility od  -c.  The  table  has
       three  columns;	the  first has type char(2), the second has type text,
       and the third has type integer. All the rows have a null value  in  the
       third column.

       0000000	 P   G	 C   O	 P   Y	\n 377	\r  \n	\0  \0	\0  \0	\0  \0
       0000020	\0  \0	\0  \0 003  \0	\0  \0 002   A	 F  \0	\0  \0 013   A
       0000040	 F   G	 H   A	 N   I	 S   T	 A   N 377 377 377 377	\0 003
       0000060	\0  \0	\0 002	 A   L	\0  \0	\0 007	 A   L	 B   A	 N   I
       0000100	 A 377 377 377 377  \0 003  \0	\0  \0 002   D	 Z  \0	\0  \0
       0000120 007   A	 L   G	 E   R	 I   A 377 377 377 377	\0 003	\0  \0
       0000140	\0 002	 Z   M	\0  \0	\0 006	 Z   A	 M   B	 I   A 377 377
       0000160 377 377	\0 003	\0  \0	\0 002	 Z   W	\0  \0	\0  \b	 Z   I
       0000200	 M   B	 A   B	 W   E 377 377 377 377 377 377

       There is no COPY statement in the SQL standard.

       The  following  syntax  was  used  before PostgreSQL version 7.3 and is
       still supported:

       COPY [ BINARY ] tablename [ WITH OIDS ]
	   FROM { 'filename' | STDIN }
	   [ [USING] DELIMITERS 'delimiter' ]
	   [ WITH NULL AS 'null string' ]

       COPY [ BINARY ] tablename [ WITH OIDS ]
	   TO { 'filename' | STDOUT }
	   [ [USING] DELIMITERS 'delimiter' ]
	   [ WITH NULL AS 'null string' ]

SQL - Language Statements	  2013-10-08			       COPY(7)

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