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The postgres extension allows DuckDB to directly read data from a running Postgres instance. The data can be queried directly from the underlying Postgres tables, or read into DuckDB tables.

Loading the Extension

In order to use the Postgres extension it must first be installed and loaded. This can be done using the following commands:

INSTALL postgres;
LOAD postgres;

Usage

To make a Postgres database accessible to DuckDB, use the POSTGRES_ATTACH command:

-- load all data from "public" schema of the postgres instance running on localhost into the schema "main"  
CALL POSTGRES_ATTACH('');
-- attach the database with the given schema, loading tables from the source schema "public" into the target schema "abc"
CALL postgres_attach('dbname=postgres user=postgres host=127.0.0.1', source_schema='public', sink_schema='abc');

POSTGRES_ATTACH takes a single required string parameter, which is the libpq connection string. For example you can pass 'dbname=postgresscanner' to select a different database name. In the simplest case, the parameter is just ''. There are three additional named parameters:

  • source_schema the name of a non-standard schema name in Postgres to get tables from. Default is public.
  • sink_schema the schema name in DuckDB to create views. Default is main.
  • overwrite whether we should overwrite existing views in the target schema, default is false.
  • filter_pushdown whether filter predicates that DuckDB derives from the query should be forwarded to Postgres, defaults to false.

The tables in the database are registered as views in DuckDB, you can list them as follows:

PRAGMA show_tables;

Then you can query those views normally using SQL.

Querying individual tables

If you prefer to not attach all tables, but just query a single table, that is possible using the POSTGRES_SCAN function, e.g.

SELECT * FROM POSTGRES_SCAN('', 'public', 'mytable');

POSTGRES_SCAN takes three string parameters, the libpq connection string (see above), a Postgres schema name and a table name. The schema name is often public.

Extra Information

See the repo for the source code of the extension, or the official announcement for implementation details and background.

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